As the week comes to a close, I am not thinking much about food. Val and I are recovering from the flu, so its lighter fare of broth, herbal tea, water and rest. Yet even in this weakened physical state, there are some things worth sharing. Our home has been wonderfully quiet for days. So quiet that you can hear the wind chimes outside, our cats walking across the floor and the soft crackling of the fire in our wood stove. I love this quiet. I look up from my book and stare out the window for long periods of time. Plump buds on tree limbs wait for the days to lengthen. The finches are already changing color and the lake shows signs of melt as puddles form over its surface. Our seed orders have arrived and are waiting to be planted in April. There is a feeling of anticipation humming through our home.
Although I look forward to spring, I will miss this quieter time. This prelude before our season starts up again and takes on a life of its own. Since my arrival at the farm over four years ago, much of my life has changed. Now time is not so much linear as cyclical, creating the opportunity for new thoughts to enter. Years ago I felt I was only as valuable as my possessions. I was the consummate consumer, spending my money carelessly. I valued things more than I valued people. As each of my relationships failed, I realized that in order to value others, I must first value myself. This opened a whole world of deeper thoughts. I radically scaled back my possessions and discovered a happiness I didn’t know existed. As I learned to grow food on our truck farm I discovered a sense of purpose. I no longer felt the need to be different or better than someone else to feed my fragile ego. We were feeding ourselves and others something they could actually use; good wholesome food from a self-sustaining farm. I recognized how I am growing something else that is useful to myself and others: humility. There is no entitlement. I am learning how to see, be, do. I am slowly developing faith in the goodness of human beings. I recognize that in order to resist the judgments I have for others I must first understand more completely the judgments I hold toward myself and my own imperfections. In some ways, these imperfections have been my greatest gifts.