By the shift in the winds direction and speed I can tell the weather is about to change abruptly. The sky’s sunny disposition is no match for the clouds angry demeanor. As Wally and I make a bee line for the shelter of the shed they come, sweet drops of rest.
I take a seat on an overturned pail near the open shed door, peering through the curtain of rain. Wally waltzes over for a scratch behind the ear then lies on my feet. The distinct odor of wet lab cuts through the scent of fresh rain. I breathe in both deeply. There we sit, work waiting, listening to the peaceful rhythm of the rain. Peaceful because there is no hay cut or seed to put in the ground. Rain and I have a fluid relationship. To a farmer rain can be a curse and a blessing. Weather is a master at teaching acceptance. Over the years, I’ve learned to move with the rhythm of the rain.
While thoughts tossing and turning in my mind are put to sleep by the rain’s song, I feel content. We control uncontrollable circumstances by choosing how we cope with them. Today, I’m choosing to sit and listen to the sweet drops of wisdom coming to rest in my soul.
Live a life that is loved.
If you’re not feeling life’s love,
find another way to be alive.
A loved life
loves you back.
There is a Divine power
in the early hours.
The morning star a tiny twinkle,
yet bright enough to make your eyes crinkle.
The hoe’s sharp blade breaks the soil’s crust
and pulls back a dark moist mound before another thrust.
Pungent earthy smells blow past my nose.
Here is a good home for pea roots to grow.
Sacred seeds of possibility
planted by hands soiled with humility.
Tenderly placed within the prayer of earth’s fertile womb
asking for each to bud and bloom.
Oh the ambitious garden projects spring pushes us to complete!
The sky’s daylight is beginning to retreat.
The gardener’s body is stiff and bones ache.
Just one more row for goodness’ sake!
I rise with Divine power
of the birth hour.
can’t be begged, bought or borrowed.
Our bodies houses of God adorned and worshiped.
Behind walls of flesh lies the heart of heaven’s home.
Pure love like nature’s nakedness feels beauty.
Let love live inside.
Go to the soul’s open window.
See what the heart feels.
Of all loves, the greatest is of self.
Beauty is created within the “I” of the beholder.
On this, the calendars last day of winter,
my glance is drawn toward the bouncing crab apple branches to my right.
They’re laden with a feast of red wrinkled berries for a winged-one.
I saw the round bird’s gray-brown feathers with warm orange under parts flutter joyfully by.
On wings of anticipation the migration prayer has been consummated.
Springs ambassador has returned!
The vernal song hibernating within us is aroused.
“Cheerily, cheer up, cheer up, cheerily, cheer up”! The Robin sings.
On this, the calendars first day of spring.
American Robin photo by Dave Menke- US Fish and Wildlife (public domain)
Fall, the peak of harvest time, tugs at my good farm roots. The air takes on a sweet earthy smell. In every direction, the land’s bountiful gifts lay over the fields like a table set for a feast. When farmsteads were established, it was customary to have an apple orchard, usually planted close to house and heart. Planting an apple orchard was a priority when our home was built. The scent of apple blossoms perfuming the air in late spring is like the breath of an angel. The aroma of apple anything emanating from an oven enhances the spirit of the dreariest soul. A crop of apples gives me a plentiful harvest of happiness.
“The pickles aren’t gonna pick themselves. The cows aren’t gonna milk themselves.” This was one of my Mom’s favorite directives growing up. There seemed to be an infinite number of things that couldn’t get done by themselves. During autumn’s bounty on our small dairy farm, harvest season had no end. The difficulty can be in discerning when enough is enough. There is no greater feeling of contentment that I know of than having enough … enough hay to make it through the winter … enough preserves in the pantry … enough time … enough love. Enough more times than not meant rolling up your shirt sleeves and wiping sweat from your brow. Fall, in the peak of its bountiful harvest is a time when I feel the essence of what enough is….it’s the feeling of thankfulness that fills you with contentment … enough.
Our apple trees are bearing fruit. The crop is good but not as good as years past. I was raised to believe happiness in one’s life required a certain amount of effort. You had to work at being happy. Gathering happiness may necessitate going out on a limb but it’s there hanging on every branch on the tree of life. Happy doesn’t always come to you. You have to go out and get happy.
As I gathered up the deliciousness of apple harvest, I came to understand a wider perspective of things that can’t get done by themselves like being happy. Happiness doesn’t fill you unless you are grateful and being grateful means it matters not if you have a handful of apples in your bushel basket or it’s heaping full. Understanding the fullness of gratitude means anytime happiness doesn’t come to you, you can go to happiness.
Get grateful and harvest happy.
Apples to Apples
Summer is drowsy, ready for sleep.
A dreamy scent perfumes the breeze.
Youth’s green tang mellows.
Tart and hard: surrender
to sweet pink and easy yellow.
Wolf River. Prairie Spy. Lodi. Zestar.
Voluptuous ornaments adorn
each limbs length.
Rosy streaks from stem to blossom end
graceful as swan necks, the branches bow.
Fruit at perfection’s peak now!
McIntosh. Cortland. Red Delicious. Granny Smith.
Teeth crush down through tender flesh.
Taste the ripeness
in a season’s end.
Juices run apple-soul deep, blue-sky wide.
Wipe your chin ready
from side to side.
Gala. Sweet Tango. Empire. Golden Crisp.