Monday, January 3, 2011

Reflections before Renewal

Over the last six weeks, as a winter intern here at D Acres, I enjoyed a welcome respite from the bells and whistles, hustle and bustle, and general stresses that, for me, have become synonymous with the approach of the holiday season. To be sure, the December days came and went with their usual frequency, the numbers of the calendar still ceaselessly ticked toward the end of another year, and yet…without television or radio as constant reminders of how many hours and minutes of shopping remained until Christmas, I was totally oblivious. Instead, I was falling into a rhythm of rising with the sun, doing morning chores, and setting to work on other projects that needed completion before darkness once again closed in at the end of the day.

When the time came, I was grateful for the opportunity to travel home to spend the holiday with my family, although I did find that when I woke up on Christmas Day, I was missing my morning chores. It may sound crazy, but they can be a great way to wake up. The weight of the water I carry to the animals warms me to the core, the taste of crisp morning air is indescribably sweet, and if I can catch them at the right moment, the first rays of the rising sun will paint the White Mountains purple. It is these experiences that kindle the fire that burns in my belly.

I dig this routine. Maybe it’s because it’s still so new, and I know that there will come a day when my internship will end. But after nearly a month and a half of living here, I have to say that my learning has only just begun. Each day brings new questions and insights, new problems, new solutions. My mistakes are my greatest teachers, and I am often reflecting upon the words of Samuel Becket: “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Whether working with the team of oxen, the wood chipper, or a hammer and nails, for me, it seems to be the challenges that make the practice worthwhile. And it is the small daily celebrations that happen here: the hot meals prepared with farm fresh ingredients, the lunchtime laughter, or the spontaneous live fiddle music at a Farm Feast Breakfast, that bring joy and merriment to the experience.

There are bigger celebrations here, too, and they happen more than just once a year. In fact, there are several of them, and they happen every month. Please come! Check out the events calendar, and join in the festivities. We look forward to connecting with you in this year of Renewal and Renewables. Happy New Year!


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