Friday, August 21, 2009

A Year of Living Abundantly

Every Year is Different

This year we’ve had abundant rain. One might even call it abundant weather because by gosh we’ve had a lot of it. These first photos are the results of weather (in this case meaning wind) that happened back in April but that I just got around to photographing: Trees down by the back creek and into our back pasture. The scale of it is impressive although I don’t believe I’ve got a speck of that Ansel Adams thing about capturing scale and grandeur and all that.

Do you see the mushroom? Turned sideways. That root ball is well over my head.

This sycamore tree I could easily walk across . . . but where would I go on the other side? Still, the kids have fun traipsing on all these.

A look at what might be called violence. Or it might be called something else. Like it might be called necessary. I do hate the modern “compassionate” view of everything always moving in some progression of unassailable growth without the necessary pruning/death/smiting, aka sh*t happens. Those trees that are snapped and twisted are as big around as my body . . . and yet others stand unbowed. I just have to love, admire, respect and emulate nature.

This is a pine fallen into the pasture and now a favorite scratching post. The dog provides some awesomeness scale.

And this one . . . follow it . . . there is a fence post in the bottom right corner . . . the clump of trees felled over the creek . . . but as the photo goes back you can see three more large trees or clumps of trees on the ground and what you don’t see is the murkwood because it is gone. This little patch of forest floor is now open to the sun and will be vastly different next year until it gradually grows itself back. Maybe this year the bears won’t think they can hide here as much.

And these are the inhabitants of the back pasture, missing the donkey and the baby goats who are no longer actually babies (does anyone have hearty milk goats to trade out?) I always love best photos of the animals.

Before I leave the pasture, I want to tell you something. Someone showed up here the other day. Someone I didn’t know. I think it was good that I was at the barn instead of home. Husband said if he hadn’t had a banjo thrown over his shoulder he would probably have run him off but he did have a banjo and he seemed ok to husband and so he visited awhile. He’s been a reader of this blog. From having read this blog, he also read about Eustace Conway and is currently working over at his place and somehow found his way here ostensibly to visit me. That’s a little creepy. Perhaps I should be more careful. Don’t anyone else get any ideas. I don’t like being on display. And yet, I’m touched and flattered that someone wanted to actually see what I’ve tried to describe.

What our visitor found was a messy house and a messy farm and a messy garden, no doubt. He found a husband willing to play some music with him and to pull a carrot as if by magic out of the weeds -- weeds that are so thick this year as to make the garden an impenetrable jungle to any who do not know where it hides its secret vegetables. He found a corn field that isn’t really very big, and that this year is even quite puny, but that will still likely produce all the table corn we’ll need for the year. He did not find a Contrary Goddess because she’d gone for the day to the barn where she is spending more time. He found some children who have not actually said much about his visit. He found a house that was without bread made at that moment, a rarity but . . . in the end we are not purists by any stretch of the imagination. One of the whole points of living like this, maybe even the main point, is joy . . . is to be able to do what it is we really want to do . . . is to have time to play and to find our work to be play.

I don’t know what he thought of it all, how he experienced it. As far as I know, he’s never left a comment on this blog or written me an e-mail or linked me to a blog of his. He has, however, turned an acre or so of his parents’ property into garden, which is so cool, and come to work with Eustace for awhile, which is also cool. I think I would like to know what he thought and how he experienced it, but it is also uncomfortable. Will the sodas on the table or the jeans hanging on the flue take precedence in his mind?

Visitor, know this: I admire you. You are pursuing stuff, not finding reasons why you cannot or making excuses for what doesn’t work. As should be obvious, there is no one way to do this, any of it. And every year is different.

The weaver of the web:
Hither world, thither world, all worlds are One.

Sunflower serving as food and as table for some critter or the other:
(while the corn might be puny this year, the sunflowers are not)

When zucchinis and crooknecks go bad:

bean blossoms

Eggplants. Notice the flea beetle eaten leaves.



The first color change of fall. I think I first noticed this little tree in a neighbor’s yard last year too. Also, I’m not able to milk late without a flashlight anymore. I’ll miss the light.

Another form of abundance this year. One had fallen off in the road and I took it to the horse show with me and gave it to an overgrown pony named Tullamore who I happen to like a lot and who boss says I like because she is just exactly like me.

Nourished by the abundance of this sort of life:

I do want to say, I am thankful to all and for so much. I think this farm and this family have taught me over these years how to be happy, and how to take the chance, and that there is indeed a place in the world for a gambler -- albeit a place that she must needs make for herself. With a lot of help.

P.S. this is post #570 and I just passed my five year blogoversary! woohoo & hahahehehoho


Madcap said...

Yay! Five solid years of contrarity! Be back more later, I've got to run right now.

annetteinalaska said...

Yes, the animal picture is the best. Lovelovelove it! And the female corn. And I can HEAR that creek.

Five fine years... good work!

Mickle in NZ said...

Five years of wonderful Contraryness!

With all the rain has the creek that you originally had plumbed pipes from to your water tank recovered?

The barbequing veggies skewers look yummo.

Care and friendship from Downunder, Mickle.

marie said...

Your grill top looks exactly the same as the Lodge grill JHB bought years ago. Lodge cast iron is the best.
Your writing of your life is inspiring.