A cold start to the new year, blustery and bright, leaves and little birds are swirling about in the turbulent sky. Dead leaves are crunching underfoot as I pass corn field graveyards on my walk. The worms are deeper than a hen scratch and visitors are clogging the little highways headed home. Some people have tucked their cabins in tight, cut the water, winterized the pipes and set the alarms until they return in the spring. Me? I am "winter people". It may be my favorite season actually, when the community boils down to locals and there is a bit of a hardship factor that makes ordinary outdoor tasks an adventure. Today is opening day of winter: the high will maybe reach 34 and tomorrow will be much colder.
On our New Year's Day walkabout the forest evergreens were very green and lush from all the rain we have been getting. The weather pattern has changed - its wet winters and dry summers the past few years. Thats not good - but at least it fills the aquifers so the well has plenty to draw if summer rains are scarce again this year. The woods were curiously empty of living things -no sign of any other animals or even birds..it was as if the forest had gone sterile.
It will be quiet today, if you dont count the sound of chimes and whispering pines or little seed pods and sticks hitting tin roofing. The wind is so high right now, it sounds like ocean waves only not with the rolling fade back, but a constant soft roar. My little studio is bright and merry with the last of last quarters projects on my desk. Then, I can turn my attention to my garden which I have neglected through the entire fall season. Tomorrow will be too late - the ground will be frozen and I will have to wait until next week. For now, my garden work involves selecting seeds and deciding on what kind of spring chicks I might want to order. I need a dark brown egg layer. Then my farmers market mix will have pink, white, green, light brown and dark brown.
My new year's resolutions are typical and boring but I will share one. I want to be a person that is serene and somewhat untouchable by external forces. I do not want to be drawn into fruitless and futile debates or into other peoples' dramas. I do not want to waste much energy on things I have no power to change. I will be putting my energy into doing the best I can with what I have, and what I can change while maintaining a cheerful attitude. If I do anything, let me do it well: no lazy shortcuts, and no half-assed anything. I have a tendency toward pessimism (they say that is a dog year characteristic) but there is nothing attractive about that and even if I feel it, let me refrain from expressing it. Better still, how about say as little as possible this year? I used to carry a little sheet of behavior mod goals in my pocket and I always had ten. The first one was always "shut up". If I could stick to number one, the following 9 would almost be superfluous.
The shed is finished, well almost. I ran over budget and didn't get the cedar shingles on the top triangle things like I wanted. But I am scraping the old paint off the vintage door and little by little getting it ready to house my tools and pots and seed packets and little reminders of my mom who would love the view from the little porch in front. I have to till up more of the field to set planting beds around it, and at night I consider the possibilities perusing the seed catalogs and plant nurseries. One thing is certain: I will train a Cecile Bruner rose to climb its southern face. It was my mom's favorite.
To all the fine people who visit this page and kindly leave comments, have become friends and confidents; I wish you a very happy new year. I wish for you strength and fortitude, the power of discernment, richness in its most satisfying sense, laughter, triumph and peace.