Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter has finally arrived.

It's been snowing all day. When I woke, I could see huge, puffy snowflakes lingering outside the bedroom windows. Now, eight hours later, I look out my office windows to see great billows of wind-blown snow fly across the open fields, turning the whole world, briefly, blindingly, white. Despite the fact that it's snowed all day, perhaps only an inch or two has fallen so far. The brown tops of grass break up what would be a yard of white. Birds are fighting, diving, being blown about at the birdfeeder underneath the maple in the front yard. A bluejay just gave way to a cardinal, and now to what looks like a woodpecker, but can't be... I still want to learn the names of all these birds! Great roars of wind seem to silence everything but the windchimes. In the distance, over the neighbor's shed, unending snow seems to fall.

Dreaming of this...
This is our first proper snowstorm of the winter. And it's already January 12. It's been a mild winter so far. Not only for us, but for much of the country. Now, it seems, winter has arrived. And just in time, really. Last week I worked in the garden for the first time since harvest. Last Friday was a warmish, sunny day. Gloves were necessary against the chill, but I soon broke out in to a sweat, working. I pulled up the stakes and wire fencing that held beans and peas and tomatoes. I pulled up the stones and rocks that held down the newspaper I used as mulch. I pulled out the broken bucket I was gathering grape tomatoes in one evening last September. Its off-white pieces were even more brittle after the months outside. I marveled at the garden. How it seems simultaneously huge and small. I walked my well-worn paths in the garden... how many times did I walk back and forth, weeding, harvesting, watering, picture-taking? And then I walked the paths around the failed melon patch. All that work for nought. All the weeding only to get sick with allergies for a week. All the work with Kate & Sam, planting seeds with such hope and precision. Only to harvest one meager watermelon and four small, yet absolutely delicious, Jenny Lind melons. Instead of feeling sad all the loss, though, I began to grow excited for the new garden. The second garden, I suppose. As in many ways, this year's garden will be totally different from last year's. A different garden plan. Some new crops. Some returning ones. Some from seed I saved. Some from seeds I've yet to purchase. On that bright winter's day, it was hard to remind myself that it was not time to hoe and plough and plant. That the ground has yet to hibernate. That winter has yet to arrive.

And here winter is. And it is beautiful.

While looking at this today...
As I mentioned in my last post, I have been working in town. Since September. I took a job at a call center. I told them when I interviewed that I didn't want to do sales. That I couldn't. That I think some types of selling are completely unethical. Yet they hired me. And it was a sales job. And I stuck to it, as best as I could. Not making offers when I didn't think I should. Thinking it is better to live at ease with my own karma than to try to make money for a huge corporation. Finally, last week, I couldn't take it anymore. The pressure to sell was rising, and I knew I wouldn't last long. So now I am looking for work again. While I look for work, I am planning the garden for the next year. I hope to make it bigger, better, somehow more profitable. When I talk of profits, though, I don't necessarily mean money. Although that is important, especially if the garden can sustain itself, financially. But profitable in that it can provide food all year long... We are still eating food I canned this summer and fall: jellies, pickles, relish, barbeque sauce and salsa. But we are nearly out of canned tomatoes. And if we want pizza sauce, we have to buy it at the store. Next year at this time, if I make pizza, I want the sauce to be from the garden. I hope to stretch the productivity of the garden into the winter... earlier in spring... I've got plans! I've got dreams! I've got to find a better way of making them realities!

And with the wind still howling outside as the storm begins to pull away, I am looking forward to the challenges, the excitement, the lessons of this new year... And looking forward to sharing them with all of you...

No comments:

Post a Comment