Such a soft, gentle first few days of this new year. Here are a few of my favorite moments.
On New Year’s Day we luxuriated in having very little to do. The weather was quiet and wintry, but still dry, perfect for a little post-holiday cocooning, and we took the opportunity to relax. It was a much needed pause after so many busy, hard working, extra celebratory weeks in a row. Aside from a trip to stock up on horse and chicken feed for the month, Handsome and I thoroughly enjoyed having nothing to do and nowhere to go. I didn’t even workout on Tuesday, and it felt great.
On Tuesday and since, in stolen moments, I have been curled up with the 2019 Farmer’s Almanac. My gardening dreams are brewing again, and this year I plan to follow the moon more diligently than before.
For now, my indoor plants are growing well. The paper whites are still blooming and perfuming the living room. Potted rosemary, Christmas cactus, purple heart, and pothos are part of the fun, too. Sadly, I think mice have eaten my seeds in storage.
Another book I’m loving this week is How to Be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery. Jessica gifted it to me for Christmas, and it is gorgeous and wholesome. The book jacket, as you can see, is beautiful all by itself. I may end up framing it. She told us that the artwork is what first caught her eye. But the content … Oh my gosh. It’s a thick collection of casual essays about a woman’s lifelong love of and relationships with various animals. Really nice, if occasionally painful to read.
Wednesday was a wonderful mix of good things. I did some housework and fed everyone then grabbed 9-ish easy miles just to shake out my legs. It was the final day of Christmas break for my nieces, so I took them to our Oklahoma City Zoo for a few hours. We also had snacks and hot drinks at McDonald’s afterwards. We were numb from the cold but happy. My heart was so full listening to them, hearing them talk about their favorite animals and school and upcoming sports. They talked about their big brother who is at Basic Training right now. These girls show such sweet affection for each other and are both beautiful and unique. Close in age, but very different people. Though the family at large gathers frequently, I don’t spend enough time alone with the kids, so yesterday was a gift. As all children do, they are growing up quickly. It seems like the more we love them the faster they grow.
For most of Thursday, Oklahoma was cold and soaked, the front of a true winter storm pouring over us with heavy rain and sleet. But by nightfall we saw thick, clean, heavily textured snow falling in unbelievable curtains of white. Like an ocean of shredded cotton balls being showered on us, and just as quiet and comforting, too. When the sleet had begun, the farm was already saturated from recent rains, so by the time snow arrived, we were still nice and cold so all of it landed and stuck to every surface. Just unbelievably gorgeous. We took a moonlit walk (RUN) to see everything. Klaus lost his mind with happiness.
A little while later we were inside with the fireplace going, sweating every little power flicker honestly, and heard Meh making some bizarre noises. We checked everyone, they were fine. He was just not in the mood for Chanta and Dusty to share his hay that night, so we tromped around rearranging gates until the horses had their own separate, dry shelter with lots of hay to keep their bellies warm. Have you ever heard a llama scream? Ha! I was glad for the chance to see all of this in the dark.
I have also felt very thankful for good quality galoshes, jeans, and gloves to do my chores, ha. And the horses were very thankful that the core of a round bale of hay was provided. I think it must taste better? They get so excited. That unwrapping always makes me crave cinnamon rolls.
This morning Klaus and I walked around for the first time before daybreak. Then Handsome and I soaked up the first pastel moments of sunrise from the hot tub. Narnia, truly. Such a stunning way to begin a work day.
Yesterday, the pond was a high, glassy, unwelcoming winter mirror. But by this morning, the slush was frozen solid and drifted with pure white snow. After chores, I walked around for an hour holding back tears, it was so beautiful.
Throughout the ice and snowfall, our pines and red cedars have all knelt closer and closer to the ground, soaked to their bones and heavily burdened. We lost some big branches; we almost always do in winter storms. But we never lost power, and the farm smells like fresh pine form all of the torn lumber. And in the bizarre absence of wind we are enjoying, except for the gentle rainfall, everything has been so quiet. I know this word gets used a lot, but everything feels magical. Otherworldly. Those heavy-limbed trees lean forward and in on themselves, creating spacious little ice rooms, natural interior dome shaped shelters with red-orange pine needles for carpets. The warm color of the bark and pine needles on the ground contrasts against the blue-silver landscape and gives the illusion of candle-glow.
I hope your new year has begun in surprisingly beautiful ways. I hope your hard work is being tempered by pleasure. I hope you make meaningful connections on purpose and trust that Love is working on your behalf in a million unseen ways. Thank you for checking in!
“But very quickly they all became grave again:
for, as you know,
there is a kind of happiness and wonder
that makes you serious.
It is too good to waste on jokes.”
~C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia