I'm at it again - a bridge in the midst of a country/city cultural conundrum...or maybe just somebody playing with alliteration!
The Solstice marks a time when darkness begins to subside and days of increasing light once again return. This is a time for rebirth, rejuvenation and discovery. These slow quiet days give us time to learn new ideas, clarify our goals and dreams and plan for the future. It is a time to quiet the mind, move more slowly, dream more deeply, eat more heartily and rest. THIS...this is meant to be. This time of year for those of us living in northern climates is time...to.........slow....... but oh, so hard for city-wired folk.
Living on a farm takes away many of the modern cultural constructs of time allowing us to live this season with ease. Sadly, I am reminded that many households do not have that privilege, when, about the time I am crawling out of bed to enjoy a morning cup of coffee, the school bus rumbles by. I wonder, "How on earth?" I know that for me to be up and ready to go to school or work by 6:50 this time of year would make me miserable. I can only imagine the family turmoil for those who leave for work early in the city and/or need to be up to get their kids on the bus. I'm disheartened that our modern world has pulled us so far away from a healthier natural human existence.
When I first met William I knew immediately he was running on a farm schedule and I was drawn to that. The farm and its schedule flow with nature and the seasons. Sunlight, rain, wind, snow, temperature and darkness determine what tasks will be done. Deadlines and schedules are much more free-flowing. Of course, there are routines for tending chores, animals and other needs, but there is forgiveness in those patterns. Everything gets done as the day (and its curveballs) determines. Coming from the stressors of a city schedule, I found great comfort in farm time, its ability to make time for our relationship and the easygoing low stress nature of it all. The bad part of the farm schedule is that summer work hours are VERY long as darkness signals the end of the work day, and that, in the summer, comes at 9:30 or 10:00 PM!
The exhausting summer hours is why I love this dark and quiet time of year and extra hours for rejuvenation. I am happy leaning into that Swedish idea of Hyyge - quite content to settle into the cozy quiet of a relaxing evening. I still have a mountain of books I want to read, a million words to write, new crochet patterns to practice, all sorts of wonderful YouTube discoveries to be had and new projects to develop. This year, as many of you who read my blog know, I took a much longer Hyyge season starting, in fact, in late summer. Post restaurant, I knew I needed to slow, go inside myself, read, uncover, learn, ponder... All of this quiet contemplative and cozy work gave me time to uncover, discover and gain insight into my next chapter. Woot woot!
Ok, enough of that. City people, I hope you find ways to connect to nature and it's natural rhythms. I know when I lived in town, I needed a lot of vacations, liked to go to bed early this time of year and wished that I could go to work about two hours later! I often said as a teacher, "Recess saved me!" Get outside, walk, move, play....then don't fret when the darkness tells you it's time to snuggle in and slow down. Accept the stillness, find comfort in slow and go ahead and disconnect. Well, aren't I just a Bossy Flossy after all tellin' y'all to just chillax! Yep. A real know-it-all!
We had intended to close the farm store this Sunday 12/24/23, but we're still watching the weather and finding that we can stay open. It's only when bitter cold and/or mountains of snow make it difficult to keep the store warm enough and accessible that we decide to close. So, for the time being, we will remain OPEN until the weather becomes disagreeable. Our country roads are clear, hiking at Maiden Rock Bluff spectacular this time of year and there are lots of wonderful discoveries to be had in our neighborhood in this "off season." Come tour the River Road and all its cute little towns from Red Wing, Bay City, Maiden Rock, Stockholm, Pepin, Nelson and Alma to discover what we call, "Our Neighborhood!"
Bill and I are deeply grateful to all of you who have made our farm a stop on your travels and shopping adventures. We've made so many wonderful new friends over the years because of the store, and find great joy in knowing that sharing a bit of the farm means sharing some of the health and wellness inherent in country living. I'm a firm believer that everybody needs a little FARM in their life!
We wish you joy and happiness and hope that you find a clear path to peace on this wonky road of life.
Sending love from the farm,
Sarah (& Bill) Brenner