After a rush to move in to the new addition, it was a rush to get ready for Christmas.
We managed a small, artificial silver tree upon a desktop and candles in the windows. We got the shopping done in time. I got to spend a cherished day with my 79 year old momma, baking in her kitchen, making all of my favorite childhood Christmas cookies — that was a true gift.
And we got blessed with the gift of snow for Christmas.
After waking up without anyone else at home on Christmas morning, BJR asked if he could plow snow before we opened presents. He loves bundling up to plow snow with our 1954 Farmall cub. And I love to see him happy. Patience is a virtue anyway, right?
After presents and breakfast, we both bundled up to explore our winter wonderland.
I had truly forgotten how much I love the crunch of the snow underneath my boots and the crisp air filling my lungs.
Even though it was a different Christmas morning, it was lovely just the same.
Composing Winter at DRF
Since the holidays, and since successfully completing a total of 8 (yes, EIGHT) family Christmas celebrations over a three-week period, we are just learning how to ‘be’ in the quiet of the winter. Now that deer hunting season is done, and I’m quite sure the hunters won’t mistake me for a bunny, I have been able to walk the fields and woods again.
I sometimes walk for speed and distance, measuring my strides, but I also take days to walk slowing enough to take in what Mother Nature has so generously given us.
I’ve learned to notice the tracks in the snow and figure out who precisely came to this spot before me. Mainly deer, bunnies, and racoons, but an occasional fox and coyote. (This picture below shows our deer “HOV lane” that runs west and south of the farm. Despite our best efforts with corn feeders, the deer aren’t hungry enough to come up to the house, yet. I’ve been assured they will get to that point before winter is over. Fingers crossed.)
The snow blankets everything with such beauty that it makes me wish I could rattle off some poetry about its magic.
I’m in awe of its ability to make everything look fresh and new. Bigger and bolder in contrast, I suppose.
It’s amazing what one can see, when one slows down enough to really look.
The necessity of the seasons has never made so much sense to me. As we have transitioned from careers and raising children, to this next stage of life, now hibernating before the work of the spring comes, the winter just reinforces the cycle of all things.
The need for stillness and dormancy. The need for rest.
Sometimes now and then, I just start following the deer tracks, and see where my walk takes me. The biggest herd I’ve stumbled across was over 40. Not a single buck in the group. (Sorry no pictures of that, my phone had already surrendered to the cold. I’ve learned that a smartphone does fine if it’s 25 degrees out, but that at 5 or 6 degrees, it quickly drains its battery and dies within 10 minutes of being in the cold. So now I try and take my pictures before that can happen.)
Being able to get lost in Mother Nature is no small thing. I crave my time with her.
Even on hazy days, she has something to say.
The brilliance of the snow can’t truly be captured, despite my wishing it could be.
This first winter at the farm has me trying to be mindful and purposeful with the quiet.
What a lovely life lesson to work on.