We decided when we bought the farm it would be necessary to set aside regular blocks of time to work together on all the projects needed to bring our dream to life. We committed to give every Saturday, between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, to work toward creating our shared vision.
And we have. We’ve gathered on Saturdays, grown ups and kids alike, to work. We’ve limbed trees and cleared acres of underbrush in the Wood, stacked firewood and practiced driving tractor. We’ve dug pathways, set retaining systems, and mucked chicken coops. We’ve repaired fences and garden beds, planted hundreds of bulbs and transplanted berries, spread fertilizer and dug holes. We’ve built a hugelkultur, and tested lazer tag equipment. It’s been ridiculously fun.
Farm Work Days are one of my favorite days of the week. I look forward to being out on the property, soaking in the wild beauty of nature. I love the sense of gathering and working together with the extended tribe. I love the ritual of cooking a big, hot meal for the ‘farm crew’ to enjoy as they warm up and recharge for the second half of the day. (Watching the excitement from the younger farmers on the crew when they see and smell freshly baked cookies is pure joy!)
Today the crew has gathered to work as ususal, but I’m inside.
See, somehow, despite having experienced chicken pox as a child and being current on immunizations, the virus laying dormant in my body reactivated in the form of shingles. So today I’ll miss out on the rowdy fun of digging holes and transplanting dormant trees, and will do different work instead–slowing down, listening to and caring for my body. Sitting, doing nothing.
I’m wistful watching the crew walk through the pastures, explore the woods, and play in the creek, wishing I could join them. At the same time, I notice that my own need today feels aligned with the natural world just outside the windows- the need to pause, to go within, to recharge. The flowers and trees teach a better way, modeling their innate knowing that productivity and blooming is impossible without a season of stillness and rest.
It’s difficult to resist the temptation to see today as a wasted work day for me, to label myself ‘unproductive’. Instead, I choose to lean into what nature seems to have been quietly showing me all along- that a season of stillness is valuable and important.
I’m thankful that there’s space for all kinds of work on Farm Work Day, both loud and lively as well as quiet and still.