Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Harbinger of spring? Already?

We celebrate gratitude and thankfulness during these winter holidays and there really is so much for which to be thankful. But have you ever felt that strange rustling scurry in your stomach? A fullness in your chest that speaks of something not yet fulfilled. Something waiting to be done. An insistent whisper in your ear that your whole self requires, actually needs something. The feeling is akin to the craving for cheeseburgers I felt when I was heavy with child, but on a larger, more diluted scale.

I've yet to figure out exactly what my body is telling me I need to do, but there are certain things that sing to the demands. Things that seem to harmonize with the whisper and turn it into a pleasant, aching hum. I recently interviewed an incredible woman--Kristin Kimball. Her and her husband run Essex Farm near Lake Champlain in New York state, and she recently released her first book, The Dirty Life. Hers is a story of transformation from city girl to farmer (a title she has certainly earned and would never wear lightly), and it has been trial by mud, horse, plow and blood. Kristin is a writer by trade and by nature so her prose is beautifully detailed, and she delves just as deeply and intimately into the hardships as well as the joys of becoming a farmer. Her words made my belly flutter with equal parts yearning and terror.

I don't know what it is about the work of growing food for at lest self-sufficiency, and at most, for others, that I envy.

But I can barely keep up with my 50 square feet of garden in my postage stamp backyard! I break out in stress sweats just anticipating paying our household bills (all of which we're usually able to make without an issue). And this fall past I managed to let an entire bushel basket of gorgeous peppers rot on my kitchen floor. Hardly farmer material.

Maybe it is the dead of winter coming on that has kindled the urgent need to dig, to struggle, to throw myself into a physically exhausting enterprise.

Maybe I've been doing just a little too much sitting what with the writing and editing work. Whatever it is, it is driving me. Now if only it will last through this year's gardening season, we'll be in good shape!


DJ said...

My stalagmite of seed and gardening catalogues for 2011 has already begun forming on the laundry room floor. Those guys usually wait til after the holidays to begin their mailers! How did they know to feed that beast so early this year? What do they know--or is it just their survival instincts kicking in? Did they know that I would be so receptive, having already had my fill of winter this year--even before the holidays?

This year my pull is much stronger to roses (those old fussbudgets) and berry bushes rather than "serious" nutrition. Maybe my fussbudget soul needs fed more than my gut right now?

Bending Birches said...

hoping you had a lovely, xmas, dear!
interesting thoughts..

Nettles said...

"Maybe it is the dead of winter coming on that has kindled the urgent need to dig, to struggle, to throw myself into a physically exhausting enterprise"...
I certainly felt this way in the middle of this past winter.

Having said that, I'm not much of a farmer either. My attempts at growing food this year, (on a tiny scale - on my balcony), whilst not exactly resulting in abject failure have been plagued by caterpillars and my somewhat laissez faire approach to the endeavour.

And I certainly carry that "strange rustling scurry" around in my stomach nearly all the time. Think I was born with it.

Many blessings to you for the season. xx