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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Abundance

There's a time in many young couples' lives for parentally-subsidized housing, late-night baby soothing, and just-getting-by. Today, though, I stand here on our own little farm, pitchfork in hand, looking at a spectacular vegetable patch. In the background, our newborn Saanen doelings discover their frolicking legs, gamboling wildly around our small pasture to the frank astonishment of their older brother Jasper Jules. The comfrey is knee-high, the rhubarb nearly so, and the pear and cherry blossoms coming fully on. We've harvested our first round of brocolli raab from the greenhouse, the sunchokes are coming up again in ever-increasing numbers, and the arugula is so thick you could lose a baby in it.

We're still just getting by, in the sense that our net income never quite pushes its head above the red line of monthly expenses, and in the sense that we ate jerusalem artichokes, salad thinnings, and last year's kale and potatoes for dinner more than once in the last days of March, but we have abundance. We live in a fertile cradle, surrounded by earthly bounty and natural beauty, and we have our health, our children, our four- and two-legged friends.

We made a rare and much-anticipated trip to the grocery store to stock up on staples yesterday—more exciting than the oatmeal and bagged rice, however, were the dozen elk we passed on our way out of Wickersham, or the massive bald eagles that looped overhead as we returned home. We came home with sugar, flour, toilet paper, and a stronger-than ever conviction: all that we really need is right here.

I won't deny that I fantasize about a day when cash is not so tight, when our debt is lower and our income higher. A time when Mat can be home more, when his work is here at home. In that fantasy, though, I'm still out in the garden, and still serving sunchokes for dinner. I wouldn't shake a stick at a ten-acre hay field, a comfortable barn, or a shady wood lot. If I had those things, this is what I would love: the beauty of the land, the sound of the mules working, the warmth of a family dinner at the end of the day, the bright spring evenings with Mat and the girls. These are things I have here, and now. I have what makes me happy.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful - both the writing and the sentiments.

    ReplyDelete

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