Well, hello again. I know, I know, it has been awhile. I have repeatedly reminded myself that I am supposed to be writing on a regular basis and staying on top of this blogging thing. The problem is this: I have a farm and it gets a little crazy around here. At present there are 35 ducks, 33 chickens, 12 goats, 3 geese, 3 rabbits, 2 cats and 1 dog who reside on our farm with us. These characters require a great deal of our time and attention. It’s a full time job year round, however summer is downright exhausting.
In the Pacific Northwest we have to make up for the short hours of daylight through the winter. We look forward to summer when the days are drier and the sunlight lasts much longer to get a large portion of farm work done. At the season’s peak the sun doesn’t set until almost 10pm and we make the most of our time planting, building, repairing and protecting it all from bugs, predators and the sometimes bi-polar weather conditions.
This year July was drizzly and cool with the occasional day or two of blaring heat scattered here and there. This inconsistency made gardening a little challenging to say the least. Each summer day offered a new opportunity of problems to solve, we were constantly battling slugs, aphids and birds to protect our herbs and veggies. While the pumpkin patch was hit hard and the cauliflower was a complete loss we still managed to end up with a thriving garden.
There was a point in the middle of this hectic season that I found myself getting discouraged and a little bummed out. The summertime blues as you will. The drizzly and cool days spoiled more than a few plans and put a damper on my mood. Then one day I pulled into our driveway after a trip to town and discovered a peacock in my front yard and my outlook began to change. This ostentatious bird was strutting around as if he owned the place. He spent a couple months flirting with the goats and chickens while displaying his glorious tail feathers as if he was doing us all a great favor. He honked and made loud, distressing calls that drove Farmdog crazy. I am also pretty sure he snipped off most of my sunflower shoots and bean sprouts but despite it all, I liked having him around. He seemed to be a living piece of art and we enjoyed his presence on our farm.
I don’t know where the peacock came from, it was a mystery we never solved. He graced our summer with his beauty and gave us a bouquet of his tail feathers to keep. He left just as abruptly as he arrived. It would be easy for me to be downhearted about his departure, the same way it was almost impossible to fight the discouragement from the lack of sunny days, my garden disappointments and the exhausting work load. “Almost impossible” and yet somewhere in the middle of it all I made a decision to fully embrace and enjoy each day for what it was. I challenged myself to notice and be grateful for all the good things around me.
It isn’t a simple feat to look past bug infested Brussels Sprouts to appreciate the thriving cucumbers and the abundant flower garden or embrace a difficult lesson from a hard loss as a valuable gift but it is a worthy endeavor. Applying a sunny outlook to the blueish hues of disappointment enables the ability to see the green of new life and growth happening within and all around us. This summer hasn’t been what I expected it to be, but I’m glad. I have gained so much more by choosing to see the difficulties and problems as an opportunity to grow stronger, deeper and more grateful each day.
The adventure isn’t reaching the end destination but in the journey to get there.