Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I haven't written anything on this blog in nearly a year. Right now seems like a perfect time to start it up again. Today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and tomorrow I embark on a year-long farming adventure at the Farm School in Athol, MA. I am looking forward to a year of living on the land, working hard, and learning as much as I possibly can. Before I dive headlong into the new year, I'll close out the last with a family tradition: a list of the sweetest things from this past year.

1. Hiking - Camel's Hump on a cold fall day with Julie, Debbie and Cordelia. The Southern Presidentials, especially hiking down the shoulder of Washington in the still, silent golden afternoon. Climbing Owl's Head with Tim, Kate and Marcia, views of Franconia Ridge from the slide and being there when Marcia finished her 4000 footers.

2. Late night dominoes, vegetable family flashcards, evenings at the fire circle, yoga and chai before bed, and the general fun, hilarity and homeyness of living in the red barn with such excellent housemates.

3. Delicious dinners on the porch and by the garden: roasted vegetables, focaccia with tomatoes and basil, many amazing salads, tomato pie, apple pie, Cordelia's fresh bread, kale with apple cider vinegar and onions, lentil soup, mulled cider, chocolate beet cake and carrot cake, cheese toasties.

4. Working with Taz: learning how to use drills and hammers effectively, pour the right way, dig water bars, throw a sledge, use a hatchet and a chainsaw, turn compost with the tractor bucket, and a boatload of other useful and essential skills, both big and small.

5. Paddling on the Mad River in the early summer sunlight: cold, shimmering, delightful water for swimming, high bright sun, lounging in canoes.

5. Working and singing: sorting wool and learning rounds while the rain slammed against the barn, teaching each other new songs while weeding the never-ending blueberries, singing in the misty rainy while mulching, fifteen people crammed in the bathhouse singing ancient rounds by lantern light that echoed and reverberated off the walls.

6. Early morning and evening mist at Knoll Farm, sunrises on the hill, fireflies, light in the cottonwood tree, the cold, clear water of the pond, early morning and late afternoon chores in golden pastures, fall hills exploding with red.

Shanah tovah! May it be a sweet new year.