Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday at Maggie's

I woke up at 7 am, my room, blessed with an east-facing window, flooded with sunlight. These days sleeping till 7 seems late; my body won't let me sleep any later than 8 or so. It's the best rhythm I've ever been on. I get up at 5, with the first glimmer of light. The sun doesn't rise until just before six, but the sky is dusky already at 5, and the pale shapes of trees are visible out my window. It's nothing like waking up in the winter in complete, silent darkness. I'm in bed by 8:30, usually, and I sleep a solid eight hours. I love this rhythm. I'm full of energy all day long and exhausted enough to sleep well at day's end. I feel intimately connected to the sunlight, the morning and evening sounds of animals, the flow of the day through the farm in a way I never have before.

The house is quiet at 7. I make my morning pot of hot water, honey, and lemon juice. We don't have an electric tea kettle at the farm, and one thing I've come to love is the ritual of actually boiling water on the stove. Every morning here begins the same way - filling the kettle, waiting for the steam to rise and the whistle to sing through the house, using the red dishtowel that always hangs on the stove to pour hot water into the waiting pot. This morning, I made fried eggs on sprouted wheat bagels (delicious) and took everything outside to eat on the stone steps in the perennial garden behind the kitchen. I shared my breakfast with copious amounts of sunlight, the morning scuffling of chickens, and the farm's first spring flowers.
The day quickly turned into one of those misty, gray spring days, damp clouds hanging in the sky, rain spattering the fields. Motor and I decided it would be best spent on the couch. I read, Motor napped.
Several chapters and many pleasant cat-dreams later, I decided it was time to do some baking. Slow, lazy weekend days beg for the scent of cinnamon and honey, or buttery biscuits, or fresh bread. After a week without it during Passover, I have been reveling in bread for the past few days, and enjoying my share of bagels, home-baked cookies (oatmeal honey) and, this afternoon, applesauce-spice cake with maple-cream glaze.
While the cake baked (and the house was gratifyingly perfumed with the smell of applesauce, nutmeg, cloves, and toasty pecans), I swept the kitchen floor. I adore simple, rhythmic handwork - shelling peas, shucking corn, washing dishes, grooming horses, sweeping. I don't know what it is about the particular motion of sweeping, but it brings out the silence of the kitchen, and somehow deepens the stillness of the afternoon.

The afternoon passed much like the morning. A piece of spicy, maple-flavored applesauce cake, a glass of raw milk from Chase Hill Farm (the coolest farm we've visited this year), and many delightful pages of Bujold's newest book.

Stella made a delcious pot of lentil soup with carrots, onions, tomatoes and potatoes for dinner. Which was exaclty what I wanted: hardy, warming, and delicious. Now it's time to check on the sheep and shut the chickens in, and I'll still have a few solid hours to read before my bedtime.

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