Seasons on the Homestead
Lamentations, Confessions, & Preparations for Rest
Another shift of seasons is underway. All the focus on holiday decor these days while Thanksgiving and Christmas battle it out for primacy in the consumer’s affections, always makes me chuckle. Aside with the banners and garland, my seasonal decorations consist of damp jeans and sweaters hanging to dry over chair backs and railing. No nativity scene here. Quart jars of lard and pork stock are cooling on every open surface waiting for my break in work to get washed before they can be stored away on the root cellar shelves. Leaving the evergreens outdoors where they are more fully enjoyed by man and beast, crates of drying produce and chilly bums skirt around the wood burner centerpiece instead. While our home is adorned with scenes of productivity, the result of it all is we have neither the time, the room, or the funds to lavish on redecorating the house for the new season. It’s interesting to me to think that, though my husband and I may still get nostalgic at times for the traditional trappings, these scenes may conjure up the same feelings in our children one day. Instead of coma-inducing baking marathons and shopping trips, early winter won’t feel the same unless they’re watching a movie twisting corn off the cob or having a bacon-making party.
Following the rhythms of growth and rest, I plan our homeschool year to coincide with the onset of frost and wood stove fires and dark days. Tuesday was our first day… and I postponed it to Wednesday. A warm wind blew in that night and we took advantage of it and magically aligned schedules to clean up the property. I tidied up the neglected flower beds and cleaned out the mud that filled the cracks of the stone sidewalk over the past year. The squash was sorted and laid out to cure, the popcorn & dent corn husked and racked to finish drying next to the wood burner in the coming weeks. Over dinner Tuesday night, I realized I had an appointment early Wednesday afternoon. The rush to finish school and make it on time is no way to kick off the school year. Is the two days at the end of the week even worth it? If I were a betting woman, I’d venture that I might put the start off until next week. Procrastinate much?
These late fall and early winter days always provide a much-needed reflection. On a smaller scale, it’s like looking back over the scenes of your life when your time is drawing to an end,… but with the opportunity for a do-over we get next year.
There are many do-overs I wish I had this past year. Already though, I feel more optimistic about next year because of my continual re-focusing on life’s true priorities, my “Kingdom Focus.”
But that doesn’t make the shortcomings of this year pinch any less.
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