I woke up at 6:45 this morning, put on the kettle, ground my locally roasted, free-trade organic coffee beans from Star City Coffee, and went out on the deck to watch the fog roll in. At first, the sunrise was pink and beautiful. Then came the mist. It crept through hay meadow, smokily filling up the lane by the stream. The kettle whistled, the coffee pressed, the cream poured, I moved to the front porch to spend a few minutes in contemplative prayer. Sometimes I forget to sit and be still.
After getting the rest of the family up and at em, Maggie and I head to the barn to milk cow and goats and minister to little lambs. Coco gave me almost 3 gallons last night, and almost 2 1/2 this morning. Have you ever had 5 gallons of milk in your fridge? We have around 12 right now... Philip and the kids headed to Sunday School and I stayed behind to strain milk and wash up a few dishes.
The drive to church, alone, was wonderful. I have had the best "Sunday School" times in the car recently! This morning the scripture in John15 came to mind and I spent some time meditating on John 15:5, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." I thought of the importance of having a good root system. Of pruning. Wondered if there were things in my life that needed to be pruned because they were diverting energy from good fruit. I thought about fertilizer, and how "manure" is necessary to provide food for growth. I want to remember to be grateful for "manure" when I get dumped on! It will help me grow! I thought about the concept of my being a branch, not the vine. As a branch, I have a very important role, but am not alone. I must be dependent on the Vine. The Vine is my source of nourishment, my foundation, my framework. What great love I felt for Jesus, giving us so many beautiful lessons.
In church there was a need for someone to help with the babies. I never never never help in the nursery. I have a lot of kid interaction ALL WEEK LONG. But for some reason I wanted to go love on babies. It was so much fun playing with twin fellows who really liked me. I know they liked me because they squeaked and cooed and smiled the most incredible smiles at me. And they liked my singing. It blessed me richly. I had prayed for those little fellows for months before they were born, but had never spent time with them post-utero.
We had a great lunch at our favorite place to eat in Salem: Shanghai. It is a family-run Chinese restaurant. Of course we like the fact that we can all eat a fabulous buffet with veggies, meat, dessert and hot tea for less than McDonald's. And we like to support fellow farmers! They grow organic veggies in the alley way behind the restaurant. How do you like that?
I met up with a friend from church for a cup of coffee and a nice long chat, then Nora and I headed home. She and I took a nice walk down by the stream. The array of wildflowers was cacophonous! What an incredible bouquet graces our kitchen as a result. Of course the goldenrod stands out as the glamorous, long-legged movie star. Everyone can see her from yards and yards away. Yellow Coneflower is a pretty fair competitor. But it takes a walk to see the true beauties. Wild mint shoots up her fluffy purple pompons. "I may be little, but look at me! Pretty and useful, too!" Banks of jewel-weed look like orange polka-dots from a few yards away, not even visible from the kitchen window. But walking alongside the stream with Nora they beckon us quietly. I teeter on the bank, reaching for a closer look. Orange, tiger spots, like an orchid. Hanging like jewels in the cool shade. A weed? I don't think so. Lobelia calls out for my attention. How had I missed out on her? Her glow-in the dark purple blossoms are incredible.
Nora and I made our way back to the house, flower arrangement in arms. We place our beauties in a big vase and water, grab the baskets and head out to the garden. 25 lbs of tomatoes later, a nice mess of okra, peppers galore, some cucumbers we head to the house to boil some eggs to eat with homemade pickles for supper. The swiss chard, black-eyed peas, the rest of the tomatoes, the green beans will have to wait til tomorrow. By that time there will be more okra. More jalapenos. More tomatoes. More cucumbers. Hopefully by that time we will be planting broccoli seedlings, cabbage seedlings, turnips, lettuce and spinach. In the middle of the okra, the sun set. One moment the sky was blue, the next it was a canvas of hot pink, orange and gold. A few minutes later it was gone. I am so glad we were outside.
After our little rustic Sunday supper, Nora and I headed to the barn to milk Coco. Of course the three barn kitties were waiting for their share of the bounty. The giant moon rose over the ridge. It is almost completely full. Maybe it is full? It was surrounded with a brilliant glowing aura. A spotlight. Before having to go out in the evenings to milk the cow, I never in my life noticed that the moon came up in a different spot every night. I guess I thought it came up the same just like the sun. Maybe I learned differently in school but it didn't stick. How did I miss that? When it is full it comes up on the eastern part of our east to west running ridge, close to the border of our property. Just the other day it was over our neighbor's house to the west. How much has our culture missed by being inside watching television every night? One learns that the earth spins round and round, but if you are not outdoors observing at some point, you might never grasp the concept.
We brought in the huge stainless steel bowl of milk, strained it, labeled it (C. pm 9/14) and tried to find room in the fridge. Tomorrow we will make cheese? Butter? Philip and the bigger kids got home from youth activities at church. Toast was made. Butter was spread. More boiled eggs eaten. Milk chugged. A few more evening chores taken care of by Dad and Maggie. Everyone heads upstairs. I stay at the computer for a few moments to be still. To look up names of wildflowers in the Golden Guide Wildflowers book and write for a much longer time than planned.
Tomorrow will be filled with its own adventures. I am glad for a day to be still. To meditate. To take a walk and see amazing things. I hope my friends will take a few minutes to enjoy the little miracles all around their own unique worlds!