Friday, May 28, 2010

Deep Magic

Another day of baking done.

A friend came out to the farm today and helped work with the kids in the garden. I am amazed at the progress.

A year ago I had a vision for the garden. It involved a big expansion. The vision was way bigger than my resources.

I envisioned raised beds and mulch and pathways and compost. My reality was milking and dairying and baking, starting a small business and teaching with a little garden on the side.

Today I went out for a minute break to check on the guys.

I was amazed.

Today I got a glimmer of a vision being brought into reality.

This friend caught my vision without my even saying anything and is volunteering time and lots of labor to help make it happen. With help, the boys and girls are learning how to garden the way I want to, but haven't had the time to teach.

The job isn't finished, but I can see that with some continued work, we are going to have the garden I have been dreaming about. May take a year or two, but I can see it happening.

Another friend got our lawnmower running the other day and Thomas worked with a vengeance. Mown grass looks so nice and neat. Patrick planted more corn and cucumbers. The guys worked together to mulch pathways and beds. They brought manure-filled hay from the barn to put to work composting with the rotting dock and plantain from last week. Maggie transplanted lots of volunteer cosmos she hopes to sell and plant in other areas of the farm. Rose and Nora worked on harvesting mint for mint iced tea. The kids all washed lots of laundry and Maggie folded baskets of it.

I baked bread.

The day grew hotter and hotter. About the time I was ready to start wrapping bread the sky began to change color. Rumbling in the distance alerted us all to the oncoming storm. I ran out to the front porch and pulled up a chair. Decided that the bread wrapping could wait.

I remembered evenings in Oklahoma, sitting on the front lawn with Daddy, watching lightening storms. Mom would tell us to be careful and hurry up to come in the house. I loved being out in the middle of it, watching the fireworks. We weren't really in the middle of the storm, but to a little girl, sitting on the edge felt electrical.

First the wind blew in. Cool and fresh. Then I looked up over the hill and saw a flash, heard a crack.

The goats ran to the barn. The sheep, undeterred, continued their grazing in the paddock by the barn. The cows meandered to shelter. A sprinkle started to fall, then the cloud flew right over the farm. Heavy rain fell like bullets from a machine gun. Ferocious. Boom. Crack.

Then the rain ran off to the neighbors and I watched the clouds boil and bubble.

More flashes. More thunder.

My exhaustion went away for a few minutes and I felt good. Alive. Happy to live on our farm.

The rain ran back and hammered us for a few more minutes, then took off and the lightening concentrated right up on the upper hay field. The willow tree raised her silvery leaves up to her face. She shook out her hair and dug in her feet.

After the lightening and thunder moved down the road to Blacksburg, the rain and wind really set in. It chased me off the front porch. I looked through the windows and saw the willow tree dancing. Bending one way and then the next, it was so alive and mobile, it was frightening. Looked like something I have seen on tv during hurricane season. The cherry tree stood beside her and felt a bit more stiff. I hoped that the almost ripe cherries weren't being blown to kingdom come.

Rain fell in sheets. Then it moved on.

The farm looked scrubbed clean. Except for the pond, which had been growing dry. It is now muddy from the flow.

I got back to work, not sorry to have "wasted" a half an hour.

Nora joined me. She put the labels on the bread packages. We worked on her reading and decoding skills as she searched out labels designated for Milk and Honey bread, Baguette, Spelt Rye Almond Raisin, Spelt Milk and Honey Burger Buns, Seedy Loaf and Pizza Crusts. I decided to skip making spelt brownie mix and granola. We all ate smoked trout for supper, thanks to Jimbo.

I am thinking about vision.

Last year I wondered about having a vision for a farm that was bigger than what I could manage all by myself. I decided that it wouldn't hurt to dream, that maybe in time it would spring forth. When Philip died, I wondered how we would manage, but felt that the vision was put there for a reason. A friend from NJ called this evening to let me know that she and a friend were praying for God to send helpers to assist me in getting the work on the farm accomplished. That she was going to keep praying until we didn't need any help anymore.

I was able to laugh, and tell her thank you, and to let her know about all the help that has come our way. Lawn mowing, water line placing, new milking stanchion and concrete pad, barn cleaning, new yard hydrants, repaired barn windows, deck screen repair, garden weeding and planting, bakery equipment, farm vehicles, auto repair and new tires and inspection and oil changes, groceries, dinners, chicken fencing, farm babysitting when we needed it, child care, rides to and from the farmer's market for Patrick since I go the opposite direction. A dishwasher. Electricity for the new bakery equipment. Plumbing for the new water line. Electrical repairs out at the barn. Gasoline. Money.

I can't even begin to list all the help without crying.

I thank God for answering my dear friend's prayer. I thank God for all the people who have been willing to be an answer to that prayer.

It is humbling to dream a vision that is bigger than me. Because it is absolutely impossible for us to be able to do what we are doing alone. I wish we could take credit, but now I know that we never can be able to do that. We have had other folks plow our garden, help dig out our manure, pay for many many things with monetary gifts they have given. They have given us firewood.

I guess what I am trying to say is that having a dream opened the door for us to let others into our life to help. That by being involved in a community we are being opened up to a life that is way bigger than the 6 of us.

After Philip died a few people approached me to ask if we wanted to go on the Extreme Home Makeover show. Since we don't have tv, I have no idea what that show is, but the thought made me laugh. No way do I want a tv crew hanging around me on the farm. I would probably be sure and cuss and cry or do something really embarrassing that would be great for ratings, but bad for me. But you see, the people who came to me with this idea had the desire to see our community come around and help us make it because they have faith in our little bitty vision. What I think is amazingly cool is that with no tv show, we have had the most incredible boost a farm could have.

It still is pretty rough around the edges, but then, so are we.

So, I find it a beautiful and wondrous thing that as I baked bread, garden magic was happening.


Subtle and slow working, but deep and good.

It makes me think wondrous thoughts about thunderstorms and dreams and community and prayer.

Grateful, I go to bed, ready to awake bright and early before the dawn to prepare for another day of community.

I mean work.


Anonymous said...

I loved the description of the willow tree, I can just see her as she shook her leaves. The storm sounded nice, pass thru and be gone leaving a wonderful smell I am sure. Nothing like the smell after a storm is there?
Thanks again for the suggestion, love y'all, Mom

Debbie Millman said...


Jayme said...

Love you, girl. The rain is good. We just have dry, hot, Oklahoma heat right now. Great for the cotton, but I'm tired of it already!