Week 18: the Final Box

Driving through the blazing colors of glistening autumnal River Road, laden with the final CSA boxes of the season, Kristin broke the silence.  “How did it go by so fast?”

She meant the 2019 season, but it’s more than that – it’s all of it. This was our seventh year doing a real CSA, our sixth year living full time on the farm, ninth year together, our eighteenth month as parents … it all zips by so quickly. But I don’t want to go on and on about the vagaries of time (again), or quote Ferris Bueller, so let’s stick to this season.

when I started doing these weekly panos I thought the field would be far more dead by the last week … will have to keep doing them

It DID go by fast. Quick as a toddler running from a diaper change. It was a wet and cloudy year. The fieldwork came easier with years of experience, even as we taught ourselves to juggle it all with an ambulatory child, not yet old enough to help. Fortunately, our luck held – or perhaps more accurately, our safety net held. With amazing support from family and friends and volunteers, it all proved quite doable. The hardest problems turned out to be more anxieties about the unknowable future than anything real in the present.

The Coming of Winter was a good example. It seemed determined to arrive early, and this summoned its bleak harbingers of worry to mind. Very concrete and practical concerns about firewood supplies and travel plans can slide so easily into existential crisis, in those dark hours just before a chilly gray dawn.

ok, so no Ferris Bueller but you still get the Neverending Story. My brain was built in the 1980s.

But even having started a week later than usual, we made it through the whole CSA season without a hard frost – and there still isn’t one in the forecast.  And it seemed certain that the End of the Year Party would feature sleet, snow, and gray; it seemed foolish not to cancel it. But somehow when they day came, the blue skies opened up and the sunshine bathed us in its warmth. (Sure, we would have had a fine time if it hadn’t … but it was even better that it did!)

the shining of the sun

Having a baby has definitely made us re-evaluate our off-grid choices and our low-income lifestyle – but even with drastically new variables, the conclusions have come back the same. This is the life we want to live. Although it is sometimes a struggle, it’s the struggle we choose as our story, the path we wish to walk during these fleeting, infinite moments of our lives. Learning to surf “que sera sera” it an always-ongoing lesson, never mastered, a process that is always growing as we are.

I love this life. I know I’ll probably never stop doubting myself at 3:00am – but that’s part of the ride, part of what I love – I’ve said it before and I’ll forget it again: the struggle IS the blessing.

Of course, the blessing is much more than just the struggle. There is so much to be astounded and awestruck by, and so much to be grateful for. And you all are part of that, for us. You help support us financially, but you also support our purpose and help define our efforts. It’s deeply rewarding to grow sustenance for you all, even the ones I hardly know or never see.  So thanks, again.

We’re all another season older, another move further from the miracles of our births and closer to the mysteries of our deaths. I’m glad to share this life with you, to be supporting characters in one another’s dramas. Have a beautiful winter. Stay mostly warm.

And eat yer veggies.

In the Box

Ben & Marty: our bad ass Autumn Helpers, packing your boxes in the rain today
Ben & Marty: our bad ass Autumn Helpers, packing your boxes in the rain today

Brussels Sprouts

Butternut Squash

Purple & Orange Carrots

Purple Potatoes

Onions

Parsnips

Kale

Parsley

(and Cauliflower for those who missed it last week)

SPRING IS COMING! See you there …

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