We’ve finished the first part of preparing for our garden. The Mallowman and I are becoming good farming partners.  We each work to our strengths and we both understand enough of what needs to be done so yesterday, there wasn’t much talking as we finished the work of getting leaves spread out and turned into the soil. I also began to collect and work horse manure into the plot.  We continue to have two resident horses, Buck and Gus, who use our pastures and leave their gifts generously.  The work of gathering manure will continue for several days and this one is largely mine to to get done.

Exactly 6 months ago, on June 18th, we were coming to the end of my last day in Fort Lauderdale. Then, I would have told anyone who asked that manure is manure is manure, that there sure seemed to be a whole lot of it going on around me and all it did was stink.  Those of you who remember my blog posts this past summer, when both Boo and Daisy, but especially Boo, got so sick, will remember I learned some new things–about the fact that when you love a pair of critters like those two, and the job has to be done, you just do it.  I pushed past the smell and the nastiness and ended up just being glad that in some small way, I could tend to Boo and honor her by getting the drama out of what was simply a part of life.

This afternoon, as I looked at the piles of manure that dot our pastures, what I could see was fertilizer that’s there for the taking, that will make our garden grow, that reminds me that in the cosmic economy of life , manure is gold and gold is manure, or something like that.  And all I feel is glad to get to do this work, glad to be outside and feel the cold against my face, the slight ache of my hands as I hold the  shovel I use, an ache that reminds me I’m no spring chicken and I’ve lived through a lot, gotten knocked down from time to time, certainly shoveled some manure.  Even still, I am stronger, more determined and more available to life and more willing to hold my own in the world than ever before.  In January of 2013, following along with others, I decided to choose ‘the word of the year’ and went with endurance.  I started this year not with a word but a phrase: cultivate joy.  Both are the warp and woof of the word I hold so dear these days: farmer…

3 thoughts on “Next…

  1. Love it, especially the farmer part. It is amazing the joy that word can bring. And I love horse gold…in my garden, not on my feet. Your plants will love it even more. Can’t wait to compare what we plant in our gardens next year. I started an asparagus plot this year. I am going to move it next year, which is a no-no for production, but I just did not plan the spacing well. You will learn more year to year as to what does well and also from any mistakes. I have chosen not to grow cabbage as there is no real way to control the cabbage worms except with pesticide and I have chosen not to do that. I also plant Marigolds on each side of my garden…huge ones and also intermingle them throughout the garden. They also keep the pests away. If you would like, I will send you some seeds next year. My brother started me with mine.

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  3. Am learning lots about life from just reading your posts. Have probably been in a vacuum for years – you are opening windows,,visions, etc. I don’t want the next 10 years to be like the last. Too many worries, panics, depressions…….The last six months caring for Joe have made me know how important it is to get out and LIVE!

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