Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Cadence of Contentment

In theory, we all know there is a cadence to life,  a certain rhythm that beats through our days.  The pace ebbs and flows and on occasion we seem to skip a beat or two, but overall, we can feel in our souls when the rhythm is right for us.

The Mister and I feel the pulse strongly on Someday Farm.  Not to say that we feel compelled by the pace, or driven to up the tempo, but merely, the current of the cadence aligns well will our souls.  We enjoy this pace.  We feel contentment at a whole new level.  We understand implicitly the feeling of "peace".  Jacob was home this weekend and remarked on it as well.  "I love this place.  It's so relaxing."

At the end of any given day, we are hard pressed to cite more than a handful of "accomplishments".  We have our hard-working days - we put in more than 70 fence posts on one such day, for example, but unless I can count doing a couple loads of laundry, reading a good book and baking some bread, my "accomplishments" are few most days.  But we are stress-free, happy and content.

The school year takes its toll.  For September and October, I want to fall asleep by six every night.  I'm at school early (5am some days) and it is on my mind nearly every moment of every day.  By November, I am staying at school late to get ready for conferences and to start ramping up the lesson plans.  The kids are into the flow of the classroom and we can now really get moving.  By January and February, I am dragging.  Not enough sunlight, too much snow, the depths of winter seem to bring a sense of futility - am I even making a difference?  Are the kids learning anything? By March, there is hope - a flicker, growth - accomplishments!!  April brings a much-needed spring break.  Time to get away, enjoy family and relax before the last push.  May and June are a blur - field trips, projects, professional development, planning for next year while still trying to capitalize on every single teachable moment of this year.

And then it's done.  I walked out of the doors on the last day of school this year and I haven't been back.  By July, my pulse has slowed, my sleep has become more regulated and I am truly relaxed.

Of course, ideas, thoughts, projects, plans have already started creeping into my head.  Ask The Mister who has to deal with me reaching for my phone a dozen times in the middle of the night to capture an idea.  But these ideas need time to ferment and solidify, and the summer is perfect for that kind of thinking and planning.

The Mister and I are working hard to create an environment that helps us maintain our cadence all year.  We are creating a home environment that allows us to savor the joy and release the stress.  By spring, a cow and her calf with be grazing in the pasture.  The Mister will be gathering sap for syrup.  Perennials will begin sprouting up in my garden and we will both be eagerly anticipating warm temps that will allow for vegetables to be planted.  Our home, this farm, is a sanctuary of serenity.  When the days at work get harried and stressful, we want our home to be a place void of negativity, confusion and speed.

Taking it slow, savoring the simplest things allows us to keep the cadence strong.  I nearly cried the moment I realized I had spotted a hummingbird nest off our deck.  I had guests and so I kept my emotions in check, but the sight of a such a precious, rarely seen nest got me so excited!

Likewise, my daily trips to check on the cardinal babies ignited something in my soul.  I was giddy over something so precious, so vulnerable and yet such a natural part of our environment that I had never witnessed so personally before.

Even the barn swallow who set up her nest on our downspout, left me in awe as she patiently sat for days and days waiting for her babies to hatch.

Every day there are moments, if only we move slowly enough through this world to see them, feel them and savor them.  Whether it's a fresh baked loaf of bread, the smell of clean sheets, the sound of the frogs in the marsh or watching twin fawns skip through the yard, there are moments that help reset, confirm and ingrain the cadence into our lives.

Someday Farm.  The simple life is in our nature.

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