When Kim and I moved to the farm there were some things I expected and some things that took me completely by surprise. I expected to work hard, and to find that work satisfying. I expected to learn a lot and eat good food, and I have. But what I didn't expect, what took me completely by surprise, was how I have been affected by being in closer contact with nature.
I started having conversations with individual trees almost as soon as we got here, like the plucky, spindly little pieris japonica by the pond that got bent double with a heavy snow load and sideswiped by delivery trucks and come spring still managed to pop out new leaves with the best of them. I know there's a biological explanation for why snowdrops push their way through the frozen crust of last winter's snow at a time of year any other sensible plant would still be hunkered down, but to me it seems like a sign of an interesting personality. And I found it very hard to plant a few tiny seeds and then harvest bushels of food a few months later, with no other inputs except dirt, water and sunshine, without thinking at least in passing about the existence of some beautiful greater plan.
When I started to look, and allowed myself to feel, it seemed that everywhere I looked there was something to see that felt like a blessing. The beech tree by the greenhouse that glowed orange on a rainy day. The ugly-duckling stick of an asian pear tree that burst into the most gorgeous frilly white blossoms. The constantly changing display of tulips that went on and on and made me think someone was coming into the garden at night to switch them up and lead us on. The path along the backside of the pond so soft underfoot with inches of moss it was impossible not to lie down to see how it feels. The magic of an orderly row of pea shoots poking their heads through the soil.
Yesterday it stopped raining enough for me to spend a few hours outside in some late-winter clean-up of the perennial beds. At one point I laid down the rake, took a deep breath of the cool, moist air, looked around at the mist hanging in the trees that surrounded me like my own personal support crew, and was once again filled with joy and awe and peace. That's my Miracle at Mucky Boots Farm.