Rewind the tape to just about one year ago. We were in the process of preparing our new home for moving day. We were demolishing, washing, painting, pounding, spackling, sanding, scrubbing, and enough other ing's to make a head ring. Those days were delightful and exciting but also filled with a small amount of urgency. Some projects needed to be complete before move-in day, others were feeling the pressure from a different type of direction. The cold of winter. As the days wore on and daylight diminished our t-shirts were replaced by sweatshirts and sandals for socks and workboots. At some point each day I would stop, turn to Amanda and say, "I have GOT to start collecting some firewood. We're going to freeze!" She would nod in agreement and we'd move on through an even more pressing job. Well, the long and short of it is that we didn't quite freeze...to death, anyway. With some help from family and a trusty, hardworking neighbor, we scoured the land for every last piece of wood that could possibly generate heat on short notice. Time did not allow for months of drying out in the lazy sunshine. These sticks were on a short track from the stack to the stove. So then, before I would actually say we were "ready", winter surely did arrive and it was a classic. Long, cold and snowy and not one January thaw. "Next year! I declared", as we huddled close to the flames, "will be different".
It has been different, really. No shortage of laborious type tasks around the homestead, to be sure. But the vibe is decidedly more chill, so to speak, this time around. Tomorrow is officially the first day of Autumn. Harper and I started work on a shed to keep our nicely seasoned wood out of the rain and snow.
If you can manage, the pace and cadence of an almost three year old is a magical place to be. He is deliberate and inquisitive about all things, whether related to our work at hand or not. At first I found it maddening and impossible to "accomplish" anything under such conditions. But what's the hurry, really?
In sports vernacular, they would say that Harper has a "high motor". This means that he can go at top speed for long periods of time. He may not always be focused, but he's fast! We change directions quite a bit. His favorite direction is towards the kitchen and I'll admit to being fond of that distraction myself. At this particular juncture in my parenting journey, I do not have the luxury of enjoying my own nap.
So, my spirit is fueled by the raw energy of a little boy. He sees so many things. He sees wood growing all around us. I see myself a bit more prepared than I was last time around. Why next spring I'll be making my piles under a fine little shelter built by Harper and his Papa.