Four Things

“It’s the hardest job you’ll ever love”

I tell myself that ‘in season’, daily. Hourly.

The four things you need to make it.

Humour. Patience. Flexibility. Faith.

If I can’t laugh at it, I can’t love it.

Some things won’t wait – many things.

And others require waiting. Lots of it.

Plans are those things that you make

and then toss out almost immediately

because things change fast – BOOM!

Faith in the seeds, the soil and the sun.

Faith that the rain will come, the bugs won’t.

Faith that you can keep being there.

That grace will carry the day when

you can’t anymore and you just want

a breath, one between ‘in season’.

Because you know it will come.

A rain day. A break. A chance to be

together and you can laugh at it all.

When he loves it, and does it well

then it makes it simpler – help him.

Be bright, not bitter.

Be hopeful, not a hinderance.

Be light, chasing shadows far.

Be grateful for the moments.

Learn to be okay with the life.

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#plant17 is over and #spray17 hardly gave us a breath before it started in earnest – welcome to farming! There are windows to seed (soil temp, moisture, etc) and there are even smaller windows to spray (leaf stage, wind, temperature, humidity, stage of what you need to spray) and those windows can open wide then just slam shut. Part of the challenge as a farm family is being flexible and understanding the seasons and needs of the crops and land. It can be hard to balance the lifestyle and benefits when all you see in the short term are long hours away and missed family time. You can’t get missed time back but you can make the most of the time you have in-between the busy seasons. And you can even more importantly make time ‘in season’ for important things. We do our best to do this. It takes effort and commitment but it is worth it, as any farm family can attest. 

When the…

 

When the latte comes and is a caramel apple cider.

When the order is cancelled and a local store is found.

When the gift wanted is gone and one unexpected comes.

When old behaviour returns threatening the newer and better.

When grace seems hard and patience is scarcely found.

When faith in the hard times seems a stunted mustard seed shadow.

When the tears come ragged and burning as a hoped for good goes.

When you come to it and hate the part when you go through it.

When the other side is reached and you are worn out but there.

When silly antics break the tension and laughter rings loud.

When it seems to unravel wildly and something new is woven.

When the cold snap comes hard and you stay cozy warm.

When the storm rages inside and out you remember to dance.

Remember to dance. In the rain. In the storm. In the pain.

Remember that faith isn’t for easy times but hard ones.

Remember grace is given freely, to you and from you.

Remember to cherish moments small, 

In years to come they will be large.

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Yesterday wasn’t the day I had planned, but God loves a laugh and made me a planner. I am learning to use my emotional sea legs to go with the flow and enjoy the detours as much as my well planned (but often way to boring) route. I don’t always get where I thought I would be going but the amazing people in my life make the journey worth the side roads and detours. We always find the best stuff on the extra mile and that extra mile is never wide, paved or brightly lit.

 

So remember…when the muse leaves it will return. But not as you expect.  I missed my poetry and my blogging. But in doing a Christmas handicraft with my son I discovered an older love for working with fibres and yarn I had forgotten. So my muse came back in paints, yarn and finally this poem. I don’t know if I am ‘back’ but even a visit is better than being totally absent.

Your words (or lack thereof)

Your words are like a fog, the surround you and make you hard to see.  – Blackbeard to Jack Sparrow

Your words trail behind you like a false trail.

Following them leads to nowhere and fast.

Your words cause bleeding from tiny cuts.

Assaults small but painful and bloody.

Your words (or lack thereof) leave me wounded.

Leave others wounded too. Walking in pain.

Your words seek to deny mine, to silence me.

Giving you power it seems to control others.

Your words are seldom a balm, often bitter.

Even when covered in sticky and shiny sweets.

Your words are believed. Trusted. And so us,

The wounded are not believed, injuries denied.

Your words laced with poisonous turns of phrase.

“You always…” and “You never…” and “don’t be

so…..” which really means: don’t be yourself.

Your words surround you like a fog, like smoke.

They make it hard to really see you.See you?

Your words are where you hide, ambushing.

Using benign seeming phrases but always

with a sharp edge cutting quick and deep.

Your words make it clear the wounding is

the fault of the wounded, and not yours.

Your words are hard to argue so we don’t.

We just watch the scars come bright.

 

It is how I feel, the only way and place I can express it. Words have a power and can be wielded with a gentle touch and a sincerity or with cunning cuts that seem innocent when they are brought to light. It is tragically almost useless to speak out against it because who is going to believe you? You are upset – hurt or angry. They are dripping poisoned honey wondering why you are so upset…didn’t you know you are always too (________________) fill in the blank? Dramatic sigh. Exit stage left. It is, after all theatre. I just wish I could cancel my season’s tickets.

Look into the fire

Look into the fire. If you dare.

It’s where you put all of me.

The parts that didn’t fit.

The things that displeased.

Those uncomfortable bits.

On that pyre we burned.

The ashes washed in rain,

Pressure from the sun bore

down and the coals became

flashing gems, diamond fire.

Thank you. 

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Version II

All the things that were ‘too much’

became kindling in the stones.

Burn that which you don’t care

to understand, or know. Burn it.

But you walked away before

the flames finally died down.

You walked away before you saw

me rise from the ashes anew.

Tempering and grace in flames.

Refined and sharpened.

Dragging embers you burnt the

bridges and I stood to enjoy

the warmth and flames.

It rained, the ashes washed

away and the river runs free.

You walked away and missed

every amazing thing that came.

Thank you.

Some bridges need to be burnt.

Some fires don’t destroy.

 

Poetic Musings

For dVerse Open Link Night my son, Luke, and I have decided to share some poetic musings. Enjoy!


Summer Storm by Luke

Hail smashes down hard

Summer storms sweep skies dark

Thunder crashes loud


Fort McMurray in 17

A sudden hush awakes me from my slumber – the rain has come once again!

80k people flee, smoke eaters rush in to fight a wildfire you can see from space.

Convoys drive to the flames, fuel for the stranded, bringing hope in the smoke.

Hashtags and hope; the spirit ignites us to action and we open our hearts.


Note: It has been a very traumatic and inspiring time for those of us in Alberta, in Canada. With the wildfires across the prairies, especially the enormous fire that forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray. People have come together in amazing ways to help – in conventional and unconventional ways. I am proud of our responders, our people who just decided to help and did. From children inspiring fundraising bbq’s to people filling their own vehicles and going in to offer help. And those who are fighting the fires and rescuing the animals, those who are volunteering, praying and those who are doing what they can – thank you.  I won’t share images here – do some Google searching. See how big it is, how it is still burning along with others across BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and into Ontario. Those giving their homes, their food, their money. Sharing hope and already working on the day they get to rebuild.

 

The Extra Mile

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Talking with our son about work. Effort.

The difference between being done and finishing.

That there is honour in the work. Good things.

The difference between doing good and your best.

That the good stuff is always found there. The extra mile.

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Talking with our son about life. Faith.

The difference between belief and faith.

That believing without seeing is real. Good things.

The difference between the rest stop and the extra mile.

The right stuff is always found there. It ain’t crowded.

_

Talking with my husband about love. Us.

The difference between fighting for or against.

That knowing we stand together is the good stuff.

The difference between together and for one another.

We have found each other and ourselves on the extra mile.

 

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The dVerse Poetics prompt got me thinking last night about the extra mile. And how it ain’t crowded there. And it isn’t the place where you go when you are done but when you are finished. That’s where the good stuff is, where the great love found in doing small things grows wild. It’s about faith. It’s about teaching the next generation. It’s about love. And a bit of reflection – what if we had quit at good, or done? We wouldn’t have found the amazing blessings and richness of each other and our faith – it only exists when you go the extra mile.

Thanks to my Padre Kevin Weatherby who always encourages us to go there. Find out more at savethecowboy.org , find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Unpaved Roads

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I believe I’ve been on the road for a million miles.

Does it show? I wonder about the wear and tear.

1 lane, two lane, three, four, five. Freeway. Highway.

NO WAY! Don’t go THAT WAY! 

Flat top. Crowned gravel. Seasonal dirt. Grassy track.

The road less traveled is the one to take…

Passing lane – never enough. Slow lane – baugh!

…and yet if they take it all we’ll have to seek another.

Fast lane. Hammer down. Buck sixty. Po po gotta go.

I prefer the gravel road. Fields and old telephone poles.

People all have to pitter patter, get atter.

Slow down. It surely is the journey that is best.

Waiting for the school bus. Grader. Tractor.

Seeing the eagle. Owl. BEAR! Deer. Slowing down.

Always in such a rush. Blank look when they HIT.

No crosswalks for critters or old farmers. They just go.

NowaymanitcameOUTTAnowhere. BANG. Blame.

Slow it down. See what God put there to see. Yes. That.

I have to make it on time but I won’t rush this.

The journey isn’t about gas milage. Or time. It just is.

See what everyone else has missed in their rush.

I see the best things on slower, unpaved roads.

The only screen is the ‘windscreen’ and wow!

Can you see what I see? Slow down, roll the window down.

Be late every now and again catching jet streams.

I love the open road. The mountains. The prairie. Foothills.

Gotta rush. Gotta go. Get there. Get back.

Memories are made of stuff that moves slow.

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Coming back to dVerse for the first time in a LONG time. Did you miss me? I surely missed you. Hope you don’t mind my rambling take on the Tuesday Poetics prompt. 

Leave My Barn Alone

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The links holler, The Red Barn Is A Thing Of The Past!

I want to shout, Leave my barn alone!

In their hurry to get connected, satellited up and

data mapped and sampled they forgot their roots.

They forgot their roots. The culture of agriculture.

There is history here. There are lessons here.

Every barn has a story to tell. Your story. My story.

Every field being computer diagnosed today once

spoke to the one who was closest to it. Soil words.

There are things no computer, map or scan can show.

The land speaks to those who take the time to hear.

Grandpa knew the soil. The plants. The animals.

A computer can only take you so far in the field.

There comes a time when you need to listen.

To hear the soil speak. To feel the artistry of farming.

No true farmer will ever abandon his fields.

Those who know their past, know their roots.

They use the tools and the knowledge.

But they never lose the touch – the sense of the land.

The smells, the feel of the soil, the sounds.

Those things, like the old red barn, can’t be

converted to a computer algorithm or map.

The greatest and best things of the heart

must be felt, seen and lived in person.

Leave my old red barn alone, it will stand.

A solitary reminder of where we came from.

A cherished memory of those long gone.

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Saw an article today, and a few others, where the push to make the public view of farming more high tech and less ‘red barn and red tractor’. It made me sad. People forget where we have come from, how far we have come. They have forgotten the art of farming in their desire to perfect the science of agriculture.  That science was born from those who were passionate about farming and sought to make it better, to teach and learn. It does not replace but enhance. It should never, and can never, replace the knowledge you get by walking a field. By touching the soil. Feeling the wind. Listening to the insects and seeing the life that teems in the soil. Seeing the plants growing, the placement of the seeds and the rewards of harvest is not something to relegate to a data map or daily report. Those have their place, to be sure, but they are tools. Tools of the farmer. Tools of those who love this work. Trust me if you don’t love it you won’t be doing it for long!

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This poem is dedicated to all those men and women who farm, the generations past and those coming up today. Never forget your roots, they run deep in ag and will keep you on good ground for growing!

BIG & small

Nature, the touch of God’s hand in His creation.

Moves me. Touches me. Soothes and rouses me.

Brings me tears and silences me in awe. Heals me.

Something as small as a sunset reflected in a

rain drop, something as massive as a storm.

Wee little bee darting bloom to bloom.

River carving it’s way to the sea.

There is a touch there.

A plan. In the places

where I feel the ground

most holy are those where

God speaks through the wind and animals.

Where flowers struggle to bloom, and burst forth.

Exuberance embraces to soul when birds soar where we

can never really and truly go. Lifting wings and crying out from it.

Nature soothes my soul when there is too much paved over. Too much built.

Too many machines, wires, poles and buildings. Too many people crowded around.

Nature releases me when I stop to breathe. To hear baby magpies complaining.

When I see birds hopping on hedge tops or dancing in puddles fresh from the rain.

Apples fallen before they ripen, feeding the tree from below. The circle of life, the cycle.

It is part of us. Lay on the earth, feel your pulse in the soil. Hear it in the wind.

Clouds soar above, weightless seemingly, and yet full of many millions of gallons of water.

Life given from both storm and calm. Sunshine and rain. Met, sometimes, in violence.

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dVerse has us thinking about nature. Nature is something near and dear to me.

As a farm wife, photographer and lover of all things created I find both healing and balance in the nature around me. From the aftermath of a storm to the reflection of sunsets in the rain barrel. Animals playing, hunting, living. Plants growing and dying. Being no more, and no less, than intended. Being fully. Isn’t that what we all should be doing? Working on the being and not the doing?

Visit the other poets, and leave them some love. 

Six by Twelve

Who am I? What words say the most about me?

Faith for without it each day would be a walk of darkness.

Grace that which we get, and must give, freely. As it was given.

Offbalanceweirdgeekystrangefunrulebreakingsinginglaughingsoftietoughie – it is one word if you don’t have spaces!

Seriously though, passionate, could be one. In love. In life. In all all. Live at the edge of your veins.*

Without those things I wouldn’t have the means or desire to be as thankful as I am.

For understanding deeply that the most important things in life are, indeed, not things at all.

They are son and husband. Loved. Beloved. Cherished. Treasured. Laughed with. Prayed over.

So thankful for the ups, downs, insides and outsides that make up this crazy mi vida locaLife.

As my husband so eloquently prays, “Thank you, Lord, for the blessings in our lives.

For the things that make us better people, and for the things that pass us by.”

Amen.

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