We just about have our little farm tucked in for winter. Firewood has been cut, split and stacked. Freezers and canning shelves are full of good food. Gardens have been bush-hogged. Most of the seasoned manure has been spread. The yard has been mostly cleaned up–buckets and watering cans put away, hoses drained and stored. I still need to do a little bit of work in my flower beds, but that can wait. And, I think Dave still has some work he wants to do in the barn before the temperatures really drop. Along with many other things, it’s on his list.
I love this time of year. The weather is often my ideal–70 degrees and blue skies. The sunrises and sunsets are glorious, the leaves are a riot of color, clouds of birds lift off from the trees and fly through the skies to their winter homes. The smells of apples and cinnamon and drying leaves and wood smoke are never far away.
I revel in October.
As a hobby farmer, October also signals an upcoming season of rest. All of the non-stop work of spring and summer is done. We’ve done the job we needed to do, and now we can enjoy the fruits of our labor. November through March are generally the months in which we read more books, play more games, write more letters, watch more movies. The fire from the wood stove keeps us all in the living room together, and we have quiet days of school work and cozy evenings of Canasta, Ultimate Pictionary, 9-Hole or Clue. While there is still work that needs to be done (always, always, always work that needs to be done), there is not the same urgency of the warm-weather months. We are prepared for whatever lies ahead. (My son is hoping it is lots and lots and lots of snow.)
In a sense, the winter months are a kind of Sabbath for us–a time for slowing down and thanking God for His provision. There is a true sense of worship that is continually in my heart as I reflect on His goodness. He has once again blessed us with so much more than we need. We are thankful.
Once April rolls around, we will be refreshed and ready for another busy season of doing what we do. The work will seem lighter–more exciting, even–knowing that we have had some time to rest.