Well, now the white is starting to get to me. A bit. For us this is the season of melt and freeze, melt and freeze. Sometimes the snow is fresh, sometimes it’s crunchy…but it’s always there.
The yurt holds heat just fine, but I can’t say the same of my cold bones. I’m glad I have animals, because if I didn’t I might never go outside. I’d live out the whole winter in my little round house, in a cloud of scarves and hot tea and kitchen projects.
Every dish we own is dirty, every day. I’m more a kitchen chemist than I am a cook. I like the live foods best. I like the things that can rise or ferment or transform before your eyes. The kids, on the other hand, prefer standard things with sugar and butter. So, we have to make both. Today they got a chocolate wacky cake. I’m trying out fermented honey wine.
Nick is still working. We both panic, maybe once a week or so, that this time of not moving forward on homestead projects is going to ruin everything. Maybe we’re getting soft. Maybe we’re not saving enough money. Maybe we’re wasting the best years of our life. But then we remember that this kind of thinking is the worst use of energy ever invented. If I really have that much steam to blow off I should go out and scrub the cookstove.
It isn’t really true, either, that we’re not moving forward on homestead projects. In all things our heads have to stay ahead of our hands, and this is the season to get a jump on that. It’s harder to believe that we’re moving, though, catching an idea here and a thought over there; who knows how they even go together? It’s hard to believe that steady, small and slow is really doing anything.
Also, we got plumb tired over the last couple of weeks. I decided the most of the problem was the electric light. And I wasn’t wrong. Back to candle light in the evenings a few days and we are more relaxed, more rested, more at peace. There’s nothing like candle light to tell you that you’re striving too hard and rushing too much, and missing the quiet of your own soul.
So we sit by candlelight, sometimes together, sometimes working each in our world. Nick works on pictures, while I work on words. The cat prefers me. He’s not a kitten anymore, and not a very mellow personality, either. He’s going to become a barn cat pretty soon. But in the meantime, his purr is good company.
Sadie sleeps next to me, too, if she can get away with it. She was so proud to be the big girl in homeschool, with her own book, for, oh, a couple of days. Then she mostly went back to riding on my back and saying, “Let’s play the game where you’re the mommy cuddle bug and I’m the baby cuddle bug.” Which is completely adorable, unless that means she’s trying to climb up you while you’re trying to do an entire house full of dishes…in which case it’s still actually mostly adorable.
We sing a lot, this time of year. I sing a lot all the time. But the big kids can now read the words in the Childcraft song book, and know a smattering of the tunes. So I’ll hear them up on Milo’s bed singing, “Fiddle dee dee, fiddle dee dee, the fly has married the bumblebee.” Which is a really funny song, if you’re eight years old, or six. Maybe it should be funny to the rest of us, too.
Stella is still making paper airplanes. She hasn’t gotten sick of them at all. Milo makes flying objects, too, but he prefers to make them out of LEGO’s. The three of them go out together on the snowy hill and battle monsters all afternoon like the champions they are. I keep them out there as long as I can because when they come in they’re liable to battle each other instead. And that makes me want to retreat into a cloud of scarves and tea and kitchen projects.
Which brings us back around to the beginning.
It’s a small circle life. Not just the yurt, but all the rhythms of our simple life. We walk over the same ground many times a day, the same patterns each day of the week. We make small circles. But if the discipline of spring and summer is to be planted, then the discipline of winter is to wear bare branches. We try to use the word “enough” as if it were a blessing and not a compromise.
We have enough. We have enough time. We have enough money. We have enough love, to go around. And here we stay.
Wishing you all the rest of simple rhythms, and the peace of small circles. Love, from the yurt.