And yet here we are, transitioning to fall. With the soil finally drying out, our backlog of transplants are finally working their way into the ground. And next on the list: broccoli. Don’t get me wrong, I love broccoli, but the thought of fall makes me shiver. Because what comes after fall? The W word.
Part of what I love about farming is the fact that it turned me, a natural born procrastinator, into a do it now kind of gal. But right now, the fact that it is forcing me to consider winter is just not fair. Planning for December harvests in July is just crazy. And yet, a good farmer is planning and preparing not just for a couple months in advance but for a couple seasons. They have crop rotations planned out for years. Cover crops may go in to add benefits to the soil that will not be used for 2, 3, maybe even 4 years.
So when you are looking into the face of years of work and planning, how do you ever find time to enjoy the present? I want to enjoy summer, but suddenly fall, winter, and next spring seem to be looming in on me.
Yesterday as I dug potatoes out of the ground, so that we could replace them with fall crops, I considered this question. I heard old yogis in the back of my mind, telling me to redirect and control my focus. But how, oh wise ones?!
And then I began to think of time as simply another dimension. Without moving, I can see far and near. Simultaneously, it is hazy, but with a slight refocus, either direction becomes crystal clear. Could I possibly apply this same logic to time?
So as I forked and dug, I played around with this mental game. Without much effort, I walked down the time line. I thought about how I had to get these potatoes out today, so that they could be replanted tomorrow, so that we could harvest them in September, in time to get the cover crop in before October, so that the cover crop would be thriving by May, in time to be cut down and replanted with a summer cover crop. And how in two years this space would grow fantastic melons.
And then I turned around. All in the same forking motion, I came back and heard the birds chirping, felt the sun on my back, and the heat of the soil in my hands. I heard Alex running the hose and the rooster crowing in the distance. I exhaled and smiled. Here was summer.