It’s raining outside. As I look out over the property, I see standing water - lots of standing water. This property is just about 30 miles north of where I grew up. While that doesn’t seem far, it turns out that the weather is just a bit colder and a bit more severe. In Seattle, I lived north of the “convergence zone”. It was/is a well-known and documented phenomenon where the weather north of the convergence zone could be completely different than that of the immediate Seattle area. Traditionally, there is more fog, rain and snow.
Yesterday, when I got home from work, some of my row covers where flapping in the wind like flags heralding the new flower farm. Between the mud that I had to slog through to get to the beds and then trying to secure the covers, I was a little grumpy when I finally got inside. But the wind wasn’t done with me yet. It howled and whipped up the covers twice more within an hour of my getting inside. The wind continued through the evening and I had to re-lay, and straighten the covers again this morning. The footprints that I left yesterday are filled with water and my boots are in the garage rimmed with at least 3 inches of clay. But for the moment, the wind has stopped.
I took a mental health day today. I don’t often miss work. With no kids at home and a fairly healthy body, I know I am lucky. But sometimes, I also know I just need a moment. Today was one. I spent the morning, after straightening out the frozen, muddy row covers, going through the seeds I currently have and figuring out when I need to get them started. I have no idea if my efforts will be rewarded or not since some of these seeds are now a year old. Last year, I purchased seeds every time I made an offer on a house – sure that that particular house would close. As a result, I have a fairly good sized stash. Trying to be pro-active and wanting to do something to further the farm, I also got out my soil blockers and seed trays and decided to see if some of the Lizzies with germinate. With as long as they take, I figure I should try them now and if they don’t work, I will still have time to try to get some more. I also have sweet pea seeds soaking and two trays of Echinacea seeds in the refrigerator (a process called stratification).
Today, I believe that I am battling a bit of melancholy with a healthy dose of self-doubt. What the heck am I doing? How many years is it going to take to build soil that I can walk on rather than slog through? Where will the money come from? Will I be able to keep my (future)bees alive? Do I focus on landscaping or the business? How do I develop more friends?
There is no doubt that winter is hard for a person with a dream of working outside. From all that I have read and seen in various posts, winter for a farmer is a time to relax and restore. But when you are this close to doing something that has been in the works for more than a year, it is a painfully slow period where the mind has far too much time to wander.