Thursday, December 21, 2017

winter days

The shortest day, the longest night, the first day of winter, a quiet day. At about 10:30 in the morning, we, here, in the northern hemisphere, were at the farthest tilt away from the sun. Going forward, it's all rosy and bright.

But there is this day, this cold and gray day and you have to do something to cheer it up a little.

After breakfast (in the sunless sun room)...

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... I prod Ed to start our annual seedpod fire.

Our locust tree drops huge pods, in abundance. Millions of them. Well, certainly thousands. Left alone, they sprout. Right in the middle of all my flower fields. And so we pick them out, all Fall long -- hundreds of bucketfuls.  For these, we avoid the compost heap and instead, we light a fire.

I pick up Snowdrop, coaxing her again into her hoodie wrap. (She carries with her a"snowflake" she made in school...)

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At the farmette, the fire is in full force. Snowdrop is apprehensive. Last year, she allowed herself to get closer to it, but this year she wants to keep her distance.

Still, she is wildly enthusiastic at collecting the remaining seed pods. She fills buckets, carries them to proper locations and in general, lends an enthusiastic cheer to the whole project.

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Never underestimate this girl's willingness to help.

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The final clean up...

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We're done. The fire diminishes. By evening the last embers will have cooled off. For now, Snowdrop is happy to go along with Ed to the barn to help get things in order for the cheepers. (They're gone for quite a long time and I cannot imagine what order they're creating, but it doesn't matter. She's happy, he's happy, the world is a good place indeed.)

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(A selfie, where we do our joint roar...)

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After Snowdrop returns home, Ed and I head out to the very last local farmers market (until spring). Ed wants to stock up on cheese curds, but we're too late. Curds gone. But our friendly cheese farmer is still there and since not many people come to shop at this late evening hour, he has time to chat. About everything, including on how to single handedly impregnate the cows he raises.

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Winter solstice. Burning fires, cheerful children, fresh cheese.  Brief but beautiful. All of it.