Harvest is complete on our property and the surrounding family farm. The other morning, under overcast skies, I walked the land to soak in the fresh, crisp air and to listen. There is a silence and stillness to the freshly harvested fields, it is palpable, this silence. It is part of the rhythm on the farm;
The buzz of planting in the spring, as all is coming back to life with greening grass and new-born calves in the pasture.
The growing season folds into the heat of the summer, blazing sun in a bright blue sky.
The fullness of harvest in the fall, warm days and cool evenings as the bounty is gathered and the fields cleared.
The stillness of winter, when a blanket of snow covers the earth and all seems to be asleep – resting and restoring – awaiting spring’s arrival once more.
This cycle has repeated each season for generations. These few days after harvest, the land seems to sigh a big, deep breath. As if to exhale and say, “Shhhh…” It is a time to pause and allow the earth to rest.
I walked and listened – to the birds chattering in the trees, the occasional cow from the pastures beyond. But mostly, I heard the silence, the collective breath Mother Nature seems to be taking as we enter this time of in-between; as harvest winds down and in preparation for winter.
We face uncertainty, this could be a long, dark winter. The pandemic shows no sign of slowing down. It seems we will be turning inward even more than usual these winter months with less travel, fewer events and limited gatherings. I will take my cue from nature and trust that as the seasons change, it is a time to listen; not to the outside world of twenty-four-hour news or the constant scream of a social media feed – rather, a time to listen to the silence and the wisdom it holds.
“Silence isn’t empty, it’s full of answers.”
This will not be an easy time, I, like so many, miss my family terribly. I struggle with winter during “normal” years, the darkness of shorter days and seemingly endless gray skies feel heavy and confining. Going inward and allowing the silence to serve as a guide these next few months will be necessary. A shift towards gratitude, a calmer, kinder way of being.
I will bundle up as often as possible and head outdoors, searching for clarity and listening to the silence that winter brings. Finding reassurance that this is a season in the rhythm of it all – of planting, growing, harvesting, resting – a rhythm that will continue on. May you find peace in the pause of this extraordinary time.