Work on the homestead is almost unbearable this time of year. I'm in a variety of homesteading groups and in each one the message of Spring is the same. We're all OVERWHELMED!
My Mom invited us to dinner the other night and I quickly sent her back a text message: “Shaye is dying of exhaustion. Shaye has now died. Shaye is dead.”
Of course, I hadn't really died. But at 4:45 in the afternoon I was already soaking myself in an essential oil steam bath in an effort to soak away the fatigue of the day. I was exhausted.
Exhausted seems like an understatement. My eyes were burning from the amount of dust and hay that had found a home in them. My nose was plugged with dirt. My hands were cut, bleeding, and battered. The uterus was aching. The girly parts (sorry) were in pain from standing all day. My thighs were on fire. And my feet resembled cloven hooves.
That's the reality of another day of spring on the farm.
What sort of things have you been so busy doing, Shaye? I hear you ask.
Allow me to run a to-do list, will you?
Spring On The Farm
– Clean out the cow pen
– Reorganize the shop, make a run to the dump, make another run to donate old furniture
– Set up mouse traps in the canning room and vacuum up old mouse poo
– Reorganize baby stuff
– Get the meat chicken pen ready for the chicks
– Paint the chicken coop
– Add a gate to the meat chicken coop
– Plant the remaining 1,294 vegetable seeds
– Fill boxes with soil and add a vine to cover the shop
– Feed and water the pigs twice
– Feed and water the chickens
– Weed the garden
– Arrange sheep pick up
– Fix pig paddock
… and that was the list for Saturday.
I don't wish to glorify the “busy” of life. In fact, we try to really moderate our work load and the balance of projects and play. Hence the reason I was in the bath at 4:45 p.m. But that was twelve hours into the work day already and frankly, in my pregnant mind, I'd earned it.
I don't mind the hard work. I love it. I love being exhausted at the end of the day and I love the horrible but gratifying feeling of a tired and aching (but accomplished) body. It's not a feeling that many of us get to experience these days – that feeling of putting your hands and heart into the soil for weeks on end, reaping no benefit other than the promise that a harvest will come in one… two… or even six months down the road. Spring time is a time of hope – for all to come in the coming harvest season. It's not the bountiful season – nor is it the restful season. It's the get-your-booty-in-gear season. The laziness-will-cost-you-in-summer season. The dream-big-and-break-the-bank season. The season of fence building. Pasture watering. Birthing animals.
It's a good life here on the farm. Sweet goodness overflows in the form of raw milk, pastured eggs, early harvests of spinach, new budding fruit trees, and happy hogs. A good life that overflows in blessings, emotional strain, and physical exhaustion.
Spring. My best friend. My personal challenge. My mountain to climb.
Spring is the season of hard, hard work.
And so I sit here… on this rainy Sunday… thanking the good Lord for not only hard work but also for a mandated day of rest. A day where I can sit in my comfy chair with my feet propped up and a hot cup of peppermint tea to reflect, think, worship, and give thanks for the good pain that the remaining six days of the week bring.