Details. These days there are a lot of em. They pile up around us like snow. Like the snow, they seem to fall invisibly in the night while we sleep and when we wake, the world is covered in a blanket of more details and in our case, more snow too. eh eh. Yes, contrary to what our good real estate agent told us, it does snow here, and why this is so funny to me, I still don’t know.
The snow came and it stayed for a few long days. And oh how beautiful it was in the beginning and oh how very ugly it was in the end, but this is not a complaint, simply an observation. It came like a Faerie Queen, plumes of sparkling whiteness and it left like a grotty swamp creature, rivers of mud running down the drive, puddles of slush on the doorstep, wet socks drying out by the fire, muddy paw prints… muddy paw prints…muddy paw prints throughout the house. Between you and me, I am not sad it’s gone.
As for the details, they never left. I keep hoping that they will melt and the wind will come whipping across the valley to blow them all away, but so far, no luck. Nope, details multiply, have you noticed? Just as you get a handle on one, another is born kicking and screaming for your attention. No doubt there are others in the world who can relate. I think it’s safe to say that if you are a human being on planet earth this is a pretty regular phenomena. The question is, how does one choose to respond to the little devils? I am convinced that there are a number of wise ones the world over who have a system for accepting details, for moving through life with grace and ease and breath. For not allowing the details of everyday life to take them out, but I am not one of those people. (Not yet at least, I am still hopeful, remaining optimistic, practicing surrender, breathing, taking Vit B and drinking oat straw tea). Still though, it doesn’t always work, I have been knocked down by details more times than I care to admit. My nervous system screams, as I load another detail to the pile of things to do and then slam a deadline on the very top. Yep, they come along and take me out over and over again. And these last few weeks they did, or should I say, I let them.
You see, our work for these past few weeks has not been spent outside digging and raking or lifting stones. It has not been spent in the beautiful outdoors, below trees, hands in the earth, communing with the natural world. No, our days have been spent building spreadsheets, talking to people in banks (nothing wrong with people in banks, it’s just that banks can be very uninspiring), calculating costs, speaking to accountants, strategically handing out business cards, trying to communicate with our wonderful web designer (who thankfully has found a way to be ever so patient with two artistic farmers who know very little about things like marketing and color schemes). And when we are not adding and subtracting numbers, we have been hanging photographs on the cottage walls at bad times of the day, hungry and impatient while the rains pour down and a whole day goes by without seeing the light. These are the kinds of details that can, if one is not feeling totally stable, really take a person out. (Still though, despite the business of it all some very good things are manifesting. Below is a sneak preview of the fantastic work that our Graphic Artist is up to. This is our farm sign and honey label, and didn’t she do such a beautiful job? It is a lithograph). You can learn more about her work here.
Anyway, after 2 emotional melt downs, and a couple of decent disagreements, we created a plan. A plan to keep the details at bay, and so far, it seems to be working. It goes like this. Morning mediation before e-mail, or in Mark’s case, coffee before e-mail; no skipping meals, 8 hours of good sleep, and the secret weapon was something Gus offered up, and that is: “tools down at 2:00” and no matter what we are in the midst of, we stop doing it and a long 1 hour walk through the woods follows. This happens regardless of how productive we feel we are being, or how much more needs doing. At 2:00 we walk, we breath, we don’t speak and if we do, it’s not about work. We play with our canine friend, who teaches us about how great it is to be alive, to be walking among the trees on this beautiful Pacific West Coast. And you know what, I think it’s working!