Welcome, Spring.

Day 315 of 365

“One attraction to coming to the woods to live was that I should have leisure and opportunity to see the spring come in.”
~Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Today, we welcome spring! Today is also the first day in 7 days that I can move my head and right arm without extreme pain. Today, I am grateful beyond words.

I have been unable to write much, but for the past week, I have had only a short window of time each day in which I could move and function normally. And, while the first round of tests did not reveal the cause of my chronic pain and I have another round of tests coming on Wednesday, I am pretty sure I am better today thanks an amazing amount of support from Ron and the wisdom of women in my inner circle, many of whom have experienced similar episodes or know someone who has. Though I will continue to pursue a diagnosis, I am better today thanks to wise women who have recommended diet and lifestyle changes that I will, without fail, need to enact permanently. Our family eats a fairly clean diet because of the farm, but it is about to get cleaner. One of my challenges with this new diet is to stay true to my goals to eat locally, but I will share what I learn and share what happens because I have always believed food is medicine and now understand this more deeply.

Of course, there are other medicines, and that is where I need the most work. Slowing down is critical, and though it seems counter-intuitive to write about the importance of slowing down on the first day of spring when everything is really just starting to get busy once again, today, I am making a promise to myself that I will slow down and that I will make sure I take the time to watch the spring come in.

I will watch the ducks get excited and chatter, as they shift from being “hunkered down” for winter to being so happy there are spots of ground in the snow where they can dig in their bills and busy themselves. And, of course, as the snow melts and mud season comes to Maine, I will remember to watch the ducks enjoy mud season, like only a duck can, and will be joyous when the ducks lay their first egg. Last year, the first one came March 21. There will not be big clutches of baby chicks this year, as we have decided we will not grow our flock this spring and summer, but I will have to let Ruby hatch one or two babies. I look forward to baby chicks. Ron has planted the first seeds in a new grow room he built, and I check with him every day to see if the onions have sprouted yet and if the broccoli and cauliflower will follow soon. I love when the seedlings burst forth from the soil and reach toward the light in hope.

Some things will be changing in terms of Farmer-ish. It seems my body has made it clear I had better start changing things in my life. This last week, as I sat with the pain and tried to figure out how in the world to not think about it, the only thing that felt important to me was my health and time with my family. This is the first Spring Equinox in a long time in which I have no journal issue to share with you and the world. In some ways, it makes me very sad, but in other ways, it just feels like an opportunity for a new beginning.

Right now, my plan is that this year, 2023, will be the last year for Farmer-ish journal for a while. I am going to continue blogging at least until I finish my initial goal of 365 and maybe beyond that, as the writing helps me grow as a person–as writing does, of course.

The 2023 print annual will be the last, I think. I have some wonderful people willing to help me, and we will go out in style. We will, of course, finish the poetry contest and publish a beautiful collection of Winter Solstice poetry, but there will be no more online issues on the Solstices and Equinoxes, except for the Farmer-ish Kids issue, which I have decided to push back until the Winter Solstice to give me more time to heal before I dig into an online issue one last time.

I have this hope that I can use what I have learned from this experience and continue to publish the work of others in some way, but that is something to work on for later. I will also be updating the site to showcase more of the amazing content we have. There are so many stories, so much education, so much to share. The podcast will be shut down for now, though I may make a helpful YouTube video every now and then as I learn to can with a pressure canner and learn how to eat clean with an emphasis on foods from Maine.

The Equinox is a time of transformation, and I believe in my bones that this is what my crow signs were telling me–that it’s time to transform–to grow into something different–hopefully something stronger. I am so thankful to all of you who have supported this creative endeavor since we began in 2020. I have learned so much about people, farming, nature–and I have met some of the most amazing people on the planet. Hopefully, I have done some good for others too. I know I have some writers who got started with Farmer-ish and just took off in the world, and I hope I have inspired at least a few people to think about their food and where it comes from. And I surely hope I have inspired more respect for chickens.

But I have so much work to do on myself right now that there is not room for much more. Trauma must be addressed, and rest must be had. And I have to slow down and enjoy the spring and summer and fall and all that comes with the beautiful cycles of life. I need to breathe it–and let it heal me.

If you are reading these words and need to heal too, join me. We’ll get this figured out together. The world can be tough. Let’s make a soft space together. I’ll keep telling chicken stories to anyone who wants to listen.

5 thoughts on “Welcome, Spring.

  1. Glad you are feeling some better. As always love your writing and you course the Thoreau quotes. Happy Spring



  2. Crystal, Your words have meant so much to me over the past year. I first saw you on Maine 207 and that is when I decided to find out more about Farmerish. You are a teacher of so many things, but your specialty is bringing awareness and appreciation to the little things around us. I wish you and your family well. Take time to heal, and please be as kind to yourself as you are to others.


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