Friday, September 21, 2012


The official end of summer is here, but we've been feeling it for a few weeks now.  Flowers have given way to seeds or fruit, with only a few stragglers like the flowers of the sunchokes, the stray fall spikes of lavender, complementing the sprays of goldenrod, fireweed, asters and Joe Pye weed in the meadows.  This year there was barely any blue vervain.  Elderberries suffered because of the drought, and for some reason the early summer harvest of lavender was lacking.
I'm trying to balance the feelings of sadness at watching another growing season fade with the relief of being able to rest for a few months.  While I have lots of friends who feel that named days are just another day, something like an Equinox is an opportunity for me to think about what is in or out of balance in life.
We're meandering along, trying to find a little more time for doing our favorite things like writing, walking in the woods, and playing in the gardens.
Work is the major part of life here on the farm, but we have all managed to make it about things that we love, so it seems more like play.  We often start early in the morning and continue well past dinner - sometimes until we fall into bed.  Our children are now struggling to find ways to live their lives similarly, doing things they love well enough to make a living while enjoying enough to perhaps put in 18 hour days and still want to continue.  We learned it by putting those hours in for others before figuring out that we'd prefer to do it for ourselves.  I hope the kids don't need to do that, but it might be necessary.
Lately we've been pulling back from some of the extraneous things, trying to put aside some time for fun.  Right now we're racing against the calendar, trying to find a few days to go to the beach for a few days before it gets too cold.  It's been many years since my sister and I took a few days that didn't include a speaking engagement somewhere along the way.  If you travel for business, you know that it's tough to enjoy the trip as anything resembling a vacation.  Usually, it's just trying to get where you need to be on time, and then scooting back home to catch up on what piled onto the work tables while you were gone.  We've enjoyed speaking to 100's of groups over the years, criss-crossing the country on wild road trips (pre-GPS, lol).  We've cut back to about 3 shows that we really enjoy each year.  That feels about right.  It would be nice to be able to go as participants for a change...
Another thing about balance is fitting in the needs of others while still taking care of ourselves.  We're thinking that the current fall schedule of classes will be our last - and we're not completely sure we'll be doing these.  Each year people ask for classes, and we schedule them, but they just don't seem to work out time-wise for enough people to make it worthwhile.
To be honest, we won't be sad to let them go.  Both of our businesses (the magazine and the wholesale soap) have crazy schedules that can blow up overnight.  We may think we've got everything under control and then wake up to find that we've been slammed with orders while we slept.  That's a great thing, but it makes classes difficult, working around that kind of craziness.  We're thinking that after working to build our businesses all these years, maybe it's time to stop trying to do "everything" and concentrate on the things we do best and enjoy the most.

So we'll see.  We always have a hard time letting things go.  Well *I* do.  Maryanne doesn't, but she lets me drag them back into the schedule without too much squawking.  Who knows how things will shake out?
I hope you give some thoughts to balance on this Equinox too. 
We burned out pretty hard in 2000 from doing too many different things, and know that the magazine and the soap are our top priorities - and having some fun.


Sonja said...

I love Autumn.. i love its colours, its perfumes.. good luck for your activity!

Laura said...

Happy Changes! :)


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