As the last group of geese fly off to warmer climates and the remaining animals prepare for the long Winter nights ahead, I fondly say goodbye to nature's obnoxious display of Spring and Summer and welcome back with loving arms the silent nights of Winter. Daylight has slowly been subtracted from our far too long Summer days when nightfall is just a blink from another exhausting day. For this new farmer, Spring and Summer is both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time and adrenalin is my only energy source. At the beginning of Summer my mornings start when the sun first lights the night's sky around 4:30am and the work day ends only when the darkness returns around 9:45pm. During these days all of the creatures including myself seem to be OK with not getting enough sleep. The sun becomes our dictator and the moon is only visible to careless lovers. But as November is moving on and December is in the wings, I now can embrace those wonderful silent nights.
As the clocks go back one hour and the sun disappears before dinner time, I am finally able to be fully awake for the beauty of silence. In Fall and Winter all of the animals try to hold on to daylight as long as they can but nighttime always wins. The silence begins as the last group of ducks make their way into their duck house slowly replacing their screams of complaint with quiet reluctance. Then I take just a few moments to stand in the farm yard with the dogs and enjoy the long awaited silence of Winter. It is here in the silence that I am able to once again connect with the wind in my face, the cold air in my lungs and the overwhelming feeling of being alive in this moment. For the first time I am able to be an empty vessel if only for a brief moment. In those cherished minutes there are no thoughts of what was or what is to become, only enjoying each breath as if it were my first and only breath.
As the reality of being on the farm slowly creep back into my awareness I keep promising that I will take this moment with me and hold it. But somehow every night I return to this same spot and realize I once again need to become an empty vessel. I will breath in every silent night of winter until those obnoxious sisters Spring and Summer steal them away from me again. But for now the nights belong to me and I will cherish each as if it were my last. Oh Silent night, you are always welcome here.