Hope you had/are having a good holiday. I was raised to say, “Merry Christmas” because everyone else around me did. There are many celebrations/traditions this time of year. I will not show my ignorance by trying to list them all, because I do not want to leave anyone out. But if I had to choose a holiday that I truly rejoice over, it would be The Winter Solstice. As a farmer, you live by daylight. (Tip: If you really want to contact a farmer-call after dark. But not too long after dark s/he will be asleep. Farmers can’t sit still very long without snoring and drooling.)
The whole concept of telling time is not really important to us. (Farmers Markets are probably the one exception.) We prefer to get up just before light and go to bed shortly after our world goes dark. In the winter though there is just not enough daylight hours to do everything. Of course those of us who milk usually milk by the clock in order to provide year-round milk etc. to you. Like our dedicated milking friends, many of us are determined to get as much work done in the winter as summer, so we hook up all kinds of lighting around our animals and buildings so we can do more. So when Mother Nature starts to give us more light (which is always better than electricity), we simply are thrilled and use every second of it.
Today I had a most lovely start of the day. I got up early (4:30) to prepare for the market as usual. The exception was that Jerry is doing the University District Farmers Market for me today. I am going to visit my siblings and their families for the day. (Holiday – you know!) I decided to feed the chicks to help our helpers out, before I settled into getting myself ready. I walked into the chick area while it was still night. They have lots of light because we use lights to keep them warm even in the summer. I had a fun time with the little peepers: shooing, and watering, and feeding, and spreading bedding. When I walked out it was dawn! How wonderful!
Dawn is my favorite part of the day. If you sit ever so still you can witness predictable events. After the poultry all stop their cooing and the hens all say hello to each other, the fog starts to clear, then a few animals begin talking and walking around. Soon wild birds are flitting about, and the sun is shining full-on (when the clouds are gone).
I just sat on the porch and watched and listened. I was so warm from being in the chick house, that I stayed for 15 minutes before I noticed the freezing weather. Eventually our last worker showed up and I had no more excuses for sitting and needed to get on with my day. For those few minutes I sent thanks to Mother Nature/ God/ Goddess/Whom or whatever for those extra minutes of daylight that I could enjoy. It makes me happy to know that tomorrow there will be a few more minutes of daylight, and the next day a few more, and the next day a few more, etc. I will enjoy every minute! Hope you get a chance to enjoy them, too.
Happy Belated Solstice! If you didn’t do the Happy Dance yet, I hope you do it soon.