Who'll Stop the Rain?
In Alabama, winter means rain. LOTS of rain. In fact, we’ve gotten 7 inches of rain here in the Auburn area between the winter solstice and January 4th. Everything is grey and wet, and the ground is completely saturated so new “ponds” are popping up all over the place around town.
Kevin and I had two days off from our regular jobs for New Year’s Eve and Day. We had a mile-long list of things we were planning to accomplish in those four days. But as the weekend approached, the forecast started looking more and more ominous. It seemed like we would get nothing but rain all four days we were off work. We were left with the question "What do we do now?!"
This seems to be a common occurrence on the farm…and probably in life in general. We always have plans and goals for ourselves and we often find ourselves saying “well that isn’t going to work, what do we do now?!” Does this happen to you? Or are we just frequently unlucky souls? Please…I need to know!
We decided to do as much as possible in the time that we had. We looked at the forecast and determined when the rain was set to hit us and planned as much as we could possibly get done in that amount of time. To our surprise, the sun was shining Saturday morning when we woke up! Because Kevin works nights, he is usually later than I am getting up and getting going but seeing that sun really got him up and at ‘em! We grabbed a granola bar and a banana for breakfast and got out on our tractors to do some much needed ditch and driveway maintenance.
Wanna see Kayla get more excited than she should be? Get her a new tractor and let her use it for the first time! I swear, I was allllll smiles the whole time I was on it! Well…almost the whole time (Alexa, remind me to buy weights for the front of my tractor!).
By the time we finished up the driveway, it was clouded over pretty bad and about to start raining, so Kevin scaled the rooftop to get our Christmas lights down before the bottom fell out. Just about the time we got the lights in the shed, it started sprinkling and our outdoor time was done. ☹
I think it’s important to have a plan for any endeavor, but especially with a farm. Developing a routine, a schedule, a plan of action is necessary to your success. You are responsible for living things, after all. Your garden, animals, bees – your sources of food – all depend on you having your ‘ish together. This is painfully true to us in this start-up phase. It seems like our to-do list is ever-growing and we try to use our time as productively as possible.
So being our efficient selves, we moved our work indoors. We made two big batches of our Honey Bourbon BBQ sauce, canned it and labeled it. We also used some leftover beeswax I had from last spring to experiment with lip balms! This turned out to be super fun and they are turning out to be some of our biggest selling items! I love experimenting with different oil combinations and ratios to get that perfect, smooth gliding feeling on my lips. After all our creating was done, I moved on to spreadsheet work. I’m an excel fanatic – I use spreadsheets for EVERYTHING. But even though we got so much accomplished indoors and I was proud of that, there was still a big part of me looking outside with disappointment at all the things I wasn’t doing.
There is a great lesson in humility, when things happen that are out of your control. No matter how much you plan, you can’t stop the rain (literally and metaphorically). We struggle so much to control everything in our lives, and with technology I think that tendency is becoming worse. We schedule our days, weeks, and years and there’s always this implicit necessity to be in constant motion. When something disrupts that motion, it is difficult to accept, reset, adapt, and move to a new path.
I’ve been studying on it lately and I think adjusting that mentality may be a game changer...at least for me. How do you approach challenging situations? Do you come into them with rigidity, dread, anxiety, fear, anger? What would happen if you modified that response? What if you came to it with acceptance and flexibility? What if?
There’s this video I saw once of this otter who was “getting its first bath”. (I can’t attest to the validity of this video but it’s not the point). He is fighting the person. He doesn’t want to get in. He’s afraid and clinging to what he knows is safe. But once he’s in the water he realizes, this is really what his body was made for. This is where he’s supposed to be. This is where he can be happy.
Maybe if we can learn to loosen our grip, we can find more things that we are meant for as well. Maybe we can find them everywhere…even in the rain.