Sunday, November 29, 2009

yearning without devotion

lately, ambivalence has struck a chord in the sinewy parts of my muscles. it is that in between place--the not too deep in the dark but not quite above water place.

michigan winter always casts a fervent deep blue over my days. sometimes the blue appears gray and other times it is trying for azure and little specks of sunlight on the horizon shift over the silhouettes of barren trees and dried stalks of sunflowers.

i'm not apathetic. i'm just yearning without devotion. without devotion to act on the yearning that has singled itself out on the deep red threads of my heart. and i do act in small ways, but i do not jump into my dreams with fierce confidence.

when it comes to that which i am not ambivalent about, i become animated with delight and willing to sweat and sweat and work and work on the little projects around my small homestead. cause it is the keeping of bees and the raising and tending to of chickens and the planting of trees and the preservation of food and the cooking of things we have grown or that have been grown close to where we make our home, these things make my throat tense up with a tightness close to joy.

i do not necessarily think it is bad or wrong to not act right away on making the big changes in my life--the changes that would lead to eradicating the ambivalence.

the small steps i have taken lately to move closer to working with the land and the creatures who live around my family are outlined below in some pictures with words. also, i will be attending the young farmer's conference this week in new york and i am not ambivalent about that at all. i am super happy about it.

did i tell you that i am in love with honeybees. they are miraculous and beautiful beings that rush forth sweetness from their bodies and create such useful and intricate comb.

the above picture is me going into the hive for a late fall harvest. i did it on my own and things went very well. the girls are so mild and mostly just not interested in humans unless of course i stay in their space a little too long.

more bees

comb and honey in a bucket. i cut the comb into the bucket and used a paint scraper knife on the end of a long pole and crushed and crushed the comb and honey. i crushed it till it was a liquid mess that i could drag the knife through more easily. then i strained it through painters' sieve cloth and let the weight of it press out the liquid honey in two batches for 24 hours each.

then i jarred it.

and i also made labels. someday, i'll show them to you.

And, I love my chickens very much. They are so funny. Kk says she cannot help but smile when she watches them run around the yard and i agree. They are like our little, Pomeranian dog friend, Lilo, she always makes me smile and so do my chickens. Except the chickens' tongues have never entered my ear with wet, slobbery, stanky kisses and they never will.

and someday sooner than later i want to get some goats. The picture above is me milking a goat at the ann arbor reskilling festival. i would probably get Nigerian Dwarf goats (not pictured above--Nubian above). But k says no for now.

oh, and I also like to cook stew over fire.

and walk through the old cemetery in this town i love...

i'm not ambivalent about those things.

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