Twenty four years ago

She thought of how to angle the roof
and how long to make the eaves overhang
(and I checked the math)

And twenty three years ago
She set post to foundation
(and I did a great deal of “hold the other end” of things)

And twenty two years ago
We moved in to our beautiful Taigh Connlaich

And for twenty two years, on the shortest, darkest days of the year,
the sunlight comes streaming in every window,
full on
and hits the back wall
and covers the whole dark stone floor in radiance
and keeps our little family warm.

Our sweet house

I can feel her snuggling in smugly to December.

She’s a “one room cabin” — plus bathroom, plus the crawl space upstairs which we use as two bedrooms, plus the dark addition which we use as entry and storage and pantry and workshop, plus the light addition (doesn’t have all its walls) which we use for construction materials.

She’s a one room cabin whose welcoming reach exceeds her grasp.

She’s over the moon to know there will be celebrations here soon, more celebrations, more confluences of quests and calendars.

She’s warm, she’s bright. My house is ready for the holidays.

Not too early

At our house, we call it First Ups.
I got First Ups, I will say, and waking the house is as sacred as putting it to bed:

Dogs out, thoroughly patted, fed;
Good morning, sweet Taigh — good morning coffee;
Sometimes there’s needful recovery from the day before, so dishes, trash out;
This morning, it’s trash all the way to the road.

Sometimes First Ups is too early, and I’ve striven too much before light and I go back for Second Sleep.

And then one of the others thinks that they have First Ups and the sacred quiet of that time,
and the dogs get Second Breakfast.

Hello, December

The years have blurred a little.
I measure time by the cycles, where are we on this turning?
but how many of them have gone ’round… that is not so clear.

It’s gorgeous snow, though,
so that’s all to the good.

Snow makes a muffling stillness, calling me into the darkest days with
Peace,
Sleep,
Rest herein.
Lookst, she says, I have made thee a blanket.

What bliss

To gather the clan
to give thanks,
to howl
and love.

To fast,
to feast,
to speculate
and to tell stories from the field about our speculations.

A weekend passed in good company
with only one incident of vehicle vs snow
and one clear time of “we will all go to our separate laptops to recover”
and a larder full of leftovers
and now quiet.

Quiet, aye, and warmer and fuller with more beautiful pages in my book of days.

Morning fire

I spoke with an Element this morning,
not one of the hundred eighteen,
one of the five-or-so.

I mentioned that I was mortal and it was not and it asked, “Is that why you love me?”
On reflection, it is.

“You are the fire that my grandmother knew, and her mother, and her mother…”

You do not list the fathers, the fire said.

So I thought about them. A sea captain, a handful of soldier/farmers, a banker, a doctor, and — let’s be absolutely clear — probably a hundred branching generations of farmers, that’s how the world has stayed fed.

The fire was right. I don’t often think of them, just my Dad. It’s the grandmothers whose hands I see when I am working.

Attention economy?

I just heard that one for the first time.

Well, then.
An afternoon to prepare enough ingredients for six stews, stowed in the freezer.
A day for clothes to dry on the line.
A week to enjoy the farm share and the bread share. Perhaps this winter I’ll take on a baking day.

That takes a day. Mid morning to make the sponge, noontime to complete it, early afternoon punch it down, mid afternoon shape it, late afternoon bake it, just before five, take a third of it to The Diagonal Family and a third of it to The Angel Next Door. At suppertime, eat it. Yes. I will add a baking day to my attention economy and eschew probably five hundred advertisements in that time.

Market that, manipulative strangers.

And in between these acts of love? While the sponge rises? Knit a sweater, one loving row at a time. That will take a month or two or three.

I choose to spend my attention on these acts of love.