“…the open mind, the attitude that includes both doubt and possibility, the ability to see things always as fresh and new…is needed in all aspects of life.” —Shunryu Suzuki
One of the best things about having children is watching them learn about their world. Every day brings something new into their lives, a new sensation, a new sight, a new experience. Sometimes when they are restless I take them outside and lay them on the freshly fallen leaves and they are suddenly still. I imagine the flood of perception washing over them, how the blades of grass must tickle the back of their necks, how the leaves crinkle when they move. I imagine what the tree’s canopy above them must look like, branches silhouetted against a cloudless sky. They are taking it all in; all else is forgotten.
How is it that part of what it means to grow up seems to be loosing that freshness? Must it be so? Shunryu Suzuki didn’t think so. I don’t practice Zen Buddhism, but I do appreciate my babies’ everyday reminder to keep my mind open to what the day brings. When I do, I enjoy myself more. And my bread is better. I listen to the dough, and I am content to wait. On days that I forget to do this, the bread is part of a routine that I have performed hundreds of times. My mind is elsewhere, unable to notice the cues beneath my fingers. Most of the time it still works out, but that is not why I do what I do. I love remembering that I will never be a master of this process. So, thank you Sam and Hazel for the daily reminder!
Good morning. I am sitting, sipping coffee and gazing out the window at our frosty fields. The chill winds the night before last deposited scarlet maple leaves on our lawn, forming a red carpet as if to formally welcome the coming of winter. I appreciate the changing of the seasons for the sense of renewal that it brings. This year especially, the last burst of color on the hillsides is juxtaposed with the fresh new life of Hazel and Sam, our twins, who are only just starting their journey of life. Fall for me is also a time to reflect on the hustle bustle of the summer and feel intense gratitude for the customers that supported us through another growing season. The genuine joy on so many of your faces, meeting Hazel and Sam for the first time, and welcoming me back after a long absence, fills my heart with happiness and love for what I do. It is not enough to make delicious bread and grow great vegetables, we must also deliver them into appreciative hands, meeting our community of eaters face-to-face, and learning little tidbits of their lives.
So thank you for being there for us. During my pregnancy and recovery, this blog, and our newsletters, fell silent. But I never stopped thinking of you, and of thoughts I wanted to share with you. I am hoping that I will be able to, every once in a while, pick up my metaphorical pen again to help you stay connected as our markets wind down. In my next post, I’ll tell you of our winter plans–where you can find our bread and pastries, and what our little family hopes to do to fill our time in the off-season.
Until then, be well, stay warm, and soak up the bright colors of change.