As the days shorten, so does my list of things to do.  The summer crops are dying out, so the summer gardens are being tilled, sowed with cover crops and tucked in for the winter, and the battle against weeds is over for another year.  Yesterday I cut the grass, probably for the last time until spring.   Today the pigs go to the processor, eliminating another set of daily chores.

Whereas in the summer the sun rises very early in the morning and shines until nearly bedtime, now the days begin much more leisurely and there is time between the end of the work day and the time to go to sleep.

The shortened days of fall and winter are more relaxed.  The farm doesn’t hibernate, but it does slumber.

Now I can start to turn my attention to the books I’ve neglected.  And most of all, to the thesis I must now finish.

8 comments on “Shortening

  1. shoreacres says:

    How well I know that feeling. People often ask why I love winter as I do. They make mention of the shorter days, longer nights, early dark and the lessened ability to get out and go …. and I say, “Yup. That’s it.”

    No thesis for me, but I’ve had two very short stories running around in my head. I swore I was doing at least one this year – I’m looking forward to winter, too.


    • Bill says:

      I think folks whose workdays are determined by the length of the day will understand. Just as with plants and other animals, winter is a good time for us to rest and recharge.


  2. El Guapo says:

    No winter crops?

    Hope the thesis goes well.


    • Bill says:

      We have lots of winter crops, and they look great. But the summer gardens are the most time-consuming. In the winter there are no bugs and few weeds. It’s a slower pace.


  3. Sophie says:

    I love winter. I’m glad you’ll have time to relax more.

    On an unrelated note, I’m really curious to know something. It must have taken a lot of guts to leave the security of your life as a lawyer for the changing seasons of a farm. How did you work up the courage? Did you make the change so that you could live closer to your principles, or did you just want a change for some other reason? How did the people around you react to your change?


    • Bill says:

      That’s sort of a long story. Taking the leap was a little scary, but it’s been over 2 years now and I don’t regret it in the least. We lived in a way that gave me some freedom. We stayed out of debt, never got into the consumerist luxury-driven lifestyle and saved as much as we could. The loss of income was intimidating, but we had gotten our cost of living very low so it wasn’t prohibitive, in the short run at least. I began dreaming of making the change not so much out of principle as to escape the constant stress and dissatisfaction. But what caused me to finally make the change was an unwillingness to continue living in a way that conflicted with our principles. Most people were baffled. Probably most of my law partners think I’m a little nuts, or having a midlife crisis. But I’m sure some of them wish they could bring themselves to do something like what I did. It’s easy to get trapped. Folks around here are also generally baffled. Last year I had someone ask me, indiscreetly, if I had been disbarred and lost my license. That must have been the only explanation that made sense to him. 🙂


  4. Seasonality is important in our lives. We can’t run at full bore without a break. When we try, we learn the hard way why we need to slow down. Besides it’s not like there’s a shortage of inside things to do – at least around here – I have a tendency to put off filing and office clean up till now, and like you, I’ve started putting stuff on hold, able to start reading something longer than a magazine article.


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