“We have forgotten the virtue of sitting, watching, observing. Nothing much happens. This is the way of nature. We breathe together. Simply this.” – Terry Tempest Williams, Finding Beauty in a Broken World
Frost crunches beneath my feet and layers the leaves of kale in the garden. As if in defiance to the cold, shoots of garlic pierce out of the soil, their soft yellow and green foliage a reminder of all that is still happening beneath my feet. During this time, the garden feels more stripped back and exposed, but in this simplicity and rawness, there is beauty. I admire stems now more than foliage and look critically at fruit trees, thinking about the architecture of pruning in the late winter. At other times of the year, when the garden is more exuberant, the small details become overlooked. Now, with so much scaled back, I find time for my eyes to drift to the horizon, watching red-tailed hawks careen in drifts of wind.
Finding stillness in the garden has seemed all the more essential in a world that is speeding by, seen through the lenses of phones and the demand to satisfy our instant whims. I yearn for a slower pace, to deeply internalize the lessons of the garden all around me. I want to breathe with the grasses, and feel my heart pulse with the strum of spiders weaving webs. I want to stand fixated, let moss grow over me like a stone.
Winter invites me into this deep stillness, and I greet it with delight. I notice details that I so often overlook: the deep green of moss soft to my touch, the structure of Russian sage, and the bare bones of the old vines sitting contently in rows. When the world around me is telling me to take more, buy more, and need more, all I desire is less. To feel light, to spend time under the bare branches of lichen-enshrouded maples. To glimpse the weaving and ducking of the woodpecker who has found shelter in the eaves of the shed. The simplicity of winter is a breath of fresh air, and in the garden, I’m reminded that it is the land that sustains me. As the land provides for me, I feel it is my responsibility to care for it, and to take less of what I don’t need. These are the values I remind myself of during this holiday season.
Search for joy with your loved ones, connect, walk in nature, observe, and enjoy the simplicity of this time of year. Be mindful of what you take from this earth, and give thanks for what the land provides us, for that is enough.
Farm to Table
This month, our tasting room menu features the following items from the Brooks Estate Garden: herbs, garlic, onion, carrots, beets, jalapeno, and honey.
– With Love from the Garden, Shannon