PHOTO BY BY ANTONY BARTLETT
Freyja the Fearless, A Great Pyrenees guard dog walking past the only thing we have planted so far. Daffodils. Each day the plants are getting closer to their yellow petaled spectacle; their survival depends on it. The leaves will gather sunlight to turn into sugar to put into their bulbs for next year. I looked it up.
Antony Bartlett, who lived in Topanga for 17 years, and is known for creating Topangaâ€™s Littlest Theatre, moved to an 86-acre farm in Oregon last September. He knew little about farming but has since acquired three dogs, a Border Collie, Birdie; a Golden Retriever, Lana, a Great Pyrenees guard dog named Freyja the Fearless; and six cows. Bartlett regularly stays in touch with his Topanga friends through social media and continues teaching Tai Chi classes for his Topanga students via Zoom. This account of Life on the Farm seemed a timely fit for our theme of â€śHarbingers of Spring.â€ť
Things are shifting elsewhere. There are definitely more birds flying about now, and the trees have tiny buds on them, and we saw six young deer prancing in the pastures this morning.
Itâ€™s like the farm is slowly waking up from its wintery nap, muttering here and there and thinking about maybe waking up. But not yet. Hit snooze for one last dream: an ice storm or a snow blizzard perhaps.
Expect another shot of the daffodils soon. I am an expectant father trying to stay patient for my babies to bloom. Firstborns are always life-changing and I have never grown a plant from a bulb before.
Nature is showing me the rhythm of things. It has a pace to it that is foreign to me. Iâ€™m a busy person. Project-oriented, deadline motivated. I expect results NOW. But these daffodils are moving at their own pace, undeterred, in fact, completely detached from my modern brain shaped by high-speed internet and instant gratification.
The daffodils remind me of my tai chi practice. One move leads gracefully from (and is borne out of) the previous one. No need for me to rush. What am I rushing towards? The last thing Iâ€™ll do is exhale on my death bed. And then I am done. Why rush to that moment? Instead, I am being taught to enjoy the ride by noticing every inhale and exhale until then.
No matter what I write or say or do, spring is coming at its own pace; and experiencing the anticipation is glorious.
#farmlife #newbeginnings #horticulture #daffodils #springiscoming