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Finding Gratitude in the In-Between

Well . . . this has been such a glorious September, has it not?? I am soaking up every moment of fresh breezes and bright blue skies. Lord knows I'll need those memories when November descends with her darkness, the whole farm a half-frozen mud puddle.

Still plodding along through the last of the food preservation and making the shift from summer to fall in the garden. Settling into a slow, but steady momentum despite the anxiety that seeps in every time I think about the to-do list.

Chopping and freezing about 50 pounds of tomatoes a day, and what I am sure is my own weight in peppers, harvesting garlic and beens and cukes and forgotten squash, pulling plants, prepping winter fields for seeding, constantly fighting the urge to race the weather.

These moments when the end is in sight, but the mountain of work still remains - it's easy to want to be done. To 'get there'. Rushing to the finish line, which is really just the starting line of some other race, always running, worrying, fretting over what is coming instead of simply tucking into the thing at our feet.

It's those in-between spaces, the uncomfortable, messy middle. Void of the excitement of starting, long from the relief of completion. We tend to associate the moment we lose sight of shore, still far from our destination, with uncertainty. And yet, I wonder in these moments, if there actually might be MORE certainty that normal.

The illusion of certainty drops away, and we are reduced to the next step. The next dip of our oar. The next tomato in the pile.

Knowing what is coming, what 'there' will be like when we get there - that's just a story we tell ourselves. If we chase that story with too narrow a focus, we will miss the beauty of those messy, in-between times. Even with all their drudgery, frustration and waiting, longing and wanting to be anywhere but here . . .

It's well to remember from time to time - there is no 'there' there. There is only here. There is only now. This pile of tomatoes waiting to be chopped, these peppers to harvest, these sharp blue skies to lift our eyes to in thanks.

As always.


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