An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
So said my weatherman (i.e. me standing outside on my porch) of Sunday. An amazingly beautiful day. Saturday was decidedly less beautiful, but we did what we could anyway. Sue worked on her garden and cleaning the chicken coop while I hopped into the old farm truck and headed out to get a new hand truck and to pick up some stuff from the feed store.
I love going to the feed store. The employees and the my fellow patrons all seem to fit the best stereotypes of country-farm folk. From the cantankerous old man filling up his kerosene can to the young dock worker loading my truck with bales of straw and saying "Yes, sir....no, sir...thank you mister" one could almost imagine they are living in rural Wyoming or Nebraska. I suppose "farm folk" are a lot the same no matter where you go.
Four bales of straw graced my old truck and Kelsey and I piled in to head home. So there we were, driving this hunk of well running junk down the road (I can actually see through places in the floorboards) leaving a trail of straw behind trying to race the rain in order to get some stuff done back at home. I did manage to get a few logs hauled out before the rain drove me inside.
Sunday however was a dream...a foretaste of summer to come, not unlike how Lazarus Saturday is a foretaste of Pascha I suppose. Again I marvel at how being much more centered around things happening outside has attuned me to the seasons (I expect this will only become more so the case as further aspects of our farm come online), and how the Church Calender corresponds to the seasons. I suppose it is obvious that the liturgical life of the Church evolved around an agrarian way of life. Not that this has made me more holy or pious, far from it, but the necessary labor has certainly kept normally idle hands busy and who knows, perhaps I will find myself more attuned to the liturgical life of the Church...surely it will speak more to the kids in some way.
So after a lovely morning at Church we did a bit of kid swapping with Father and Matushka and then headed home to don our work clothes. (Yes, work on Sunday) I managed to haul most of the wood out of the forest, and though there is still a significant amount remaining I believe I have more than I need for next winter at this point, but I'll decide later once I get it all hauled into the shed and get it split. It was lovely out in the woods, the sun was shining down through tiny holes in the conifer canopy and I more than once had to take a breather during which time I'd just look around and admire the forest scenery. Really I had to keep reminding myself that THIS was home to me now...this was NOT a camping trip or a temporary retreat: I really do have a wild forest in my backyard.
One of the nighbor's kids came over to "help" and we talked about how Spring was in the air. He agreed and then said, "Yeah but on Wednesday the bears are going to wake up." Assuming the bears might not keep such a tight schedule, or feel the need to pay close attention to mankind's calender, I spent the rest of the work day being particularly attuned to the noises around me.
It was back breaking work, but immensely satisfying to sit down afterwards and watch the sun set and the chickens play rugby with some article of food while sipping a very tasty IPA.