October 5, 2011

Chaos and Order and the Beauty of Chaos and Order

I've said before that farming is really an exercise (often futile) in managing chaos.

Weeds overtake your vegetables. Hail destroys your wheat heads. Frost zaps your cucumbers. Coyotes eat your turkeys.

Nature gives us chaos. We try to make order. We level ground. We plant in neat little rows. We build tall, straight fences.

I think about chaos and order a lot on the farm -- the quest for one, the fight against the other -- and how really, we shouldn't try to make it an either/or thing.

Life is sometimes about order. Sometimes it's about chaos. For me, farming is teaching me how the two can coexist.

Because on the farm, it's just as easy to find perfect order...

As it is to find perfect chaos.

And both are perfectly beautiful.

(Vegetable portraits by Jacob Cowgill. See more on the farm's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/prairieheritagefarm)


Speaking of chaos, we celebrated Willa's entrance into the world this weekend.

The day was filled with friends, family, a parade and *several* puppet shows. It was quite a party.

I found myself teetering between inexplicable joy and tearful nostalgia.

It's unavoidable, and perfectly OK, a friend told me, for these first few birthdays to be a little bit about you becoming a mother, just as much as they are about celebrating the person who made you a mother.

Two things, then, were worth marking with hours spent making carrot cupcakes:

  • Motherhood is a humbling, flailing, incredible, strengthening, awe-inspiring, didn't-know-I-could-do-that, kind of thing, and

  • The world is quite certainly a better place with this little person in it.


  1. Amen to everything you just said here and a quick word on coyotes: You can just shoot them! Isn't that amazing. You can shoot as many as you want and nail their bodies to the fence.

  2. Happy Birthday Willa! I agree with your mom - the world is a much better place with you in it!



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