There are days when your life make sense. And then there are days it doesn't.
Being aware and respectful of how quickly it can change from one to the other can make you more thankful for the days it does and more patient on the days it doesn't.
On Monday, it all made sense, all this scrambling around, all this juggling. This cobbled-together existence of farm and work and home and parenting -- it's for something.
Mostly, it's for what I get to do on Mondays when I deliver farm shares to customers and veggies to the Mountain Front Market in Choteau. On those days, I get to: 1) get food to rural folks who are so appreciative of good food and good farmers and good local economies and good community and 2) do this while my daughter, who I often worry will someday resent the fact that we spent our summers schlepping vegetables all over the Golden Triangle, has a big time helping our friend and market owner Jill. This week, she helped stock apples.
Jill told me later that Willa would pick up an apple and stare at it for a few moments, intently exploring each curve and bump and color before handing it up to Jill to stock. "Isn't that what we should all be doing?" Jill asked. Stopping to smell and touch and really see the things in our lives?
After all that hard work, Willa sat down for a glass of milk with Jill in the back and Willa colored while Jill made new labels for the produce I'd just dropped off. I had a vision of her at 5 or 6 or 7 doing the same thing every Monday -- helping Mama deliver veggies and drinking milk with Jill in the back of a grocery store.
I thought about the stories someday she might tell her kids about those afternoons spent in the store. Picking out treats. Coloring. Hanging with her pal Jill.
I thought too about how similar her stories might be to the stories my Mom tells me about her childhood in her grandparents' store.
(My great grandparents, Lebanese immigrants, owned and ran "People's Grocery" in Great Falls -- which my Great Grandpa Mike called "Pe-op-o-lee's" -- for many, many years. Maybe the retail side of food was in my blood as much as the growing side after all.)
Sometimes, that full circle stuff just chokes me up, I tell you. I turn into a big, sappy fool.
But, then, on Tuesday, wham. Nothing made sense. There were many tears, too much to do, not enough time, calls and texts and urgent emails, lettuce wilting, needing ice, conference calls wedged between my shoulder and chin while I tried to walk a squirmy, hot, cranky toddler in a stroller (nap, dammit!) for the third time around the neighborhood, spilled liquids on keyboards, sticky skin, dishes piling, dog puke on the couch and a mountain of laundry that seemed to have doubled in size overnight. Oh, and a veggie pick up at our aforementioned disaster of a house.
No, I don't have any photos to illustrate this s*^tshow.
But then! Wednesday. Harried, but manageable. Willa's pal Carey, who takes care of her occasionally while I work, saw the ridiculousness the day before in our house and so she offered to take her for the whole day. (And, she baked one whole cake and brownies and cupcakes for us to boot. That woman has saved my life more than once, I swear.) And then to cap off a productive day, we had our awesome farm apprentices over for dinner. (Stuffed zucchini. Recipe to come.)
As I finished dinner prep and got everything out to the table, finally, I felt a calm I hadn't felt for a few days.
And I was able to stop long enough to witness this little girl's Papa tickling her with a few leaves.
Things made sense again. Just. Like. That.
By the way, I'm back on the column writing for The Daily Yonder (a very cool online journal about Rural America) this week and my return column is about making room for special things to grow.