This morning, a breeze that promises rain confirmed by upturned leaves is shooing away the humidity like beauty itself.  From where I sit, I can see a hummingbird sitting on our clothesline, taking a gander at her land.   My new writing space on the back porch

I’m on our back porch, and I find myself grateful beyond measure for the quiet song of this morning.

When Dad and I first visited this farm more than 2 years ago, my view from this spot was mostly grass – tall prairie grass that almost reached the top of my head.  Where the clothesline now stands, there was an outdoor-pool shaped void of mud, and the terrace behind me where we got married was just a flat spot covered in trash.  In fact, most of this place was littered with debris.  Two years ago, I wouldn’t have wanted to sit on this porch with a cup of coffee. Now, there is no place I’d rather be.

The work that has gone into make this place all that it is now – a place I have trouble hemming in with words, actually – has been monumental. Mowing and cleaning and the borrowing of huge machines.  150 fence posts and hundreds of feet of fencing.  Lumber hewn from nearby land and sawed at the mill across from where Mom’s best friend lives. A garden lifted up out of what must have been the farm garage at one point if the oil filters we pull out of the earth are any indicator.

A lean-to shelter built by two dear friends in stone from a 200-year-old barn.  A wall crafted for fireside concerts and late night conversations.  Campsites shaped level by hoe alone amongst the wineberries.  And animals – carried here from across the States – to become our co-caretakers of this place.  Meander, the porch dog.

It seems impossible that this much blessing could rain down on such a small place, and yet, I am sitting amidst it now.

I can hear Acorn bleating and see Boone giving play chase to her . . . their lives coming together as a herd and protectors in the pasture we restored for them.  The lives of these creatures and the recovery of this place remind me, every day, that restoration happens, that community can be built, that abundance is possible in simple ways.  If anything, this farm reminds me of how much has been healed and restored in my own life.

Much work needs to be done to find and accept the gifts of that abundance, but it is about acceptance, every time.

May your day today be full of all the most powerful gifts you know, and may you have the breath and time to see them. 


Mom’s Squash Muffins

When my brother and I were little, my mom often made these squash muffins for two reasons, I can see now: they were sweet and so we ate squash, AND they use up a fair amount of yellow squash, that vegetable that seems to come in so quickly and all at once. I hope you’ll try them and let me know what you think.

1 lb of yellow squash, cut into 1″ slices

1/2 c butter, melted

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 & 1/2 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c sugar

2 & 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt.

Place squash in saucepan in 1″ of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer for 5 minutes, then drain and mash (like you would potatoes).  Stir in the butter and egg. Then, blend flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and then add to squash mixture.

Pour batter into 12 greased muffin cups, and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.