Auburn Meadow Farm

A modern heritage foodstead

In which we are still under the spell

A door to another world....

I don’t read nearly as much as I used to. As a kid, our library trip was the highlight each and every week. I would take out as many books as I was allowed, I think 12, and couldn’t wait to get home to review, stack and prioritize. Which should I read first? Such abundance and possibilities….

Once I tore into the stack, I was relentless until I had finished them all. I was a re-reader too and some would be read again and again. Today, years and years later, I can still get lost in favorites like Charlotte’s Web, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Harriet the Spy.

It’s sad that as grown-ups we have to leave behind that kid-on-summer-break abundance of time.  As kids, we struggled to fill that time up, staving off what was, after all, boredom really. But just on the other side of that boredom lies magic if we can just stick with it a bit longer. True creativity takes plenty of aimless meandering through tedium, boredom and solitude before it decides to kick in. I wish I could have a do-over so I can appreciate the lazy slowness of it more this time around.

Don’t you hate it when you’re wrapped up in a good book and see the pages coming to an end?  I know I’m about to be ejected back into my real world where the light is too bright, the noise is super loud and I have a clock to race. But it is nice to savor the feeling of being lost in the world of my book as I go about my day; a kind of country cousin to that delicious tweener place between being awake and asleep.

Anyway, I wander. This summer, I made it a point to read more. Not cookbooks or raising cows books or improving the pasture books but fiction. Or, if not fiction, at least books with a little enchantment and expanding vistas.

The Seasons on Henry's Farm by Terra Brockman

This week, I read a book that at first glance would seem to belong in the doesn’t-count category (it’s about organic farming) but in reality belongs in the counts-for-sure pile. I finished it day before yesterday and it’s with me still.

I learned plenty about the typical workday on an organic vegetable farm. Somehow, even without any farming experience, everyone knows it’s hard work; multiply that by ten and you’re getting warmer. Honestly, I don’t know if I could do it. Loading up that truck so many days each week with freshly picked and washed veggies of an impressive array feels overwhelming from the comfort of my living room. Could I manage to pull it off for real? Do I have the right stuff?

But that’s really just one element of the book. I never knew it before, but burdock roots are enthralling; I have a new crush on apples and a bruise on a peach is an incredible badge of honor. After reading this, who would want a whiny perfect one? Truly.

There’s magic in these pages – the kind of magic known by ancient Druids and fairies that’s only understood while lying on one’s back alone in the middle of a wintry field looking up at the nighttime sky. There’s also lots and lots of love. Love for the land, love of literature, the love of family, the love of good food and simple pleasures; it’s all there. A rich and rewarding read indeed. I recommend it highly.

As we find ourselves pinching pennies as individuals, families and a nation, it is so important to remember how important things like public libraries are. Many of us are a little spoiled by the ease of Amazon(dot)com – please take a moment to remember your local library. You may not be a user yourself, but the programs and access to hope, tools and possibility for those who can’t afford a bookstore habit is invaluable. Many people will never have the freedom to see places like Henry’s farm in person, but if they have a library, they too can know more about the choices and possibilities this great world has to offer.

Libraries are in need of your attention, time and donations; it’s one of the best ways we have to help others help themselves.

What are you reading these days?

Show some love for your local library!

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6 comments on “In which we are still under the spell

  1. suzie
    September 1, 2011

    Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller — it is sad and funny all at the same time. Reminds me that there is no such thing as a “normal” family…….

  2. Shyla
    September 1, 2011

    I absolutely LOVE my local library, and it’s my first stop when I am looking for a book. What a wonderful resource! Right now I am reading The Locavore’s Handbook, The Four Hour Work Week, and When Helping Hurts. The first and last are absolute gems, the middle one is glean-worthy, with a fair measure of dross as well. You can check out my Goodreads list to see others I have read something akin to your Henry’s Farm. I’ll put him on my list!

    • Auburn Meadow Farm
      September 1, 2011

      Did we need to be reminded, lol? I’ve got to check into that one…

    • Auburn Meadow Farm
      September 1, 2011

      Thanks Shyla for the great recommendations – I got lots out of the Locavore’s Handbook and I have fantasies about four hour work weeks… I’m headed over to hour list right now!

  3. Jake
    September 14, 2011

    Great post, makes me want to go to the library. I’m currently reading my way through Jim Harrison. My multiple readers always seem to be my old favorites: Hemingway, Faulkner and Kerouac.

    • Auburn Meadow Farm
      September 14, 2011

      Thanks Jake. Not so funny as your triple squealer.

      I still love the library just as much as I ever did…

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This entry was posted on September 1, 2011 by in Books, Care of the Soul, Gratitude, Things We Love and tagged , , , , .
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