I have recommended this book before... Sylvia's Farm. It has turned into my annual winter read. It comforts me. From the pages, she tells me that I'm not alone. Keep working. For every hardship there is a reward. It might only be the first flush of spring's green, but it lifts the heart.
Last night while reading, Sylvia posed the question, is it winter we fear or the not being prepared for it? I laid in bed thinking about this. I thought about having shelter for my animals... those here now and those to come. Safe fencing, of course. Continuing to plant my windbreaks and fence rows. Enough hay. Enough money for Christmas. Enough money to pay for heating. Coming out of winter with enough money to pay the spring taxes. I wonder if those things were taken care of if I could settle in for a good winter's hibernation. I wonder if my mind could rest. Would I crochet? Would I start drawing again? Would I bake?
This morning I look out on our first snow fall of the season. It is melting. I still have a little time. There are still posts to put in. I still need a run in shelter for the horses. The next weeks will be the test and then it will be time to cry "Uncle" and live with all that I have done... and all that I haven't.
Each winter I think of Little Finn, the mini, who died of the cold. Then I hope that no one will die or suffer as the result of my inadequacies. Do I do enough? Do I work hard enough? I have dropped in snow drifts when pulling buckets of water on a sled to the horses. I've gotten chilled through in freezing rains, sucked down by heavy mud. All small matters compared to Finn's death. I will never work hard enough. I can never make it right. And I can't let it happen again.
So I look out at what I have done, and I take a little time and look at Sylvia's farm... look through another's eyes. This winter has to be better then previous ones. We all have to be made safe and then we will tuck in for our winter's rest.