photo by Rob Spring
Good Heart Farmstead from a distance, photo by Rob Spring

We spend so much time looking down.  Seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, filling buckets with grain and water, pouring those buckets out for the chickens.  All this with our heads bent toward the earth, eyes focused on the details below.

Sometimes, we take a breath, we bend our necks up to the sky, we stare at the Worcester Range and stretch our backs.

But rarely do we see ourselves from a distance.  Rarely do we stand on the western side of the valley, on the Worcester Range, and look back.  When we do, this is what we see: an undulating blanket of forest dotted sparsely with fields, our home tucked in so small we can hardly see it, but there’s the yurt, held by a treeline that separates two fields.  You can’t see the stone foundation of the yurt, or the rows of vegetables in the field, or the chickens pecking grubs in the pasture.  You can’t see us walking between barn and garden, hauling buckets, harvesting food.  You can’t see the details.

Sometimes, the details are what brings us alive; other times we get lost in them, in the long lists of projects and daily chores.  It’s then we need to zoom out and see ourselves from a distance.  It’s then that the distance reminds us why we chose this life, and the romance of it all comes flooding back.


Note: My dad, Rob Spring, took the photograph above on a recent fall day.  I opened my email this morning to find it, and though I was sitting inside and not in the spot where he took the photo, the scene still caught me as I paused for a moment, taking in the beauty of it all.  It’s important that we see the beauty in our lives, to celebrate it, and to share it.  I’ve come to believe that finding and creating beauty is synonymous with waking up to life.