It’s dark here still. The chickens are crowing and have been for about 20 minutes. It’s another busy day at the farm.
The lambing and kidding barn is active with two kids born so far. I know I must hustle out at sunrise.
But, this morning I sit here writing first, as I plan my day. Hot coffee in cup, Jesus Is Calling and my Bible to my right, I am ready to start my day with the true nourishment that I need.
I start my wood cook stove in preparation for the day. I know it will be cool today and we love to come back inside to real warmth after a sweaty morning mucking stalls and hauling hay. I come back to this when I am done. I am happy here.
As the deep dark sky begins to turn paler shades of grey, only slightly implying the day may truly be beginning, I continue to hear my roosters crow in the background. I drift into the flame for a time, pondering. My thoughts swing from wondering if more babies are going to be born before my arrival this morning to the concerns for our country and the state of disarray that appears to be rampant throughout our little planet that floats in the vastness of such an amazing galaxy. Wildly opposite juxtapositions, I know.
It’s funny what a flame can do to you. Fire…..drawing you both to the immediacy of the present while simultaneously pulling you into the macro construct of both space and time. Fire is so ancient and pulls at our being, I think. It helps us disconnect for a time, so that we can truly “connect” for a time. It’s funny how that works.
I find great peace starting my day by my little wood cook stove. It anchors me in the present. The cast iron cookware I am surrounded by that I use on and in this stove ties me to the past at the same time. I am reminded of how our ancestors carried these belongings across the Oregon Trail. I reflect on how these objects were the most coveted of those crossing the Atlantic on the Mayflower, some being our own family (two different family lines were on the Mayflower.). I appreciate that here in East Tennessee is the oldest cookware company in the US, the famed “Lodge” cast iron cookware company, that served these great needs for our people over time.
Yes, I drift, appreciating the fire, appreciating all that is old and reflecting upon my day ahead at the farm.
Behind me, patiently waiting, rests my whole Foxfire Series book set, a set of books I have carried across this whole country as I moved over 12 times to different states because of my career. I am retired now. They rest behind me awaiting my reading. It’s funny. After all these years having these books I love, that capture the ancient ways of living, well the “Americana” ways, I am finally living in the realm of where these books were actually written. Funny and ironic. In fact, in our genealogical quest we’ve learned our family’s ancestors were the first settlers of Tennessee and old Appalachia. Who ever knew? Meanwhile, I have chugged these books for 25 years in boxes and shelves, trying to live a corporate life that really never suited me.
It is as if these books, and their stories, have my back……resting directly behind my rocking chair by this fire; perfectly fitting for my full circle life.
Well, it’s time to read my devotional and spend some time in the Bible. Then, after chores and babies, I think I will bake some homemade bread in my wood cook stove using my cast iron bread pans.
Indeed, I love cast iron, home made bread, wood fires burning and farm life.
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