Stationary Sun

In prepping for this post, I looked up the etymology of the word “Solstice.”  It breaks down to two Latin root words–sol: “sun” and “stice” or –stit: stationary, stopped.  This is an apt description of solstice, especially in Alaska. The sun is stuck in the sky!

Rising high under the midnight sun (well...8:30 p.m. sun!)

Soaring high under the midnight sun (well…8:30 p.m. sun!)

Some of you may have noticed that I missed my last post–First off, sorry about that!  Secondly, that week that it was due was a hard one.  Baby Fern was five or six weeks old, Evan was back at work and I had just started farming again.  I was overwhelmed and burning the candle at both ends.

Baby Fern is getting so big!

Baby Fern is getting so big!

The weeks before summer solstice have a lot of extroverted energy.  It is a great time for people people–those who get their energy and drive from being around others.  While I love parties and mingling and events that take place with large crowds, they drain my emotional reserves. I need time to chill out with me, myself and I (if that coming from a mom/parent of three little kids doesn’t sound like a joke, what does?).  The seemingly constant get togethers, parties, events and obligations leave me feeling drained. I turn into an inconsistent worker, a moody mother, an emotionally distant partner and an unmotivated individual. I guess I’m an outdoing introvert, and the introvert in me needs alone time to recharge before complete burnout settles in.

Having fun dancing in the sunshine and rain at the Great Alaskan Music Festival

Having fun dancing in the sunshine and rain at the Great Alaskan Music Festival

With all of this in mind, I have decided to let my inner introvert “win” more than my daily planner would like to allow.  A couple of weekends ago I abandoned all social obligations, took a deep breath and relaxed at home with my wonderful family for the whole weekend.  I woke up one Friday morning feeling borderline crazy–I couldn’t focus, felt panicky, was super irritable and thoroughly dreaded the thought of getting the kids ready to do anything.

In response to these feelings, I cancelled everything (and if we’re being perfectly honest–after ugly crying for a little bit).  My inner introvert rejoiced!  Peaking out the window, I could see my adorable, nature loving, mama adoring, curious little daughters playing in the dandelions.  Opal was mesmerized by the bees collecting pollen and nectar from the flowers.  Ava was busy making a beautiful yellow bouquet for one of her favorite people–me!  A huge weight was lifted with this one innocuous action.

Opal spying on a bee

Opal spying on a bee

Ava collecting a bouquet

Ava collecting a bouquet

We spent the rest of the weekend getting our hands dirty.  We transplanted flowers into hanging baskets, strawberries and herbs into containers for the porch and peas into pots for our teepee pea trellis.  I weeded our perennial bed and laid down mulch while the girls ran around naked, splashing in the (freezing cold) kiddie pool and chasing butterflies.  I didn’t have to put a child into a car seat for three whole days. Aaahhhhh.  What a breath of fresh air.

Potting up seedlings

Potting up seedlings

I had this perfect moment–my hands in cool, life giving soil; the sun on my shoulders; the older girls playing happily together; the dog sun bathing on the porch; Evan reading in a hammock; and Fern snoozing in her bouncy chair next to me.  “Oh yeah, this is why we do this.” I thought to myself.

Backyard water park

Backyard water park

It is easy to get caught up in the momentum of light building throughout the spring and weeks before the solstice.  It is an energizing time!  True Alaskans can ride the wave with ease–jumping at every opportunity to socialize and maximize.  But sometimes this Farmgirl needs to minimize!  I needed to take a lesson from the “stationary sun”. I needed to stay still and observe the beauty of the life I’ve helped create here in our little corner of the universe.

Mmmmmm, Lily of the Valley!

Mmmmmm, Lily of the Valley!

Ava collecting bluebells for the fairies

Ava collecting bluebells for the fairies

That’s where the Wilder clan is at right now.  We are learning how to maximize joy by minimizing some of the extras.  By protecting our time together, we get to enjoy our time with others even more!

Showing off sidewalk chalk art at a block party in town

Showing off sidewalk chalk art at a block party in town

Ava, Opal, Fern and I are spending three days a week at Sun Circle Farm.  Ava and Opal monopolize the trampoline.  Fern takes lengthy outdoor naps. Throughout late May and early June I mainly worked on prepping beds and getting the irrigation up and running, but now we are getting into the swing of the season with the first harvest already finished.  The spring was late to bring us warm soils to plant into, but a few weeks of rain and sunshine got us back on track!

Cool as a cucumber

snoozing with the peppers

Fancy Farmgirls!

Fancy Farmgirls!

Admiring a friendly lady bug.

Admiring a friendly lady bug.

I know the pressure of a busy schedule will come creeping back into our lives, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to recognize the signs that my inner introvert needs a breather before the crazed feelings settle in.  To those of you who have learned to balance the many facets of life–what’s your secret? Whisper it to us, and we will hold your wisdom close to our hearts!

Until next time, Farmgirl Friends,

Sending peace and love from Alaska,

Alex, the Rural Farmgirl

In memory of this sweet old guy who crossed the rainbow bridge early this week.  You were a good old farm dog, Muskeg!

In memory of this sweet old guy who crossed the rainbow bridge early this week. You were a good old farm dog, Muskeg!

 

Leave a comment 20 Comments

  1. Susabelle says:

    The biggest problem of needing recharging is feeling guilty about canceling plans. But sometimes, that’s what you need to do. Give it the 2-2-2 rule. Will this matter in two hours, two days, two weeks? Or for bigger things, will this matter in two weeks, two months, two years? Give things the priority and weight they require, and you will be happier.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks for the tip, Susabelle! I’ll have to keep that in my back pocket during these busy years of motherhood. I hope you are great!

  2. Jennifer Chappell says:

    I know just what you mean! The weeks leading up to Midsummer seem to build in their intensity and, by the time the Wheel turns to Midsummer, I’m just an emotional mess. But, as soon as it passes and we start turning towards the harvest, I feel like I can breathe again. That’s when summer feels joyous!

  3. Marilyn says:

    Thank You for this interesting update. The girls are beautiful. Sorry about your dog.
    Marilyn

  4. Joan says:

    God bless you all! Great post!

  5. Laura R. says:

    As someone who feels as you do, about down time at home, I am happy you found your balance. And being with your sweet family, I’m sure, is a great curative. Keep taking care of yourself first, so you can care for others !!

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks, Laura. I am happy I can find it, too! And yes, we have some truly precious, curative moments together. There is a lot of wisdom packed into those little people.

  6. I loved this post Alex. And wow can I relate. I recently read an article about what it means to be an “Introverted Extrovert” and it described me to a Tee! :-)

    Your girls are so darling and growing up so fast. That little Fern though… what a darling baby. I know I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again; I love your girls names. So sweet.

    Happy Farming!

    Dori, Ranch Farmgirl

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thank you, Dori!

      They are pretty darling, aren’t they? It’s pretty cool to see them learn and grow every day.

      Happy farming and beautifying to you, too!

  7. Missy Whaley says:

    Balance in our lives when raising small children is the key to inner peace that allows us to succeed in one of the most purposeful contributions to our world. Raising our children mindfully with imprinting a deep connection with the natural world grows them with a deep appreciation for what supports their aliveness. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Sandi says:

    First so sorry for your losing a loved pet. Muskeg was a beauty. We also buried a loved pet that belonged to my sister-in-law this last week. She had gotten run over by a speeding vehicle, and we buried her in our yard as we own this land and my sister-in-law rented.
    Secondly, your children are adorable. I also loved all those flowers Ava is in the middle of. I also am an introvert and I understand how we need our alone time to re-energize. I don’t know about living with a solstice; months of daylight and/or months of darkness. It would take some getting used to. I enjoyed this post and all those pictures you posted. I hope the rest of the summer is a wonderful time for you and your family.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thank you, Sandi! Luckily the solstice times seem to pass pretty quickly and then we’re back to a balance of night and day (but that seems to pass quickly, too!). Hope you are great!

  9. maureen bruner says:

    I have given myself permission “to not”. It is ok to not_________.(fill in the blank!). When some one is really pressuring me to do something that infringes on my time, I tell them “I will pray on that and get back to you”. It stops the hard sell in its tracks! If you don’t take care of yourself, you aren’t any good to anyone else and family always comes first. Enjoy your family.

    Many Blessings.

    Maureen

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks, Maureen! That is a good and wise tactic–providing time to decide. I recently heard this gem, “Saying yes to one thing means saying no to something else.” It’s so true! Also truth–family comes first. Thank you!

  10. Deb Bosworth says:

    Hi Alex!
    Such a wonderful post! I can relate to your feeling like you want to hide out and just enjoy quiet moments of solitude with your family. It’s hard to find that balance sometimes. When we were homeschooling we could have been out doing something every single day. There were always great offerings within our community for learning with groups, classes and play dates. We participated in a lot of different events etc… But our favorite times together were cuddled up in our pj’s listening to books on tape ( back in the day that was a thing ). We’re all still like that but now we listen to podcasts or binge watch something on Netflix… LOL
    I could just feel time standing still for you on your weekend at home. I’m so sorry for the loss of your farm dog. It’s never easy to lose a furry family member. Farmgirl Hugs!
    Deb

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thank you, Deb! I am pretty involved with the homeschool community here and those are some of the busiest kids I know! People who doubt that homeschooling allows for proper socialization are very mistaken :). The girls and I like to listen to kid focused podcasts and stories, too! It’s such a nice way to wind down together.

      Muskeg was an old man for his size–twelve years! He had a wonderful life on the farm and in the mountains but he will be missed. Thanks for the checkin!

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