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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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