As I sit here wondering what on earth to write about, my kitchen table cluttered around me reminding me that there’s supposed to be life outside of work, the scent of Sarah Berhnardt peonies slides across the kitchen and into my nose and reminds me why the work is so compelling.
I’m at the point in the year where Mandy is a little tired of hearing me complain that 7 day weeks for almost half a year straight is eroding my state of health. She’s built tougher than me. Thrives on the constant hustle. It’s in her DNA and her upbringing. Her people are constantly motivated and generally happy to have long lists of tasks to accomplish and she’s the apple that didn’t fall far.
As someone who used to live for the weekends, I’ve always admired how joyful she can be in her work. It’s something I’ve tried to emulate with varying degrees of success since we first met. Some months/years are better than others. I’m always nagged by the existential side of things and when I feel too far extended from the workload for too long a stretch, the alarms start to go off. “Why are we doing this?” “Where have the last 11 years gone?” “Are we really supposed to just work non-stop until we die?”
Then I sit down to write something I don’t have time to write, surrounded by the clutter I don’t have time to clean, and that amazing fragrance of that beautiful ephemeral flower finds its way from the window sill over the sink, past the paperwork that needs to be gone through, and into my soul.
I never cared deeply about flowers before. They were pretty and were obviously the focus of our days, but there was still a separation inherent to my relationship with them. These past few years though, a gate has opened. Some invisible barrier came down and let that good plant spirit mojo come pouring into me. They have filled me up in a way I hadn’t thought possible. It's truly a beautiful thing to experience. The fragrance of any number of flowers has literally brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. It’s healing and life affirming.
I know I’m not alone in that. My spirits are bolstered repeatedly by all the enthusiastic and emotional emails and letters we receive. It means a lot to us, how much these flowers mean to a lot of you.
I will always struggle with a desire for balance that doesn’t seem to be a realistic part of running a farm, but at least my imbalance occurs in an undeniably gorgeous context. This farm and these flowers are beautiful and special and I’m fortunate to be here and grateful to have an extended community of people in Georgia and throughout the country whose spirits are also lifted by what this farm puts out into the world.
So thank you for your enthusiasm and your kindness. It truly helps to keep us going.
And don’t forget to get out into nature and enjoy what could be our last spring weekend. The mid 90’s are coming next week, so take advantage of the relative coolness while you can.
Have a great weekend!