January Windows

I have come to love January. On the surface, its weather and temperatures are predictably unpredictable and people and animals (read: CATS) can become irritable and boxed in. Although really that could be just the detox from December's sugar and catnip. Still, January has a special hopefulness about it. It is when we first see, and really feel, the light returning. In December, it is just a silent prayer-- this light-- but in January we see it manifest.

In this month, we look back at what was and into what will be. It is a month of turning, of inner change--of deep, subtle, meaningful movements. Like a deep ocean current or a low winter wind, it is a game changer. January is a threshold month-- it holds a balance of light, seasons, years, past and present. It is a thin window-- a light veil between future and history-- and sometimes between hope and dismay.

Saved pole bean seed-- a mystery variety from Fedco and our treasured Scarlet Runner Bean.

Ella helping with some soybean.

We boldly keep circling this sun; we keep hoping for our utopian future in the face of our endless mistakes. It is this tendency toward hope that makes us unique-- and maybe a beautiful disaster. January reminds us to chin up, give it a go-- what is hard truly makes us. We have to decide how or what, exactly, we will be.

As the garden sleeps, January offers itself as a balance. It gives us a little time. Here, on this little homestead, we usually finally catch up on some of our seed-saving tasks, with a nod of gratefulness to our past. And -- with a little prayer for our future, we peruse the seed catalogs and inventory our saved seed as we plan the garden beds. What does January bring to you?

Finally getting our tomato seed dried. This is Cherokee Purple-- a heritage variety. We also saved Red Zebras and SunGold this year. To save tomato seed, you need to let them set in their tomato goo for a bit-- a little ferment. Waiting until January was really too long to wait, but it worked out just fine!