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Holiday Message 2010 – Unabridged

What a year it has been!  New beginnings galore!  New baby.  New jobs.  New opportunities.  I graduated from Boise State last December with a degree in business management and I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go in terms of a profession, much less have any clue what I wanted to be when I “grew up”.  I wanted to keep my options open with a business degree but at the same time my passions lead me down different academic roads – hence my minors in history and philosophy.  In my last semester I fussed passion with practicality and realized the potential benefits of an education geared toward business while still pursuing the kind of life I wanted to live: a simple life, connected to the community, and close to the Earth.

I became interested in the local, organic food movement a few years ago for many reasons – concern for the environment andbenefits to personal health the chief among them.  My interest quickly grew deeper than that of a consumer, and I felt the call to pursue a life of organic farming.  I want to grow food not just for people, but for people I know and interact with.  I want to be in a profession where I know that I am leaving the land healthier than it was the year before.  I want to work for a movement that strives to make communities truly sustainable (environmentally, socially, and economically) and resilient enough to absorb shocks to the system.  I want to be apart of a community of farms, eaters, and restaurants that operate under a new paradigm of cooperation, openness, and concern for quality and people (as opposed to cost and the bottom line).

So I looked around for apprenticeship opportunities in the area, and Mary’s farm stood out immediately as the ideal place.  Being as new as I was to even the idea of farming, I thought it would be a positive experience to learn from somebody who had started out as I was, fresh to the field.  I also knew that Mary is an integral part of the Boise local food movement, and training under someone so connected would be extremely beneficial.  I loved how the farm raises ducks.  I lovedthe vision the farm enacted of an holistic system, striving for minimal off-farm inputs.  It’s easy to see Mary’s profound dedication to the health of the animals, to the land, and to the people who make her farm possible.  So I applied and I was, gratefully, accepted.

The apprenticeship was everything I had hoped it would be and more.  I had the unique and fortunate experience of being the only apprentice.  So, while I felt like a regular green-horn, I was treated like an integral part of the farm from very early on.  Every thing from the farm, to the crew, to the members that support us made it such an unbelievable experience.  I consider myself unbelievably blessed to have the opportunity to continue to grow (pun intended) at Morning Owl.  I can’t think of a better farmer, teacher, and friend to learn under than Mary, nor can I imagine a more passionate group of people to grow food with.  I would also be hard pressed to find a better community to grow food for.  I am pumped, monumentally pumped, for the future and for the movement.

 

During the summer I also became a father!  Just before graduating my wife and I discovered we would be having a child.  It was not unexpected, but we were surprised by the… ease of the sowing.  The pregnancy went swimmingly.

Kolbie was amazing and very much ready by the 14th of August (a few days past due) to have the baby.  Finally, at around 3:00 in the AM on August 15th, 2010, after a slow 16 hours of labor, the womb reached critical mass and launch was imminent.  At 3:16am we had our little girl, Danika Elizabeth Meyer.  She weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces.

There is an endless list of cliches regarding the birth of a child; most of them true, many of them incomprehensible, all of them devoid of the proper poetry to describe such a thing.  It is a fierce love.  A lovewe felt very early on in her pregnancy, and one that has only tightened its grip on our hearts just as Danika tightens her little hands around our fingers.  And, just like her, the love grows with every passing day, with every moment, with every soiled diaper, with every three-second smile, with every ambiguous cry, with every new face, with every new sound, with every self-discovery, with every flash from her pale blue eyes – it grows.  What fun.  What a challenge.  What a joy.

It can be a difficult thing to recognize the best times in one’s life while they are in the midsts of happening.  That’s not surprising.  It is in our nature, it is to our advantage, and it is the deepest and most powerful way to live our lives, fully in the present moment; not to be bogged down with yesterday, and not to be preoccupied with tomorrow.  But every once in a while it is not the slow rolling passage of time that is required for perspective and understanding, but a kind of present moment so power, so defined and crystalized in clarity, that full awareness of its significance in the great timeline of our life is not only inevitable, but profoundly imprinted on our character.  2010 was filled with these moments.

Here’s to 2010.  As it fades into memory, may it usher in a new chapter of growth and learning for 2011.

Entry #10 – 12/27/10
Born: 08/15/2010
At: 3:16am
8lbs 3oz

So beautiful.

A Cradle Song

Sweet dreams form a shade,
O’er my lovely infants head.
Sweet dreams of pleasant streams,
By happy silent moony beams

Sweet sleep with soft down.
Weave thy brows an infant crown.
Sweet sleep Angel mild,
Hover o’er my happy child.

Sweet smiles in the night,
Hover over my delight.
Sweet smiles Mothers smiles,
All the livelong night beguiles.

Sweet moans, dovelike sighs,
Chase not slumber from thy eyes,
Sweet moans, sweeter smiles,
All the dovelike moans beguiles.

Sleep sleep happy child,
All creation slept and smil’d.
Sleep sleep, happy sleep.
While o’er thee thy mother weep

Sweet babe in thy face,
Holy image I can trace.
Sweet babe once like thee.
Thy maker lay and wept for me

Wept for me for thee for all,
When he was an infant small.
Thou his image ever see.
Heavenly face that smiles on thee,

Smiles on thee on me on all,
Who became an infant small,
Infant smiles are His own smiles,
Heaven and earth to peace beguiles.

– William Blake

Entry #7 – 8/15/2010

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