“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”
~Laura Ingalls Wilder
We arrived on the farm in September, never having lived in a climate with a snowy season. Yes, we had made annual holiday pilgrimages into the mountains around Tahoe, where we would ski, sled, and gawk out the windows of rented cabins, at temporary views. But the snow was never ours. Winter wonderlands existed in shop windows, on glittery Christmas cards, and in every holiday Hallmark movie; outside our own windows was a balmy, sometimes rainy view. Everything outside looked the same as it did during the rest of the year, although a bit soggier.
This year though, this year we are enjoying our first truly snowy Christmas. More often than lifelong Minnesotans, we find ourselves – whether individually or as a family – gazing awestruck out our windows. Snow – a perfectly ordinary, wide-spread, normal weather pattern – has not yet lost its magic with our family. The snow covers everything outside; smoothing rough edges, quieting footsteps, and decorating trees. We have watched it fall in fat, slow flakes and in sideways, blustery ones. We have hiked through it to the frozen pond, wiped it off mailboxes, and trapped it on the wrong side of snow fences. And while we know that living in this temperate, northern climate will bring us snow each and every winter for as long as we inhabit the land here, I hope it never gets completely ordinary to us. Each and every year, I hope to remember the magical, childlike feeling that it has inspired in us all during our first farm year.
We will be better off this spring – as we muck through puddles and wait to plant tomatoes – for having become children again this Christmastime. With spring and summer will come animals, a multiplied chore list, farmers markets, and more hustle than we can possibly predict. Knowing that the snow is coming, and therefore so are the slower, quieter days that come with it, will give us energy and focus through the spring and summer.
As we gather with loved ones this Christmas and New Year, let us all take a minute slow down and become young again. Lick the frosting off a spoon, read a story to a child, and stare out the window at the glittery, magical snow. Let’s carry these refreshing, restorative moments with us through the upcoming seasons – we will all be better off for it.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Yellow Hutch Farm!
~Lauren, Chris, and the girls