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The January Pause

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Oh, January. How unique you are. Not four weeks ago we were in the midst of a busy Christmas season, using the opportunity to catch up with family and friends after an even busier season on the farm and at the markets. A flurry of farming must-do’s before the snow inevitably blanketed the land was hurriedly being accomplished. A wonderful whirlwind of activity, exchanging seasonal greetings with our customers, celebrating with our cherished staff, finding the time to travel the frosted roads to loved ones, completing the chores, counting down the days, then hours, then literal seconds with a New Year celebration, and THEN … the pause.

The January pause.

Most of you will likely have your own form or interpretation of this. The proverbial calm after the storm. Of course, we still have a hustle and bustle in the store, as we exchange smiles and conversations with our wonderful customers. And indeed, chores will be done each day in the barn and the goat pen, but there is one undeniable difference on the farm itself and that difference is the quietness. Even as we cut firewood with spinning chainsaws standing beside the drone of the tractor’s diesel engine, it seems almost noiseless. How is this possible? Sure, the insulating quality of the snow itself accounts for some of this, but only so much. There must be something else to it, right?

As we enter each new year, we are told to make our resolutions, to drop old bad habits and to form new good ones, to plan for a better version of ourselves for our own sake, but also for those around us. And sure, there is nothing off-putting about such advice to plan for a strong year ahead. We certainly do our best to strive forward with each spin around the sun. But it is the reflection back that allows us to appreciate where and who we are in the first place, and reflecting takes time. It would seem that January offers this needed time in spades, and with it a serene peacefulness. As we look back, we can appreciate our accomplishments, our failures, our lessons learned and perhaps those we’ve taught. We consider those who have joined us, and remember those we have lost. The efforts made for the consequences rendered. The milestones and the setbacks. The relationships, the faces, the smiles and the tears. It all adds up and has gotten us exactly nowhere else but here. Right here. Right now. And that is perfectly OK with us as we’re here with you. Pausing to contemplate surely is a form of meditation. Or perhaps it simply is meditation. Either way, it offers up the mystical other piece of the noiseless puzzle. In an environment where rarely anyone is standing still, we’ll take this opportunity to appreciate the bounty that these blanketed fields have brought and will bring again. However, as the old adage goes “nothing lasts forever” and the January pause is fleeting at best which, admittedly, is probably for the best.


Willowtree Farm