December 21, 2023

Happy Winter Solstice from Late Bloomer Ranch

Thelonious Monk said, "It's always night, or we wouldn't need light,".

Happy Solstice from the team at Late Bloomer Ranch.

Everyone here at the ranch (human and animal) is ready to celebrate the solstice and move into the return of the light.

So many natural biorhythms respond to day length and rely on a break in winter to rest and recharge. As the daylight dwindles, all things are impacted by the brevity of time between the rising and setting of the sun.

Our iris bulbs are dormant in the greenhouse, living on the stored summer sun in their leaves. The pigs conserve energy by huddling in pig piles and sleeping in. The hens spend more time roosting in their coops, never staying out past dark and taking a break from the energy-intensive task of egg-laying. The sheep are in full fleece and insulated by the rich protein their bodies produced throughout the grazing season.

And even for us farmers, even though there are projects still to be done, we commit to hustling through the daylight but leaving darkness as a time for rest and reflection.

Often, the shortest day of the year is portrayed as an obstacle to be overcome. For us, it's a day as sacred as any other and rich with important lessons to bestow. Instead of looking for more to do or more to be, winter solstice reminds us to take stock in everything we are, everything we have, and everything that will carry us through.

Darkness is often associated with the void, which can be viewed as uncomfortable. However, the void is also infinite creative potential, a wellspring from which to start anew.

Thelonious Monk said, "It's always night, or we wouldn't need light,".

On our part, we are looking forward to a bonfire on Thursday evening to just be in the darkness of winter and experience the sublime letting go of the year that passed. The darkness, the rest, has so much to teach us about ourselves-- where we are right now. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you find a way to honor this tremendous change in seasons, and in time.

Sending love and light.

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