I am not going to sugarcoat you 2022. It has been the most challenging year of my life. It has also been the most rewarding. I can’t claim these grand big things I have gone off and done this year but there have been countless little moments that are imprinted in me. Oh, are they all the more meaningful. The farm lured me outdoors each day to take after each animal. It gave me a rhythm, a sense of solid ground where everything else felt lost. This past year we had a number of farm tours sharing our land. More importantly, we were able to connect with beautiful people in our community and serve more than we ever have.
My days often felt like I was moving through molasses as I loved on my third baby through his first year. I often felt there was so much to do paired with constant upsets from my flow only to stop and nourish this little man who needed me. I watched him grow from a newborn to a walking babbling toddler. Delilah went from cute phrases to the conversationalist with quite the distinguished personality. Charlotte learned the reality of how to kindly co-exist with Forest School friends in social situations. Zack learned how to show up selflessly not only through my postpartum days but through the entire year as I have been grieving my best friend’s death. I even feel like he has had to tuck his own grievances of Mackenzie’s loss in his back pocket to sort out at a later date so he can show up for mine. He has played as the anchor of positivity and I will only admit that here. Don't tell him. In sickness and in health, he said it.
I have learned that I am relentless. I continue to wake up and go about my days as if this chain reaction of events in my life since 2020 occurred to someone other than myself. But not so fast... I am reminded of exactly what comes out of harsh events in one’s life. Emotions will leak. They will slip out sideways to the innocent bystanders being my family and occasionally my poor animals. So for me, what I have learned is that I don’t get a pass to run away from my sorrows. They will find me one way or another and pollute those that surround me. I have learned I am so grossly imperfect. I have learned that grieving Mackenzie will be the rest of my life and not something I get to sort out and move on from in 2022. I have also learned that I did not break. I am doing the best I can and gosh, it is far from graceful. I have learned that we are all in this together.
I know you could tell me the horror you have seen. I bet you could tell me just as many of the silly things you have seen hopefully, more so. Because the treasures I have experienced this year are plenty. The land that we live so closely to, this family you see right here, well, they have kept me right side up. The extended family and good friends that poke at me when I fall too quiet and the community that have shown random acts of kindness are all reminders of trust that this world has to offer up. I am your reminder that you can free fall into that. You can trust that you will be caught.
A paradox of life it will always be so I don’t want to be so cruel to 2022. I am happy I am here. I am living in the riches held in the tiny hands of little humans I have made. I dare to romanticize life a little bit. Because the sad gets sad. Pain and uncertainty are inevitable. I have found rest in this simple and slow life of mine. I catch myself racing through it almost daily but I am progressing. I am steeping in the joy even if it has to come with all the other flavors of what I may feel. I am slowly intentionally coasting my way to 2023. I propose you do the same.
Let’s raise our glasses.
So long 2022. Hello there my friend 2023.
Here is to trusting in a slow, simple, and beautiful pace of life.
Photos by Autumn Layne Photography