Be Open in Winter 2024

Published on 26 March 2024 at 15:53

"Be open." Jesus said to a deaf man. "Be open" the deacon said to us at mass. At a deeply personal service, we were told "Be open." I was searching for meaning in this particular day and at first, the reading at church did not resonate with me. Until exactly one week later, enjoying the quiet of the night and soft light of a quarter moon, I heard it differently.

Be open.

The possibilities could be endless with this instruction. Be open to opportunity. As in, the opportunity to do more this winter with the mild weather. Be open to adventure. For example, the adventure of walking the portion of the back acreage that is usually too overgrown, too swampy, or too cold to traverse, but this year was frozen and passable enough to appreciate and enjoy as a family. Be open to improvement. We have plans to improve some elements of our spring planting. We honestly can't wait to get after it! Be open to criticism. This one's not easy for me. Who doesn't get defensive with the suggestion of being open to criticism? In fact, when I've been told, "you're being defensive," I've immediately reacted with "No, I'm not!"

Oh. Wait. I see what you did there.

So, as directed, I'm taking a step back and being open. Even to criticism. The farm has become a part of us, and this will take some time and a few deep breaths. But yes, be open even to criticism. Be open to trying something new. Have we made maple syrup before? Nope. Should we try making maple syrup? I don't see why not. There is an immediate satisfaction with tapping a maple tree and watching sap drip out. Our conversion rate was low after evaporating and boiling, so we won't "be open" for maple syrup sales. Yet. But, we were open to those little drips of achievement. Of learning. Of wonder and fascination. We only made a few containers of syrup. But I think we created value in simply opening up small holes in these massive trees and unraveling the possibility. I also think our deciduous trees have been neglected, and I don't want to play favorites.

The message wasn't be perfect. Not even close. Nor was the message even, be good. But, be open. What if we could all be open?

Here's to trying to be open...and more.

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