Amagansett Farm Life

Happy Sunday.  I rarely post on the weekend, but something about this entry called for it.  Maybe because Sunday is a day of rest for many and these photos of the beginnings of the new farming season and a poem about spring by Mary Oliver, that I will share at the end, are going to make you want to go outside and be for a moment.

This spring week was really special.  I spent most of it in Long Island around East Hampton and Amagansett.  I visited some of my favorite farmers and farms: Balsam Farms, Quail Hill Farm and Amber Waves.   It’s planting season and with my camera it was amazing to document this fleeting time of year.  A time of beginnings, of planting, of moving outdoors. Seeds are growing into seedlings, more mature plants are getting read to go into the ground. The air is still cool, but in a blink of an eye it will be summer. This is some of the behind the scenes magic – work and quiet moments in an around the farms – catching it before it drifts away.

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Such Singing In the Wild Branches

It was spring
and I finally heard him
among the first leaves––
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness––
and that’s when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree––
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass
stopped
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing––
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfect blue sky–––all of them

were singing.
And, of course, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last

For more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then––open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

-Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver’s words are a gift connecting us with the soul power of nature outside and within ourselves.  Reading her words makes me want to stop, breathe, listen, see, feel.  And isn’t that what it’s about most of the time.  What we are trying to get to through yoga, meditation and any other spiritual practice we take on like farming, cooking, surfing, walking out in nature, loving.  To be present… and connected to something even for a fleeting moment.