Snickerdoodles at The End
Snickerdoodles will be the last cookie. Your lovely lady farmer who has baked your cookies all these years shared that when she was a little girl in perhaps the 4th grade, a friend at school gave her the first snickerdoodle she had ever had. The friend fished around in her lunch box and hauled out this treat and gave it to her and one bite is all it took to get hooked. And one bite now takes her back to those school days and the discovery of true friendship. Perhaps it will for you too.
So the bakery will have old friends and new ones too. Each weekend there have been new treats show up and this final weekend will be no exception. The loaves of Seedy Farmer Bread will be watching from the far end of the case to see what visions of loveliness arrive. Come join them in the fun!
All the plants in the nursery are on a special sale. This weekend, pay what you want for them and what you give will be going to our orphanage project, Growing Gardens For Life. We are donating all of them to this program to raise money to help us teach the orphans and at risk children at Rancho de Sus Ninos in Tecate, Mexico how to raise food and then put in gardens with them so they can eat healthy meals.
The produce in our garden is winding down and now in short supply. We expect to run out of it this weekend, so if you are wanting some beets or kale, you may want to arrive early. And do come early, for this is Harvest Jubilee Weekend when we will have all those folks from Seattle and Arlington and all over coming out to experience the country life for a few minutes. Saturday will be nuts.
And then on Saturday evening it will be over and the stand will close for the last time. We will lower the front, cover the memories we’ve made, and then turn and step carefully into the future.
A wise man once observed that, “When your only tool is a hammer, all you will see are nails.” The implication being, of course, that smart people have more than one tool in their tool chest. A saw, a screwdriver, a plane, and a chisel are all handy too, for specific jobs. They open our eyes to doing more and being more and suddenly we can do more than pound nails. We can be more than a cog in the gears of commerce. We can build the whole building. We can construct a rich and satisfying life filled with windows that look out on a marvelous world and doors we can go through to explore it.
Have you ever noticed that as we go through life, we collect tools along the way? It might be a pair of pliers from the side of the road or the special drill bit to put holes in doors for the knob. It could be a second language so we can graduate from college or the ability to speak in public from our first job in sales. Perhaps it is the knowledge of how to bake a beautiful cake or paint a happy house or raise a cheerful child. But each tool we add to our tool kit enables us to do more and be more in the farm of life.
Then along comes a time to change employers or professions and we sit collecting unemployment checks while we fish around in our tool box, oiling the pliers and sharpening the knives and figuring out what to do to keep our ship afloat. We look for the tools to plug the holes and stop the leaks, for the knowledge and experience to make ourselves valuable to an organization so we can get somewhere in life.
Or perhaps that day comes when we retire, when we pack up our whole collection of professional tools and launch into the great unknown of no regular paycheck, of no commute, of no water coolers and lunch rooms. It is a time when a few of our tools may get relegated to the museum of our life, when we put an old favorite on the shelf to pick up a new tool, perhaps a new way of doing and being. It is the moment of the greatest freedom one can experience in life. And because it is true freedom to do and become more than ever before, it is truly frightening.
There is not the compass of needing to satisfy some boss, of having to earn hard dollars to support a life style. Instead the lifestyle is designed around the money available and the only boss to satisfy is one’s conscience. Those long, dark nights of the soul leading up to that day, those hours of wakefulness when we should be sleeping as we try to think all this through are over forever and the day is finally here.
We wake up, look in the mirror, and walk away from the images of the past and into the great unknown of this new day, this day like no other, when we encounter true freedom. And whether we run and hide from it or embrace the change it offers will depend not just on what tools we’ve gathered over the years, but also our vision of the future.
In the Bible, it says that, “Without a vision, the people perish.” So it is that we must at these change points of life, set about consciously creating a new vision. If we don’t, we perish. If we do, then we can sing with Don Quixote that great song, “To Dream the Impossible Dream” and ride off into the sunrise with our friend, Sancho Panza, at our side and who knows…we might change the world by giving hope to others.
As we do that, as your two farmers become “snowbirds” and this winter head off to orphanages and group homes to see if by teaching how to raise food they can give hope to the children and staff in another country, we will be using both the tools we’ve gathered over the years as well as new ones provided along the way.
It has been frightening at times, this creating a new vision in the crucible of change. It is not easy and it takes a lot of talking together as we figure out what decisions need to be made and then making them. It is taking time to adjust to new identities, new discoveries about whom we are and what we need in order to live lives of love. But it is creating a wonderful world for years to come.
Then, when we return here in the spring and look at the land and consider the vision for next year, our tools will again provide us the means to go forward into our new life here. And from the foundation we’ve found in this community on Camano, it will be a beauty.
So as you do that, as you create your visions of a new future, be brave. Dream big, impossible dreams, and you will find the tools you have gathered still have use, still have life giving strength in them, still have the ability to give hope to others and will give you a life you would never have imagined when you put them in your tool kit those long years ago.
Jon and Elaine the dreaming farmers, Snickers the tool hunting dog, Mystery the well oiled cat, Ben and his flock of hope giving chickens, and the good Parson Dudley Brown and his flock of dreaming ducks, all of whom live joyfully at The Open Gate Farm.