Natural Rhythms

In the frost of dawn, there is a hushed chill in the grey air. With the first haze of light in the east, however, the world starts to shrug the sleep from its shoulders. Once the explosion of the sunrise accelerates the life all around, warmth finally seeps into the crevices of night, breaking them wide open.

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Colorado sunrise during a morning in the forge

I have been lucky enough to experience many such mornings as this, adding the fire of my forge to the light just before dawn. Work on the farm starts early, and without much artificial light in the evenings in the yurt, I find it best to take advantage of every minute of daylight. With each day that passes I grow more obsessed with blacksmithing, and have loved working in my small outdoor forge here in Colorado. Candlesticks, a fire poker, a damascus chef knife, and many hooks have been in the works, with a long list of projects yet to make. Working in such a minimalist forge is both frustrating, and highly instructive. It sometimes takes all my ingenuity to solve a problem without the correct tool, a great mental exercise.

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The set-up, looking east.

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One of the candlesticks for a winter fair.

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Some new fittings on the barn were in order.

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A blade I made, artfully fitted with a stacker handle by my brother Neal.

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A damascus chef knife for a local chef.

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Using primarily hand tools, many hours went into this one!

Outside of the forge, the busyness of life rushes on. There is a never-ending amount of work to be done on the farm, all exciting in its own right. Wood splitting and stacking for winter is well under way, animal pens are being built, goats are butchered and processed for meat, and trees are trimmed for their winter weight of snow. Of course, it has been a scorching October and beginning of November, with daytime temperatures in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s at times (Fahrenheit). I’m starting to wonder if winter is in fact coming this year…still, we are just about prepared!

 

 

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Bjorn, the farm dog, has his winter coat on!

Just about two weeks ago I took a road trip to Nebraska, visiting members of my extended family there. It was as much a trip through time as it was through space, as I learned much more of the story of my family history and what brought me to where I am now. The highlight was visiting my grandpa, and hearing about his full life. As I think on these rhythms we have, from the sun every day, to the seasons gently shifting and the years gliding by, all the way to the span of a life, I am inspired and humbled by the continuous change that is the world we know. More and more I learn to be grateful for this constant movement, for the excitement and opportunity it brings. We live in a pretty stunning world, filled with a diversity of experience, both easy and difficult. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Me and my Grandpa.

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