On our small, diverse farms in central Illinois, walking aimlessly is a luxury reserved for the winter months, when the past season’s roller coaster has slowed almost to a stop and the new season’s marathon has yet to begin. At this quiet cusp of the seasons, there is ample time in the short days to hike through woods and over streams, and even more time to contemplate life, forward and back, during the long nights.
On one of January’s crisp, bright mornings, I went for a walk in the sparkling snow. I had no particular purpose in mind but knew, as Frost wrote, “how way leads on to way . . .”
Terra Brockman is the author of The Seasons on Henry's Farm (Agate Surrey) and the founder of the Land Connection. She farms with her brother and family in the Mackinaw River Valley of central Illinois.