I’ve written a lot here about gathering and growing in the past year. Growing food on a small rental backyard. Growing according to principles of permaculture design. Growing seedlings. Growing chickens. Gathering nature-gifted greenery for holiday crafts. Gathering elderflower and nettles and dandelions for nutritious food. Gathering plants for dyeing yarn.

Now Dan and I have embarked on the most momentous project of our life thus far. We are growing a little human being — and gathering all the wisdom, strength, and patience we can to prepare ourselves for our new roles as parents.

We will welcome this new being into our lives in late spring. But already, our lives have begun to change. If you’ve noticed a certain sluggishness in my posts this fall, now you know why. I, who routinely undertake and push through several projects at once with the determination (if not the skill) of a steamroller, found myself quite incapacitated for several weeks due to morning sickness and unimaginable fatigue. Kitchen projects did not happen because I could not even think about — much less work with — food. Our fledgling winter garden suffered from neglect during its most critical period of early growth. And I just let it be. Maybe this baby’s first lesson to its mama is just this: Know your limits and honor them. Focus on what matters the most right now.

In other words: as my belly grows, so do other things in me — new sensibilities and emotions and sensations. Not the least of which is a seemingly inexhaustible sense of wonder. I think we are in for quite a ride!