It's the Little Things

Updated: Aug 19, 2019


Tess Jacobson, Phase I Fellow


Currently, we are about halfway through the Phase I portion of this Fellowship. Everyday seems to go by awfully fast, just blurring one into the next. But there are little things throughout the day and week that seem to cause me to slow down and absolutely love the moment I’m in. 


The moment where I am absolutely alone sitting in the middle of the field up by our cars. The long grass and wildflowers blowing in the wind, the warm colors of orange and pink outlining the mountains while the sun sets, the crispness of the air while taking a deep breath.


Figure I. View from field, up by our cars.

The satisfying feeling of transplanting little plants that you had originally started as seeds in the greenhouse and now are planting into their very own bed to become big and strong. The even more satisfying feeling of harvesting from those plants that you knew you had started and watched grow from the beginning. Actually, harvesting in general makes me the happiest while in the garden. 


Figure II. A beautiful beet harvested from our production garden (huh, looks like someone’s logo doesn’t it?)

After a tiring morning working in the garden or up in the pastures, there is no better sound than the sound of the truck coming down the drive to bring us our lunch around noon. Every meal is different, fresh, and just absolutely delicious, but those lunches are the real winners, refueling us before our afternoons work! 


Figure III. One of the picnic tables where we eat lunch down in the garden.

5-o’clock rolls around and by the end of the day most of us are pooped. We usually all go our separate ways until meeting back up for dinner around 6. This gives us all our much-needed alone time to refresh and just take a break for a bit. There are a couple of spots around the mountain that give me this complete sense of relaxation but shockingly none more so than the spot right outside of the lodge. The lodge has a wrap around porch that has become my haven when I just need some time, whether I just need to sit and look out into the trees and sky or some privacy to call up my mom. This has become my go to little slice of heaven! 


Every morning it can be tough to get out of the cozy comfortableness of your bed, at least that’s exactly how I feel every morning. Once I get out of bed, step out onto our porch, take a deep breath, and just take in everything in front of me, I realize how grateful I am for being in that exact place for that exact moment. The view from our cabin is definitely one I will remember for the rest of my life. 


Figure V. Gorgeous view from the porch of our cabin.

Now, since we are on top of a mountain, not near any major light pollution, a question I get all the time is: “How is the night sky?” Well, I have got to tell you, I have never seen anything quite like it. A lot of people have probably seen better stars and such other places, but for me personally, I have never seen a more beautiful sight than when I look up at night and see all of those stars in the sky. When it’s a full moon you don’t even need a flashlight to get around because the light from it is so powerfully bright. Probably my most favorite part of the night sky here is that every night you can just lay out and stare up for a few minutes and see at least one shooting star! I have seen around fifteen or so since I have been here and honestly would see more if I just took the time to look.


One of the best nights here, some of the fellows and friends were at the upper field, (the one I wrote about earlier, by the cars) having a bonfire, playing music, and just relaxing, when all of the sudden a bright flash streaked through the sky. The trail of whatever it was lasted in the sky for minutes after it has already passed. I saw it straight on, saw every part of it pass before my eyes, I have never seen anything like it. The crazy thing is, is that we all slightly saw something different from it, I saw some greens and blues, while others saw more blues and purples. We have all speculated about what it could have been but none of us know for sure! 


Figure VI. A poorly taken picture of the full moon, but you can see how bright it is!

I have absolutely loved animals ever since I was a little girl and it has been the hardest for me to be away from my wonderful puppers, Ronnie. So, some of my best moments have been being able to work with the different animals we have on the farm or the ones that I meet along the way! It is a wonderful morning when I get to walk down to the farm and immediately start playing with the farm cats: Dale and Silvio, it’s an even better day when I get to hand feed our shy and nervous horse Lightfoot! 


Figure VII.I. Me feeding Lightfoot with the chickens trying to scrounge up some droppings.

Figure VII.II. Dale hiding up in the tree before I had to get him down because he couldn’t do it himself.

There are a million other little things about AMI that just make me so grateful to be living here but the most prevalent commonality they have has to do with the views from up on the mountain. Here are some photos below that don’t do this place the justice it deserves but still gives you some ideas about what I get to look at on the daily. I hope after reading this you can think of all the little things that make your lives just a little bit better! 





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Allegheny Mountain Institute

PO Box 542

Staunton, VA 24402 

 

AMI at Augusta Health

540-886-0160

Fishersville, VA

Allegheny Farm Campus 

540-468-2300

Hightown, VA