I do not know that I will really ever understand the passing of time.

Sometimes as I sit on the side deck watching the chickens contentedly chortle their way across the yard, it seems that time sits by my side, perfectly still, as free as my free-range birds.

And then in a flash, I learn that an old friend has passed. I have been meaning to stop by, for a hug and a good story, but even though often on my mind, I now know that I will never hear that last country tale.

Close to my heart, all the time, but that is no excuse for letting the time slip so easily away.

Time to remember. Time to learn to make the time, and take the time, to stop by and visit with friends. And just as summer has turned to fall, and the days are warm but the early mornings often hover close to freezing, I wonder when the time will come to light the first fire of the season. We have been waiting, and decide rather to light a few candles in the evening, or the oil lamps that so easily warm our little cabin.

We will fire up the woodstove another day. In the morning, we wear our flannel shirts and are warmed by our coffee cups.

As we step outside to do the animal chores, we are briskly awakened by the crisp morning air. The time for a fire is nearing, but not quite yet. And then there is the time that seems to stretch out forever, the end almost in sight, but never quite here.

Yes, we have been building our log house for over two years now, and as each we’ll-be-moved-in date passes us by, I realize that there is no need to worry or rush to the finish line.

The house is beautiful, a handmade piece of Greg’s creative art. He has carved the wood, worked the iron and built a home that will last for many, many lifetimes.

And yes, the time will come when we can carry our toothbrushes across the gravel driveway and move into our new home, but our tiny home serves us just fine, for the time being.

So I wonder, how is it that this thing called time can stand still, slip sadly away, draw near and still have no known end in sight?

I honestly do not know the answer, but there is one thing that I do know with certainty.

No matter what the time, it is always ever-so precious.

Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in south-central Ohio. Visit them on the web at straightcreekvalleyfarm.com.