Friday, May 11, 2012

On the other side of that leaf

Gently down the stream.
It has been nearly seven months since we left our hilltop church-turned-farmhouse for this creekside mill cabin with a barn built for the century storms, a history not so elevated but still revered, a long-gone pioneer family's orchards and flower gardens, and a pond filled with frogs.

Our life is quiet now, audibly hush-hush, as we go about our gardening and our school days and our dance afternoons.

Those curls! And my boy nearly two. What's a mom to do?
 We don't have neighbors, and is taking some adjusting. I had thought of myself as somewhat hermetic (and by that I mean hermit-esque even though I know it's not exactly correct). In our old home we were often and regularly surprised by visitors and strolling neighbors. We lived in the country to be sure but it was a tiny village of old and we occupied the ancestral church. That dwelling had open doors while this one has many gates. We are off the beaten path on a dead-end road eight miles from any post office or store. We walk and it's through the woods instead of to the neighbors' front porch.
In case we must replace our current dilapidated/charming/beatrixpotter fence, I take pictures of others.
 I forget things.
My five at Sarah's flute recital. The personalities!
I forget that coffee with a neighbor, planned or unplanned, is a comfort. I forget that electricity, internet and phone service are somewhat spotty when there are only ten farms on your road. I forget that independence, interdependence and community must each be fostered. I have my food storage in order and my school time organized and I love my home life but at times I miss a sense of connection even in the midst, or maybe especially in the midst, of community theater productions, dance studio commitments and a demanding family business.

Our own private recital in the apple trees.
I forget how it was to be at the center of activity. Many days here the hummingbirds are the busiest inhabitants of our farm. Oh! And we have honey bees now, which is ever so mesmerizing in its steady buzz. But people? I forget. I can easily jump in surprise when the mail delivery honks at the gate with a package.

I drove past our old home this week and remembered that I did love it there. I loved it in spite of selling our previous, larger, adored Dutch Colonial home. My realization? I don't miss the 1898 converted church (even when the construction projects here are on hold. Again.). I miss the sense of neighborliness. I miss the buzz of the grange hall activities and the Thursday senior luncheons at the lodge across the road. I miss our neighbors who don't live there anymore, and whose leaving I mourned before we decided to buy this wonderful acreage.

The swallows (?) finding a birdhouse left behind by previous owners. Glad I didn't move it.
One of the girls related to me her amazement at another child's wish to move. He'd lived in the same house his entire 12 years. "It might make you sad," she said, "to leave the place you've always lived."

But it might bring new adventures and that elusive perspective.


BLD in MT said...

Oh, there are always pros and cons to everything, aren't there? Having recently moved I can appreciate what you are saying to some degree. I don't miss our old house at all, but I miss our kindly neighbor (and one who moved even before we did, too). I miss the look of the street (it was in a historic part of town). I miss being closer to the library and co-op and the sense of community walking to those places gave me. But, I am finding new things to fill those voids at the new neighborhood. Still, it is hard and a bit sad. But, one never knows what blessing one will find so here is hoping for the both of us to finally find snippets of what we left behind.

Margo said...

well, this is interesting. I crave silence and hiding away so much sometimes. . . maybe I just need to seek that out a little bit instead of moving to the hills.