Monday, May 21, 2012

When I think about the mixed-up bag of emotions surrounding our move further into the wilderness, I find it funny that I ever have thought I knew what the future held. I thought I was rooted. I did.

Living here fulfills so many lifelong dreams. We actively sought this solitude, this woodsy hideaway. I dreamed of a place with year-round creeks, woods, pastures, a big weathered barn. My son climbs to the top of his own personal mountain and throws rocks. My daughters fence-sit in the best possible way: on ranch fencing overlooking their ponies' fields. So you can see, even I can see, why my sadness (grief) in the course of this move has surprised me.

Transplant shock.That's all it is.We spent our weekend in the creek and in the woods and in the garden. Spreading new roots.

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.

Friday, May 4, 2012