I'll warn you that I run the risk of repeating myself in this post. Today is the first time in a long time I've sat down to blog with a clear purpose in mind and a focused message.
Let's go back to when I first got here. I was in mourning but hopeful. I had a purpose--to love my family through their bellies by growing our own food and to teach others to do the same. To show them how easy it could be with just a little effort. This was something I had learned while baking bread. The thought of taking a powder, mixing a few other things into it and turning that into food with my very own hands was daunting, but when I had overcome it with a fair amount of ease, I figured I'd apply the same formula to everything else. You just take it one step at a time and things work. It hadn't worked for the baby I had just lost but maybe I could start over. Reboot. Maybe losing that baby I was so sure was destined to live was a glitch.
So, I began to till the earth. I planned and planted, fed and watered, trellised and tied and by the time I got the rest of my family back here, because a new friend had watered the garden for me, I had vegetables and a hernia.
Having them here was healing. Watching them wander around the land I had worked so hard to prepare for them made me happy. Gasping at the beauty of a passing butterfly, at the wonder of a whizzing hummingbird, at the danger of a looming bell hornet... these things soothed my wounds a bit. I felt strong enough to begin to reach out to the world again. I had already committed to being the president of the PTA and was about to embark on another challenge at the same time: founding a chapter of the mommies network to which I belonged in Charlotte. Starting all three of these things essentially at the same time and then getting my hernia repaired was a certain folly now that I look back on it. Just plain dumb. But that's how I am. I am filled with joy at the thought of possibility. I'm the optimistic dreamer. I wanted to recreate what I had found in Charlotte. I wanted to have friends who had kids so that my kids would have other kids to play with. No kidding.
And a year later, I have that. Kinda. For the first time in my life, I am unable to control the results. As a child, I decided that I would graduate early and go to college. I decided I would go to France. I decided that I would get a part in a play. I decided that I would do this or do that. All of my life, all it took was deciding that I would do something and then I did it. I've written books, run half-marathons (and a tiny triathlon), I've invented, painted, drawn, sewn, baked, traveled, sang, spoke, excelled... all because I decided. But after losing Aaron--DURING losing Aaron, I somehow lost my decider mojo. I lost faith in my own superpowers and now I don't know how to use them anymore. I doubt myself. I don't tell anyone about it. I just decide what I'm going to do and then i say to myself "I'll try" instead of "I'm gonna." Maybe that's the difference now.
I don't know.
What I do know is that all the work I've done over the past year, ignoring my garden, ignoring my kids, ignoring my marriage, ignoring my dreams...all in order to have more contacts... It's worked in the wrong way. I know people. But instead of bringing me opportunities for further exchanges of enrichment like it has all of my life, it has mainly brought me drama and more work. Is it me? Am I so broken that I can't even see the drama I'm inciting? Or am I closer to normal and just experiencing the normal amount of drama I was oblivious to before? Is it Lynchburg? Is this place a microcosm of high maintenance relationships? Maybe a combination. Whatever it is, I am done. I am at the point where I've looked around and decided that this is not the life for which I came here.
I don't want any more piddly arguments over parental choices. I don't want my expressed opinions about something as trivial as a book of vampire fiction to be the reason that someone else doubts his or her intelligence or value (though I maintain that the Twilight saga is pure, banal drivel and the expression of that opinion is in NO WAY a swipe at anyone's education or value... I truly, genuinely don't give a flying FUCK what people read, but I won't sit quietly and pretend that I don't HATE Twilight... period... that doesn't mean I'm superior and that Twilighters are INferior... It simply means, I...Don't....Like.... Twilight and its sequels).
The temptation, of course, was to just hermit myself. That would have been safe and easy. I don't have to deal with people if I don't want to. I have that luxury now having as much land as we do and being as self-sufficient as we can be (and are becoming more so). But, I don't think that's healthy for myself or my children. That said, I will be spending less time, in general, with people. I'm giving up all activities that only add stress and drama. Maybe not permanently but for at least long enough for me to get back to why I came here.
Here it is--and I've written it on a dry erase board on my closet to remind me--Home, Write, Heal, Read and Relax. Those are my words for 2012 and I'm getting a head start on 'em.
Home... For a year, I've been largely ignoring my home. I come in, throw things down and leave again. No more. I'm spending more time in and on my home. I have yet to make a true connection to the place. A true connection. The kind that leaves a hole in you if you move away. The one that makes you miss home just a little when you're on vacation. Sam has it. The kids have it. I have yet to really bond with this place because while it should have been a place of hope and healing, it has been tainted by failure and disappointment. What I need to do is FORGIVE. The whole universe. France. Myself. God. This land. I have forgiven far worse offenders in my life, so why can't I surmount this hump? I'm gonna work on that now. I'm going to make my garden a place I want to be. I'm going to make my house somewhere I can write. I'm going to make my woods somewhere I can walk when I need a little therapy. I'm going to make my yard somewhere my kids want to play. I'm going to make my home my own. I'm going to make it Home.
Write... I think you know what this means. I need to get back to my writing. I have left this behind. I want to spend half of next year teaching my children at home. So, I need to spend the rest of this year and the first half of the next, writing and getting that done. No more stupid TV. No more time wasted on dramatic interaction with other people. It may mean I spend more time talking to YOU. *eyes bulge* Maybe I'll get my sense of humor back?
Heal... This is not just a mental and emotional goal. I'm talking physical. If I'm going to make my temple a place that is going to last, I'm going to have to get on it before I have no metabolism left and decline into diabetes.
Read... One of my first loves. She lives here in my house, patiently waiting for me on a shelf and/or in my e-reader. Just waiting for a little time. A little kiss.
Relax... I spend so much time doing shit that I don't enjoy anything. Cooking used to soothe me. Running used to heal me. Now, I feel like all I do is hustle. I do and do and do, thinking I'm doing it to help people and to make myself happy, but I don't feel like I'm helping anyone and I'm OBVIOUSLY not happy. I want to sit on my deck and drink tea. I want to WANT to play with my kids. I want to rake leaves. I want to cook slowly and enjoy every cut, every stir, every taste. I want that back, dammit. I want my heart back. My life. And the only way I know how to do that is to reboot. Start over. Cut ties and nurse myself back to health on all fronts.
I have more to say. I talk to you while I'm working. While I was pulling up last year's tomato plants this weekend. While I wash dishes. While I argue with pettiness. While I write my yearly November novel. All the time. I still have a lot to say. And maybe I'll say it, later. Right now, I'll show you some pics. And then, I need to get to my life. You understand.
Solomon growing up...
Solomon's favorite spot...Much to Lily's annoyance...
Ryan at his karate tournament...Where he won 2nd place for his kata...
Ryan taking a drive on a tractor...
On our way to the Harvest Festival at Concord Elementary...
My Halloween Party sweatshop!!!
Decorating the homestead and haunting the forest!
LynchburgMommies' One Year Birthday and Halloween party...
Marcus the Carcass (lit up)
Lily studied about Pocahontas and wanted to become her. So, I found a beige pillow case and indulged her. We braided up and borrowed a few chicken feathers from the yard. Indroducing Pocahontas Tissot....
Halloween Night... Pre-Trick or Treat!
Next-to-the-last Garden Harvest
I walked into Ryan's room and caught him sitting cross-legged on his floor, his chin on his palm, staring down at the floor where there was a pad of paper where he had drawn a bunch of squares and had put a series of blocks and rocks and stuff on there. I looked across from him and saw that his Tigre was sitting in the same position. I said, "Ryan, what are you doing?" Without looking up, still concentrating on the paper in front him, he said, "Tigre and I are playing chess."
I couldn't help but capture that. LOL!!!
Solomon hanging out watching the game...
Ryan Ropes Laurel into playing "chess."
The final steps in the evolution of our chicken tractor....
There you go...