I’m not the best at telling people when I need a break. You’ll find me creeping back afterwards, a little sheepish, pulling meadow weeds out of my hair. I just don’t realize how much I needed the escape until I am already sprinting full tilt into the wild.
I won’t apologize, exactly. I find it disingenuous when people apologize for things they don’t intend to change, and I’m old enough to know there’s little hope for me yet to grow up. And if you needed a break from me I would hope you, too, could just run awake and wild into your sacred spaces. So let’s not bill this as such an awful thing.
Still, our souls are a bit intertwined, yours and mine. I took a little break from my weekly blogging, and as I often do, I said to my husband, “Maybe I’ll just stop blogging. I’m not entirely sure why I do it anyway.” He rolled his eyes for the sheer familiarity of the conversation, which happens at least once a year, like clockwork. And then I said — sheepishly again — “Oh, yes, I remember.”
It’s you: you reading, wherever you are and whatever state of mind you’re in. I don’t always answer your comments, but I always read them. And even if you don’t comment I know you’re there. I like you. And I’m happy to see you. Sometimes things are just that simple.
Since I last talked to you the rain has come. For us the rain is closely followed by snow — sometimes they’re almost mixed together — and we weren’t ready. We got the hay stacked and covered, but not the wood. We got two apple trees planted and the food all stored but the chimney set is not yet put into the dream house.
Nick cut a hole in the roof on the day before it was expected to rain and then that was a hard 24 hours, you can imagine, with him working in the middle of the night and then still getting caught on the roof in hail and lightning. He called down to me that his ladder had fallen and he needed my help, and with darkness falling and the storm coming on all three of our children burst into tears. I wasn’t far behind, as far as falling part goes, and I won’t apologize for that either. Sometimes growing up is overrated.
But just as soon we were gathered around our little wood stove, eating our thick and chunky applesauce — we like our applesauce to look and feel homemade, since that’s what it is — and listening to the rain pound on our canvas roof. Nick says we’re late doing the wood, and he’s right. But we’ve never yet done our wood before October.
I was sick last week, with a perfectly ordinary flu. I needed to rest in the middle of the day, so Nick set up a sleeping bag on the not-yet-made-up bed in the cabin, and I rested there in absolute quiet, looking out of the window until I fell asleep.
I thought, “This is why people build houses.”
I also thought, how good things aren’t always celebrations with balloons and big reveals and jumping up and down. Sometimes good things are a peaceful place to grieve, or a quiet when your soul needs quiet. Sometimes good things are just barely making it. And that isn’t always a sign that you’re a hot mess. It might be a sign that you’re doing hard things, or that you live in hard places. It might be a sign you’ve been through a lot in this life, but you’re still going, one foot in front of the other. That’s the best news there is.
It’s still election season in the US, and for me the election season is like carrying around a feed sack on my back all day long. It’s like doing my dishes and my chores all the time weighed down by that old ghost Marley’s chains. I have allegiances to my home, and these are one party. I have allegiances to my heart, and these are the other party. I am not an undecided voter. But I am constantly weighing and considering, in which moments I should share my unpopular opinions, and in which moments I should run away to the meadow and hang out with the birds.
It’s exhausting. Really. And as much as we hope it will be over in November, when the election is done, then we’ll still have to recover from all the nasty things we’ve said to each other. I’m not pressing now for a victory on white horses. I’m hoping for us all to have a peaceful place to grieve, a quiet when the soul needs quiet, and ways to heal.
Now the world around me is turning down and in. Down and in. We’re reading The Princess and the Goblin, out loud, when we can hear it over the rain. Some friends came up to play and as well as conversation and company they brought me two big bins of red cheeked apples, ready to be turned into more and more of that chunky applesauce.
Wishing you today all the glory of just barely making it; also, sweet things just the way you like them; and also, peace if you need some peace, and don’t we all?
With love from the yurt,
PS. Though I didn’t share it here, I did do a personal chat video last week about philosophical things and haircuts. Here it is in case you missed it. Enjoy!