Today I will try a new tactic.
It is a chilly morning, so I have wrapped myself up in the cozy prayer shawl Suzy made me and have sat myself out in the back to look at the pink western mountains, the clear blue sky and the solitary sunflower who is flashing a smile from her corner of the yard.
Busy town noises serenade me, the tap, rat-a-tat-tat of a jackhammer somewhere on the road project downtown. Cars pulling in to the doctor's office across the street. Beep, beep, beep, a big truck backing up somewhere, maybe near the jackhammer. Any minute now I expect to hear a train sound off as it enters the station.
Threaded throughout all those small town noises, a dog barks, several birds sing, at least 5 or 6 that I can distinguish. They are happy to hang out in our backyard in the pecan trees, the oak, and especially the figs. When the Turners built this home, there was no hospital nearby. No golf course. No doctor's office. No neighbors. At least no neighbors right next door. He was a professor at the University three blocks or so up the hill. She was an artist. He is now deceased, and has an animal science complex named after him. She is in a retirement home. I have never met them, but I can tell why they chose this spot for their home. Things have built up over the last almost sixty years; even so, I still have a lovely view of the mountains that surround our little town.
I have felt blocked in my blog writing. I used to love to get the kids to bed and then sit down with the computer to wrap up my day. Either sitting on the deck or in my room, windows open, nighttime sounds permeating our little world. Nowadays, Maggie and Patrick have cross country training, every evening of the week. They leave at 6:45, bike over the the highschool, then head to the hills with Coach and the team. Sweaty, flushed, exclaiming over the four miles or the six miles or the ice baths, they get in close to 9:00. We are having a hard time getting supper done together and figuring out how to read our book out loud at the end of the day.
Consequently blog writing, or any writing for the matter, falls to the wayside as we try to make bedtime happen in such a busy household.
Someone asked me if I missed the farm or regretted our move.
Without hesitation, I said, no, not one bit. Of course I miss our friends, but, no, not the farm.
Well. I have no regrets. I love our new home and the view and our town. It amazes me that the bakery is getting such a great reception and I am beyond grateful for our new customers and especially grateful to have a business that provides for our family that allows me to do what I love to do. Living in town in a smaller house with a big backyard, near enough to schools to walk is such a relief I can't begin to tell you. We can manage here. I am thrilled to be near family. This Friday we will head to Austin to celebrate my sister's birthday with her and her son and Mom and Daddy.
But maybe I miss the farm more than I wish to admit to myself. Maybe I am afraid that if I admit that I miss the farm, I will think that I made a mistake. Or maybe if I admit that I miss the farm it will open my heart up to yet another wave of grief.
I do miss the farm.
I watched the full moon rise through the notch in the mountains as my friend and I enjoyed our Sunday night picnic at the Post park in Marathon. We ate (yet again!) stuffed patty pan squash served on a bed of spaghetti squash, everything covered with a fresh tomato sauce with peppers and onions and garlic and eggplant and herbs. All locally grown, purchased at the farmers market from new friends. Plenty of freshly milled whole grain italian peasant bread. A glass of red wine. Mason jars of cool water. Ducks splashed in the creek, evening birdsong echoed through the pecan trees, rustling cottonwood leaves made an overhead canopy. The evening sky metamorphosed, changing from clear blue to pink and orange and then black velvet. Warm dry air felt fresh.
I didn't miss the farm so much at that moment. We were surrounded by lovely nature, peaceful noises.
But when the days get busy and I forget to sit outside and listen to the whispering leaves there is an ache in my heart and I realize how easy it was to experience my world when I had to go outside and milk Coco every morning and every evening. I don't want to go back. I love it here. My heart has been in this region since I was around 12 years old. So even though I have no regrets and am very happy to be back home, I might as well be honest with myself and admit that I miss the farm so much it hurts. I miss the willow tree and how she changes throughout the seasons. I miss the sound of the wind barreling down our valley along the top of the ridge, just like a train rushing down the tracks. I miss watching the sheep make their way to the barn in the evening light, lambs skipping and leaping. I miss mucking the barn and homeschooling and family all together, planting and harvesting.
And if Philip were still alive, I guess we would probably still be there, somehow figuring out how to work things out on the farm. I miss him.
A monarch butterfly just flew past me and headed to the fig tree. Or maybe over the the pink and yellow lantana bush directly beyond. Tabby is sprawled on a warm spot on the patio, seemingly relaxed, but I know she is keeping her eyes open for lizards. A gentle breeze stirs the leaves and the sun makes her way up the sky, reminding me that I won't need the prayer shawl for too much longer. I have to get up and get to work anyway. Bills await my attention. I am still trying to find new distributors to provide my quality ingredients for the bakery.
PS Later today someone is bring me a load of manure from her farm down the road. I made a request via Freecycle. We have several other offers, I just have to go and get it. Some waste hay as well!!! Thomas and Patrick have laid out cardboard from moving boxes and compost we started a month ago to make a couple of garden beds. We might not get a fall garden growing, but at least we will be ready for spring. Lasagna gardening, here we come!