For nearly a week now, every time I sit down to a clean, wordless draft page I freeze and cannot construct even one sentence. My eyes get too wide and my mouth goes dry and I am tempted to just delete this blog completely. Instead I click over to Facebook or scan Feedly to see what other people are saying. Or I shut everything down and read a book. It’s not that I have writer’s block, whatever that is; it’s that there is just so much happening in my life right now, both the internal, unseen stuff and the vibrant, flesh and blood thrumming relationships and the dirt and hooves goings on of our farm, that I scarcely know where to start. Where to dive in. How to begin unraveling the messy, twisted, knotted pile of different colored yarns that make up my life lately.
Last weekend my baby girl turned eighteen. That is a wonderful, amazing thing, truly a gift, but because of our family circumstances right now I have no idea how to write about it, except to say that my heart bursts with pride and withers in pain and bursts and withers over and over again, daily. I wrote for her and about her a hundred or so times and deleted everything. But my gosh, you know, it’s not all about me, even though mine is the only story I can tell accurately and with full permission. We’ve been through that.
So not writing about that has kept me from writing about anything else. Nothing else is as important except for her sister, anyway, and by the way her life story is taking more fascinating turns every week. If a moment arises where I feel unprepared or unworthy, I have to stop and say thank you because nothing here is abnormal. It’s all I’ve been asking for for years.
This is where I have sometimes had to read my own messages again about worry and faith. Prayer and positive focus. No doubt in my ribs and belly, these messages are sent to me first, for me. I realize that sounds goofy.
Everyone around us is geared up for a new school year, posting photos of newly sprouted, suntanned children in crisp new clothes, parents either bemoaning the end of summer or celebrating a quiet house that can finally be cleaned in the daytime. Meanwhile I am working to keep the small veggie garden producing and the animals happy in the heat and humidity. I am paying better attention to the flower beds in anticipation of a our niece’s outdoor wedding here in just a few weeks. And I am running hot, early morning miles and swimming every chance I get. Here at the farm, summer isn’t over until the pool closes and I have to wear a jacket to run. From the looks of things, we have several weeks remaining. This is good.
Have I told you yet that we bid adieu to two llamas? Romulus returned to his original home with Dean and Maribeth (thank you, friends!) and has already adjusted well to his guard post there. Dulcinea has a new home with the cousin of our transport and hay farming friend Billy, and that new home has a pond which I know she must love. Dulcie is a swimmer. We miss them both of course, but the purpose of this change was to bring our two horses home to graze freely in the middle and back fields. Previously, the horses and llamas could not mix at all. Lots of violence. So this has been bittersweet but ultimately wonderful. The youngest of the three llamas, Meh, still lives here at the W, and he and the horses have adapted to each other splendidly. This is all very, very good news for lots of reasons.
Also on the happy animal-integration front, Klaus our new German Shepherd puppy is learning more every day about appropriate animal relationships. He shows measured restraint with the buffalo, unbridled passion with the barn cats, and a dangerous sort of are-you-or-aren’t-you-a-stuffed-toy? curiosity with the smallest chickens. Our days and evenings are infinitely more fun with Klaus here. My Facebook friends have been very kind, indulging me with love on every photo of him I post. He is one hundred percent the best farm dog in the history of farm dogs anywhere on this planet. And he is already almost too big to sit in my lap, but yesterday I did manage to teach him to drive a stick shift. The Jeep is plenty roomy enough.
Things are good. I am catching my breath emotionally, having just realized I’d been holding it for a while. And working and playing and carpeing every diem to the best of my ability. Sometimes this includes an afternoon siesta on the deck.
Are you happy we are midway through August? What does that even look like in your life? August used to be so hectic, so blistering hot and uncomfortable, such a month of transition. I am looking around now, happy to see that actually it is a month full of more of all my favorite stuff. Some extra challenges. But mostly? Overwhelming peace and hope. And so many beautiful sunsets.
“Deep Summer is when laziness finds respectability.”