Writing during the dog days of summer, you would think that the pace would slow down. Each day, I walk the hills and plan our new endeavors, new projects. Yet, our days are packed, with work at home and abroad, summer camp, friends, etc. It feels as though the summer is running away at breakneck speed, carrying all the things we hoped to accomplish.
The list is long: finish the cabinets (and the kitchen), fence in the north woods for a new (unjumpable) goat pasture, build a rabbit tractor, build a garden fence, build a new coop for the growing flock, prep next year's garden beds, mulch the young orchard trees, weed every garden, set up rain catchment, design a greywater system, clean out the studio, set up our office space…
I have to keep simplicity at the center of my vision. That is why we are here. We came for the beauty, for a life given by the earth. Each day we are closer to our vision. Balance is the question. How do we dig our roots in here and branch out into life and community at this same time?
We have met great people and had great opportunities this summer. Dragonfly boy thrived in super-competitive All Star baseball. We became die-hard fans, watching him swing that bat. Pixie is blossoming at summer children's theater at a nearby opera house. He will debut as the Goblin King in The Hobbit. Two Circus Smirkus troupers spent a weekend of their tour with us, inspiring clowning and tricks. The chard grows tall in the garden, the goats are looking round, the chickens cluck joyfully through the yard. We are settling into normal life.
This is home now, with its unique quirks. Life is no longer dust masks and work boots. Dishes, laundry and the bedtime routine once more take center stage. Every time someone pulls up the driveway I am jolted by sudden consciousness of the weeds growing by the house and the porch in need of repair. It all pales beside the beauty of the land and the significance of what we have accomplished.
So, here we go. Now we embark on the mission we set out to establish: daily life. Running barefoot through soft grass, herding goats up the hillside, plucking juicy black raspberries from the thorny stalks. Family dinners, either exhausted or full of laughter. Good stories, music and campfires. The boys are learning to juggle, unicycle and clean their room (can you guess which is the hardest?). I am learning to slow down, to take what comes and not to overcommit my self. It is the space between commitments where life truly happens here, and I guess that is the lesson of my summer.
We have come so far. It takes writing a post like this to remember to slow down and enjoy it. I guess we are all learning to juggle!