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March 5, 2010

Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons.
It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.

Walt Whitman

For several weeks, now, I have come to this space, clicked new post, and….
Nothing. Nada. Brain freeze. Blank page.
I have slunk away in guilt time and again wondering why…why do I have nothing to bring to this space?

It’s not like nothing is happening around here. School is still taxing my idealism, I am still essentially unemployed, and the kids are still hysterical. I’ve wanted to share musings about stealing away into the wilderness on a snowy afternoon last week. Wanted to document Graysen’s recent abiding fondness for a little toothbrush set (complete with a business card from the dentist!!). Hell, I’ve even considered waxing poetic about the new feel of freedom since the littles began riding the bus home from school. That extra hour of alone time is luxurious.

But, nothing.

I have been stuck, somehow, in the irony of being too non compos mentis to write…and not feeling non compos mentis enough to write anything interesting.

I also think I’ve been hibernating in my brain. This interminable winter we’ve had has lulled me into some sort of wordless coma. I’ve never been more ready to feel the sun again…to see my daffodils pop up through last year’s fallen leaves, and watch the willow turn a gentle shade of green. Never been more ready to throw the windows and doors open to the amazing scent of spring.

Now, I can feel it in the air.

Perhaps another reason for my silence is that I feel my life shifting and changing all around me. Big things are on the horizon, many of which aren’t yet clear…and some of which I can’t write about. Yet. 2010 is shaping up to be the year we get our lives back. The year in which we find our true selves…finally. At the very very least, we’ve started down the path to huge changes and it’s widening into some of the most amazing views I have ever seen.

In the meantime, I am working to center myself and become reacquainted by degrees with what is truly important. The crux of that process is simple: It’s to simplify.

I have always found this frenetic, impulse-driven culture to be deeply, painfully flawed. I’ve always craved something else, some experience below the surface. What I crave could be easily summed up by saying I want to know where my food comes from. That I want to plant, nourish, grow, and pick it myself. It could be defined by my abiding desire to have chickens–despite hearing reports of how messy or high maintenance they are. The wonder of finding an egg, still warm and tucked in the shadows of a nest, is a truly real and humbling experience, especially in this time of frazzled last minute trips to sterile grocery stores. Especially in light of the poultry industry that still holds sway over so much of our food supply.

I want to take it back.

In the dining room is a bag full of this year’s seeds. Once again, the kids and I will turn the earth and coax life out of it. No small feat in this area. Everything green needs so much nurturing to survive.

But it can be done. We did quite well last year, in fact, and I am now ansy to do so again. I have my row covers, my red mulch…seeds and a little bit of chicken wire and drip hosing. I have a new watering jug to use on the greens until I can connect the drip system again.

And I am burning with that same fire that drove me once, so very very long ago, to walk out into the street in front of my home and fling an entire bag of coins in the air. I was young, ten perhaps, and already disgusted with the grinding, superficial mechanism of the culture in which I lived. At the time, I blamed money…and so decided to give it back to the universe, or something like that, and eschew reliance on such evil.

I walked with a lighter step home, that afternoon. I’d passed through something real…something that changed me. And though my vow to never rely on money again faded with time (perhaps within the span of an afternoon, in fact), I still feel the spark of that stubborn determination in my heart.

And I have plans.

To be continued.

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