Tonight I spent a good chunk of time in the hammock. It's going to rain tomorrow so the world's all saturated here, about to burst. I was in a pair of light cotton pants and a hoodie and I was as comfortable as if it was August. Which is not a correct way to feel in mid November. But I was glad to have the company of weather as out of place as I felt. So I swayed out there thinking of nothing in particular and everything in general.
I'm grateful for this little farm. It gives me a sense of purpose in a world I'm not sure has one. Here at Cold Antler there are certainties no one can argue with. The animals and garden depend on me to care for them. Eggs need to be collected, drinking water hauled, food offered, wool sheared. You work hard and plant often and hope the sun and soil will carry the general burden and your back will shoulder the deficit. Or something like that. I am very new at this.
I do know that the more you build up a thing the more dissapointed you will be if it doesn't work out. I worry I make the farm too much of myself. I don't want this not working out to crush me. I don't want to be working in an office in ten years and hating myself for not getting my dream of a working farm as my livlihood. Which sometimes makes me wonder if I should be in a loft in Philadelphia and not in a cabin in Vermont. Maybe I should have stayed somewhere safer? Some place where the farm remains a far away dream and not something I am constantly crawling uphill for. I wish I had more faith in this thing. But I never had much faith, I always preferred hope. Which always gets me in horrid amounts of trouble.
I remember an old friend telling me that some people have faith and others have hope, and that difference was what seperated us. He was right. The whole world seems to be divided by people who have questions and those who have anwsers. A dangerous divide, probably the most dangerous.
But I figured something out. When I am at work at this farm my hope churns and writhes until it becomes faith. At some point durring the chores around here a transition takes place. It's as weird and uncomfortable as the weather is right now, but like the creepy wind outside it is ridiculously wonderful. the change happens when I am deep in the work of planting vegetables or fixing fences or working with Sarah and sheep - all my questions become a practice and not an idea. Worry becomes work. Things become clear. And all of a sudden the world falls into my version of order and I get my anwsers. Or something that I allow to pass for anwsers. It really doesn't matter.
I don't know how many people spend perfectly good Friday nights swaying above the world and questioning how hope evolves into faith given the right ratio of dirt and hooves and Octobers and thunderstorms in late July? I hope the number is just enough to keep things interesting, too many of us and nothing gets done except some novels and the occasional garden.
I really should get a TV. Christ.