Monday, December 13, 2010

narnia, ny: population 1

When I was about ten I was gifted the entire Chronicles of Narnia Series for the Holidays. I still remember reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by the time I went to bed on Christmas day. I devoured it in hours. I loved the other world, and I especially loved the idea of it existing alongside the mundane. I think we all strive for that in some sense. We know there's a world we can't change, but a home we can create. For some of us it's the stuff in our backpack as we hike the entire AT, and for other's it's a little farm in Jackson.

Outside my house is one lamppost. The Millers (whom I bought the house from), had connected it to the house so I can flip it on when I get home. I never thought much about it in the summer, but now that there's a heavy snowfall coming down outside: I keep thinking of Narnia. I keep thinking if I wait outside by that snowy lamppost in the woods a fawn named Tumnus will come out of the woods and tell me something important. Or, more lightly, a horned sheep who's hungry for grain.

It's really coming down out there. In a minute I'll suit up and check on Pig, close up the chickens, and walk up to see the sheep on the hill. I want to see if they are using the shelters yet, now that there's a driving snow. I know Maude, Sal, and Joseph are in theirs, but I am curious to see if this 3-5 inches falling tonight will get the Scots in their winter quarters. I'll grab a lantern and my crook and put on a hat with earflaps. Take that, fashionistas.

This place no longer feels like a stranger's house. It took a whole spring, summer, and fall but now that winter is here and I will soon have been in this place an entire year: it feels like home. It feels like mine. I pulled in from the white-knuckled drive in white-out conditions and just instantly went to the work of caring for the place and my animals. Got pots on the stove, got a fie going, put water on for tea, saw to the animals. When you come inside from all that, eat a meal, and sit down to read on a winter night you can't help but sigh. For tonight at least I am warm, full, and surrounded by my pack of kind dogs. I'm exhausted, but it's a happy tired. And older kind of tired. The tired that we all thought went extinct before every home had a microwave and a Tivo. I love this tired. It can eat me up.

Oh, and I did eventually get a chance to play a lead character in my High School's performance of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, but I didn't get to be a queen or princess. I played Fenris Ulf, the wolf.

Go figure.

19 Comments:

Blogger laura said...

I wish I had a lamp post like that! I have to admit to Narnia dreams myself. I envision my goats, lovely little girls, having tea with Mr. Tumnus.

http://goodenoughfarm.blogspot.com/2010/11/fine-weather-for-cuppa.html

Thanks for the happy thoughts!

December 13, 2010 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger djp said...

Love the lamp post.

December 13, 2010 at 11:34 PM  
OpenID flamingodancer said...

What a lovely scene you have painted - snow outside, animals in the manager, a roaring fire a book and childhood memories.

Sigh. In Australia we are hot and wet.

December 13, 2010 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger Erika said...

It's corny but I teared up a little reading this. We just started to read Jack that book last night. I always loved it so much.

December 14, 2010 at 12:03 AM  
Blogger Nanette said...

I love that feeling too, coming home really tired, and here, really hot and sticky and sweaty. A cold drink and feet up beckons, but no, it's out to see to the chooks, give them their bread and milk...I know,but they're my girls, and there's only 4 of them, it's how we catch up on our day.

The cats get fed, and litter cleaned, fresh water....then I'm done.

Not as much work as yours Jenna, but enough for this old girl, and I wouldn't chane it for anything....except maybe a visit to narnai.

December 14, 2010 at 12:41 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I'm glad you're feeling "home" in your home. I remember it wasn't too long ago that you wondering when you would feel that sense of home. I'm glad you have found it.

December 14, 2010 at 12:56 AM  
Blogger Toni aka irishlas said...

This is quite eerie..in a way. I had a bit of a chicken tragedy yesterday and after all was cleaned and put back in place, I said out loud to myself and my little homestead "okay Narnia, where's the magic?"

You see, my little plot of ground is on the deed books as Narnia!

Homesteading is hard, rewarding, and magical all the same time. I'm happy to say I get what your saying, with three dogs by my side too.

December 14, 2010 at 6:32 AM  
Blogger seagoddess said...

I can't wait for that feeling even in an apartment; I come home to no heat working on a regular basis in a lovely building owned by a "lovely" landlord. fun times. Good for you Jenna for allowing us to realize we can make things happen.

December 14, 2010 at 6:49 AM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

Proof again, Jenna, that you are one of the most talented writers out there. Thank you for sharing this wonderful gift with us.

December 14, 2010 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

I was surprised to read that it's been almost a year since you bought your farm--and I've been reading along! I hope it continues to be everything you dream.
A purely physical tired is good, isn't it?

December 14, 2010 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

Holy Crap!!! After reading this, and adding my post above, I opened pandora, clicked on my "Laura Marling" radio, and a song from the "Narnia" soundtrack came up. W-E-I-R-D!!

December 14, 2010 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Leiflet said...

It's sort of an accumulation of things. I wanted to call you the other day and tell you that we started getting heavy snow. When i look at the snow falling by the light of a street lamp, i now think of Peter Gabriel's SO. I sat in my car listening to Red Rain, watching the snow fall. I'll always associate that cd with heavy winter now.

I could see SO being a Narnia soundtrack, though.

December 14, 2010 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger hlbrack said...

This post brought me back, Jenna! I, too, loved the Narnia series. And your lamp post is perfect...makes me want to curl up on the couch with a mug of tea and read it all over again (I just might, too.)

Wouldn't it be great if Mr. Tumnus really did come running up through the woods to greet you? Okay, it'd probably be a little scary, but cool too!

Great post all around. There is nothing like that feeling of being bone-tired. I rarely get to experience it. However, this past weekend the Twin Cities got 18" of snow dumped on her and my husband and I had two shovel out our driveway not one, not twice, but three time in 24 hours!

December 14, 2010 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Boyles Family Farms said...

I have always loved those books too, from the time I could read them until now. My girl is 8, and reading them now, and loving them just as much. It's so cool.

December 14, 2010 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Tracey said...

Oh my gosh, that brings back so many memories! I was also gifted the entire set and love it to this day. Oh, I was Mrs. Beaver in our play. :-)

December 14, 2010 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Eleanor said...

Ah, Narnia... don't you wish it was like the Field of Dreams? If you build it, they will come? You have the lamp post, cold, and snow... Keep an eye open for Mr. Tumnus.

December 14, 2010 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger greendria said...

Beautiful writing as usual

December 15, 2010 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Duane said...

Jenna, you are really coming into your own...as a writer...as a sheep herder...as a farmer...so many things....you are a beautiful intelligent woman. Sure wish I was 20 years younger because you are a great catch! Expect someone to come into your life in 2011....I just have a feeling and it is going to turn your good life into a 'great' life...I don't know why I have that feeling...but I do ..and I 'guarantee' it!

Duane

December 15, 2010 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

The Chronicles of Narnia are some of my favorite books. I think your little place is the other side of the wardrobe, where you are the princess. There is that old saying that "home is where the heart is," I think your heart has found a home.

You must have gone to a great high school.

December 16, 2010 at 8:15 AM  

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