Saturday, September 1, 2018

Claw Marks

Sometimes after a meal here I need to stop and realize what just happened.

My morning was fueled in the usual way; a cup of reheated coffee from yesterday's percolator. Fortified, the dogs and I headed outside into our small dirt empire. The collection of animals and plants I have been tending since the snow melted. The daily work all through the wet summer points towards mornings like this. Once everyone was fed and water carried - I collected a large pile of cherry tomatoes off the now-sagging plants. I threw ones that had already burst from ripeness to the hens at my feet, which had formed around me well aware of the drill. They stole little tomatoes, the size of cantaloupes to them, and ran away like school children playing pranks.

I brought the fruits inside and set them in a bowl. In the fridge was some breakfast sausage from the pigs I raised, left over from yesterday as well. I set it out on the counter along with a few eggs I had collected the evening before. Basil from the garden was in a mug of water, waiting for meals to add it's sweetness to. The only thing I hadn't raised or grown for this breakfast was the mozzarella cheese. I was going to have a sausage, tomato, basil and cheese omelet.

I cooked the omelet and sat down to enjoy it, sharing it with my hard-working dogs. I drizzled some sausage, fat, and egg over their kibble bowls and we all ate together in the living room in contented silence. As each bite hit my lips I could see my dirty feet, cross-legged in my lap, and smile at the life that brings such hedonistic meals and hard work together like so.

I worry so much about the keeping of this place. But I worry because of mornings like this and the life I created and how the holding onto it means more than anything I know. But I wanted to share that this morning I woke up to this intense anxiety that September has arrived and I have no firewood, a stove in need of repair, and am still earning summer mortgage payments - but you know what? I only have that panic because of mornings like this. Because it fuels every day with worth and meaning and deeds that give a human being a reason to wake up and keep trying.

Some day this story won't be about struggle. Some day it will be about love and adventure and the wealth of contentment that comes from knowing your roof is safely yours and watertight. But right now I am glad for mornings like this, for meals like this, and for a place that I will hold onto so tight I leave claw marks when moved.