Monday, August 29, 2011

a glorious empire

So many of the roads around here are closed, bridges washed away. My commute to Vermont every Monday through Thursday for work just got a little more complicated. I drove south twenty miles and crossed the state line where it was safe before driving all the way back north to the office. Usually it's a straight shot, about twenty minutes in the truck. Today took longer, and afforded me the chance to explore.

I drove across random county roads, 68 took me through Grandma Moses territory. Rolling, dramatic, cow-splattered hillsides dappled in sunshine. Had a Tropical Storm really come through here less than 24 hours ago? It seemed a lie. Storms are not possible things on movie sets, are they? Between Gillian singing Scarlet Town on the speakers and Gibson hanging his thin frame out the passenger-side window, it was something out of a make-believe world. A fantasy I once read about in Borders (when Borders was around) during college, sipping coffee and paging through Hobby Farm magazine between studios. I love this county. I love this state. I love how it heals, and teaches, and puts on a show after a horrible mood. Truly, it is a glorious Empire, this.

I came home a new way too, and it was like driving through some Hobbit village. I found a road called Mylers off 7A and it weaved and ducked through a series of random dirt roads back home. I passed a man driving a draft horse in a John Deere themed forecart. He waved and I smiled. Mark my words readers: We will all live to see John Deere selling green and yellow collars and hames. This world is changing right in front of us, everyday.

I kept going, behind old forests, small dairy and sheep farms. New places, untouched places. Past the Monks and Nuns of New Skete, over small bridges and quiet water. I popped out near 372 at the base of Cambridge. By the time I got home I felt like I learned a few secrets. Like I saw something only yetis and unicorns new about, and it was there all along.

Imagine that?

I had a few chores to do at home. Soon as I got in the door and walked and fed the dogs I grabbed my crook and let the whole flock (minus Atlas, who was in his ram pen) out into the greener pasture. I had to walk the fence line and look for downed trees (though the only downed trees were over my garbage cans). All the rain littered a carpet of green with apples and waving grasses. I let them each eat a few before I went to get Jasper, who had been cooped up in his stall for two days and was so thrilled to run and chomp he flew across the grass. I let go of the lead snap and released him into the gate and felt like I just through a lightening bolt into the world.

I watched him. My whole body felt ten pounds lighter. Maybe it's the yoga practice, or the meditation, or just the fact we all made it through the storm in so much devastation just minutes away, but the happiness was thick. And I felt a little more certain about myself, and things I did not approve of, and how much the attention I was paying to my own body and heart was making me feel better. The other morning during that yoga retreat the teacher said during meditation. "Be at peace. You have support. You are cared for." and all I could think about was this community, both in actuality and online. I glowed on that mat. I was so grateful, for the readers, and the friends, and the animals. This is what I thought about after the storm, out in my pasture, and in that growing strength of my little, battered up, fiddle-strung heart I watched a spotted pony cry out a happy whinny and smiled. Time to make some changes. Time to learn to move and learn to shout like a pent-up pony.

Sun. Stretching. Grass. Survival. Animal. Smiles. Healing.

This woman is learning how to live in the world.


Blogger Patti said...

It's so good to hear that all is fine on Cold Antler Farm. You did good Jenna.

August 29, 2011 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger Mimi's Tapawingo said...

I am glad you are safe, along with all the creatures you love so much. It is times like this , after the big blow, that we realize that the grass is not always greener on the other side. We are safe, our children and animals are safe and we should remember to say thank you.

August 29, 2011 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger onesilentwinter said...

beautiful Jenna.

August 29, 2011 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Victoria Nidetch said...

You are wise beyond your years Jenna.

August 29, 2011 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger Gordy said...

Hi Jenna that was beautiful you are in God's Country, that is what I call it anyway. Someday I will be there to. Glad you and your animals all made it through the storm safely.

August 29, 2011 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Victoria, I assure you, I am not.

August 29, 2011 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger DarcC said...

Great post!

August 29, 2011 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger Gramma Phyllis said...

Jenna, you may not feel that you are wise beyond your years, but you are wise enough to be open to learning from the world you live in and the people and animals that surround you. Not many people are and that makes you appear wise to those standing on the sidelines. Peace be unto you and your farm. And may the Great Spirit continue to surround you with His wisdom.

August 29, 2011 at 9:14 PM  
Blogger Cody Jarrett said...

Don't you have a post that ends in similar fashion about once a month, roughly?

August 29, 2011 at 9:14 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Probably! I get hit once a month, or so, and try to live better. I have a lot to learn, a lot to fix up, and posts like this wi'll keep happening too.

August 29, 2011 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Thank goodness for the unexpected which gives us a chance to see something new that we didn't know was there, especially when it reaffirms the life we have chosen!

August 29, 2011 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Found your blog by way of Bedlam Farm. I'm happy to see that others in the state fared well (I don't have a farm, just a house in a town, but had no damage to speak of)! Even in damaged areas, though, there is a resilience there that speaks well of the people who live here, or at least of their stubbornness.

August 29, 2011 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger admin said...

Thanks for the great post…

Glad all is well for you and your team.

August 29, 2011 at 9:44 PM  
Blogger T said...

Gramma Phillis said it best!

August 29, 2011 at 11:54 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Beautiful... Just beautiful... :)

August 30, 2011 at 12:37 AM  
Blogger mdean5417 said...

Hi Jenna,
I've found through observation that humans exhibit the same wonders as nature - especially teen children. We see the storm then we see a calm, at least for a while. For a short time afterward we have hope and see good things to come because out of the chaos we can make order if we know what to look for. Natural systems were here and operating fine long before we noticed them. They can show us some cool stuff if folks let them. Glad to see you made it through!

August 30, 2011 at 1:02 AM  
Blogger Cynthia R. said...

What a lovely post...even in the aftermath of a hurricane you can find so much beauty. So glad that CAF made it through the storm.

August 30, 2011 at 7:07 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Glad to hear you made it through the storm. Being well prepared was worth it. I also enjoyed reading about your newly discovered "neighborhood", sounds just like the Vermont and New York I love to visit.

Unfortunately, we still have no power, running a generator. Its no fun to have no running water or toilets for 4 days. They keep calling to tell us our power is back on line and we keep calling them to tell them its not. The neighbors here are getting testy. So thankful for the generator.

August 30, 2011 at 7:08 AM  
Blogger Mindy Smith said...

Long time reader, first time poster.

Your thoughts resonate with mine of late. Maybe it's something in the air? Fall? Harvest time?!

Whatever the case is, it's a good feeling and I hope it sticks around for you!

August 30, 2011 at 3:24 PM  

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