Friday, December 9, 2016

Look Up

There is snow and scrappy pride in the air at Cold Antler Farm. The forecast is only calling for a dusting today, but earlier this morning - sometime between farm chores and preparing Aya Cash for a morning hunt - the wind picked up and a small burst of flurries circled the mountain. It felt like I was inside a snow globe. I took in a deep breath and looked around this little farm.

The sheep were eating hay and I had more to pick up later today from good farmers. I would load it in the pickup truck I adore, still running and who I have learned its quirks and rubs the way you learn old friends. Merlin was covered in his mastodon coat and not at all bothered by the chicken on his back enjoying her horse-hair slippers. The dogs ran around me. The goats bleated to the buck. I had firewood, hay, and had fixed the oil boiler by myself this week. (I use firewood for heat but depend on the boiler to heat my water for showers/kitchen). There was  plumbing snafu as well, and while it isn't fixed I diagnosed and diverted the drainage problem. Now water drains into a metal basin in my mud room instead of the floor. Things aren't perfect but trotting into my fifth year of self employment I am a much more capable woman. More disciplined and less deterred. The girl who bought this place would not recognize me today, but she'd still look up to her.

Who were you five years ago? How about ten? Do you miss the past or like yourself better now? I hope that you are happier in the present. Yes, it means aging (something women are told is worse than death on a daily basis) but when I look back at how terrified and emotionally-driven I was I don't envy my twenties. I'm not scared anymore and that feels amazing. And while I am still plenty emotional - they don't take the wheel anymore. My emotions aren't the ones making choices these days and I think that is the main reason I still have this land in my name. Cold Antler Farm went from being a place of growing fantasy to a maintained daydream. This is not a bad thing, by any means. I'm not distracted by new hobbies or additions to the farm. I like my life with the animals, horse, hawk and hounds. I like my work of design, illustrations, farming, and pop culture. And I really like that when things literally fall apart I don't break down and cry - I suck in some air and fix them.

Lessons come to us in all sorts of different ways. Mine mostly come from out-stubborning myself and keeping on. So this post is mostly acceptance and celebration. I'm still here. I'm happy here. And when the snow falls and winter truly hits with the full brunt of his force - I will stand up to him with axe, wrench, and sump pump.


Blogger Unknown said...

Great post. I'm with you, a better person today than 10 years ago, and a more capable person. Over one year under my belt being single and much more self-reliant. It's not easy but it's satisfying and that's cool.

December 9, 2016 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger said...

"Who were you five years ago? How about ten? Do you miss the past or like yourself better now? I hope that you are happier in the present."

In five years my daughters have grown from children to young women, my wife has survived breast cancer, my father has died, and I have begun teaching at the local colleges as a way to leave the public school that has been transformed by new administration. I still go to work every morning of the weekday and do not make my way by writing yet, but there are changes afoot.

I don't miss the past except for my father. I am trying to live very much here and now but in such a way that it makes for the future I'm still dreaming of and working toward.

Reading your books helps. I'm reading E.B. White's One Man's Meat as well and that helps too. I'll keep reading you. Thank you for all your work.

December 10, 2016 at 8:39 AM  

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