I think the gloom is starting to get to me, this rarity of sunshine of a summer. All this rain means this hoary overgrowth of every plant, but it's not the lushness we crave in winter, it's more of a algae on a fishtank - suffocating and foggy. I know that a couple hours of weeding, weed-whacking, and sunshine to dry out the mud could change my tune but as of this morning - I feel like I'm farming in a dirty fishtank.
The horses are muddy, the lambs (who have escaped three times in the last 24 hours, and I can't find where) are muddy, and the chickens have that damp look about them that reminds you of a muppet in a swimming pool. The dogs come inside and track mud everywhere, which can only be mopped up so many times before you just want to hand over your deed to the Swiffer corporation, and the river is too high and muddy to fish.
So, I'm inside writing. I have some news.
I sold my truck yesterday, for less than I wanted for it but I feel lucky to have sold it at all. It's been posted for weeks and needed a lot of work and had the rust of a 25-year-old pickup but the buyer was another farmer who wanted it as a project for himself and his friend to fix themselves, which is a skillset and time sink I do not have. And it will cover the June mortgage, meaning when the money is deposited after this holiday, I'll be caught up to the current month for the first time in years, and hopefully, I can hustle enough sales to not fall back behind. Last month things got harder, the stakes were raised, and I need to be really determined and focused to make this farm work as a solo operation. Maybe someday it will be easier, or not just me here, but that's not something I can ever count on and don't want to wait for, I want this place to thrive with my own time, work, efforts, money and jobs.
Sometimes it's hard to tell where you are in your life? Am I in a slump or on the onramp to big changes? Am I lost in a familiar pattern or am I healing and growing? Am I worth the time and energy people put forth to be a part of my life? Am I returning that time and energy enough? What is my endgame? You know, the kind of thoughts usually drowned out by sunlight and floating on my back down a clear and quiet river... but instead - flooding.
My current goals for this month is safe tires on the Subaru to replace the bald ones without treads, hoping to use some of the truck money for that this week. I have to start saving for firewood for winter heat, and hay, and there's Lughnasadh to start preparing for, which will be hosted at this farm in early August. I may have up to three falconry apprentices this fall to mentor, and trapping season is less than 8 weeks away! So there's plenty to look forward to, and work towards, but you can probably feel the fish tank film all over this post, right?
I think there's a sense of failure in having to sell the truck just to catch up to today. There's a sense of fear that over a decade of work in one place is just to maintain it, but never feel safe or successful? There's an existential dread pacing around me right now, and I am not sure what to do other than make my to-do list, hope I make my income goal for the day, finish some freelance, and keep my head down.
There's not any bbq or fireworks, I'm not feeling free or proud to be an American, and if you are, ask yourself why you're feeling patriotic and proud as millions of Americans keep losing freedoms. Because I lost more rights in the last 12 months than I have in the last 40 years. I imagine the only people celebrating today are those unaffected or disinterested in what's happening to this country. Enjoy your hot dogs, I need to figure out how to earn a living in a country that can't heal my ankle without losing my home and just told businesses they can refuse me at the door for being who I am.
Fish tank grime, all of it.
Sometimes we're in the weeds. I hope for my luck to turn, the sun to come out, the farm to dry off, and more flowers to bloom. And all those things will happen but today it just feels hard. Everything feels so damn hard.