Yesterday morning I woke up in a tent in the woods of our property. We decided to set up Shannon’s large 6-person tent by the campfire and enjoy a night of being outside with our wilder places. We sat by our one until the sun went down, watching the water and chatting.
We then walked home to our camp in the near-total darkness, our eyes used to the changing light from witnessing the sundown. We walked across the stream, jumping over rocks. The moon was a waning crescent, barely visible, better for stargazing. We came back to our tent, lit by lanterns. I lit our campfire and Shannon relaxed in our chairs and we spent most of that night enjoying the stars and talking and sipping warm tea by the fire. Absolutely nothing fancy or exciting. These days the most exciting thing we do is head 20 minutes south of the farm to see a drive in movie from the safety of our car. It’s a way to “go out” without having to be in an area where worries about variants or unvaccinated neighbors are ignoring the pandemic. It is really frustrating how people who think pretending there isn’t a dangers pandemic near them protects your immune system, but the ICU in Bennington has plenty of beds occupied by people that would suggest a mask and less high fives. We don’t do much, is what I am saying.
But I don’t require much social interaction and Shannon prefers even less. So, I am never not aware of how damn lucky I am to have this small piece of land. A little hollow of streams and ponds, wildlife and fields, forests and farmyard: all of it mine to tend long as I am able. And while I have always been aware of that, there is something far more appreciative when you are sharing what you have fought to keep with someone you care so much about. Having a place that shelters, feeds, and keeps me feeling safe to share with another person has upped the stakes and the workload.
We are plugging along with winter preps. I am so EXCITED to share that we recently paid the August mortgage, which yes, is still a few weeks late on paper but this is the FIRST TIME IN YEARS I am enjoying early September with all of the summer months behind me PAID FOR! YES! And with over a hundred bales put up for winter, with firewood hopefully being purchased this month to the tune of 2 cords, and folks - we already started brewing pumpkin spice coffee. When you have barely made it work for years and slowly you feel like you are catching up to solvent: you find little ways to celebrate - a campout, spiced coffee, a kiss under the crescent moon.
This summer had a lot of ups and downs. The energy was non-stop work to repair broken bits of the farm, remove a giant dumpster of trash from decades before, redo fencing and paddocks, clear brush, clean and organize the farmhouse, garden, preserve, and work our income-earning jobs. All of that (and the rain) made for a lot less fun around here in the name of horses and hiking - but a way better farm - and after all - that’s the point! So while the blog was’t chalk full of galloping through the forest and I haven’t even started hawk trapping - there is good here. There is healing and better days and a September not haunted by ghosts of the mortgage’s past and I am a happy woman. I feel like a decade of struggle helped me find this place where I am finally finding my feet.