Friday, July 19, 2013

On green lanes and thoughts while driving ...

I wasn't sure i would want to be back. I think i had started to feel all this pressure. My natural sense of competition and perfectionism which made me forget why i decided to start writing here, and made me feel like i was suddenly competing with every person on the planet. That i wasn't being interesting enough, well known enough, creative enough, inspiring enough. That my life was just a normal everyday and what right did i have to be writing about it. Who'd want to keep reading when i was feeling a little jaded and bored of myself, even.

But today i was driving along the green dappled lanes which lead us from the local pool to our new home and i was just thinking how beautiful it was, and how i felt like writing a line or two. How i wanted to share the warm breezes and the open windows, music playing, all three of us quiet in the car now that we were cooled off, just absorbing the green and watching for deer. How i would love to take you by the hand and show you the dust path that leads to a secluded lane where we almost bought a house lost in the forest, but didn't. But i still really love that dusty lane. How green the green is up here. I think because of all the rain. How hot and humid the summer is with no central air conditioning in the house - we have been searching out the cool corners and are feeling part of the season in a way we never did before, when we could dip in and out of the heat and retreat to our cool air conditioned interior. There is no escaping the heat here but it reminds me of Africa and the summers of my childhood and i feel at home in my skin somehow, in the heat.

I have fallen for this place. Hard. Unexpectedly. Just a town we haven't even lived a month in. A small place, hard to find on the map. But the green. And the trees. And the houses, set back in the woods and along the road, mailboxes merrily lined up and long leafy drives, everything still left a little wild. It's not all tidy and well maintained at all, and i love that. The woods and the cool shadows and the early morning silence. The wet dew on my feet as i walk to hang the washing. It reminds me of my grandparents, living here. Their large rambling garden where i spent a lot of my childhood. The tangled wild garden of the berg cottage where my grandfather disappeared into the forests by day and the grasses grew long and it was green as far as the eye could see. I can picture him here, pottering in the woods and drinking a beer on the back deck at sunset. Even though he went a long time ago, some days it's as if he is here - or the spirit of what he meant to me, the things he loved are somehow here, around me. In the way the light falls and the green ferns reach leafy arms to the treetops.

I wish i could drive you down the road where the twists and turns are slow and quiet and life is about slowly unpacking and finding the right places for our treasures in the house. Taking our time to decide on wall colours and furniture. No hurry at all. Where our days are about doing our own thing in the mornings, the three of us while Clint is at work ... and then heading  to the pool where Lexi is learning to swim like a fish and Hayden dips and dives in a flash of blue goggles. The first few weeks were hard and stressful - all of us a bit out of sorts, so much to do, feeling the pressure. Finding our way. And then it's as if we sighed out a collective sigh, the three of us. A deep breath out as we settled. Into the new house, our new lives, our new skins. Everything slowed down a little and the heat sat on our shoulders and we feel as if we're living in a vacation house still. I hope that feeling lasts. Even when the striped beach towels and flip flops give way to coats and boots, i hope we can capture that feeling. Because that will be a job well done and a house i'd really really like to live in.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

On moving and blueberries ...

Sometimes what seems like stepping back and withdrawing a little is actually a move forward ... not a step back from but a move towards.

That's how this move has been for us. It may look from the outside like a retreat in some ways. We've moved half an hour (at least) away from our friends, from the places that feel familiar and like home after 6 years here in the States. The stores and coffee shops and knowing where to go for things. The doctors and dentists and just all our day to day lives really. A move away from, a hiding out in the countryside. A kind of disappearing act. People act as if we're moving to the moon.

But actually it's been about a move towards a simpler quieter life for the kids ... and for us. About having our own place, and we had to move further out to find what we wanted, what would feel like home. It's been about finding more green and a smaller-town way of living. A move into the new, not away from the old. If that makes sense in any kind of way.

And hard as it is to admit, it's a big step out of our comfort zone too, for us. I have always been a city girl who's seen herself as a country one, but not had to prove it much. And now there are deer ticks and poison ivy (thanks to a friend who pointed that out, see, i had no idea what it even looked like). Now there are blueberry bushes and they are growing really quickly, there is ripe fruit every day. And i love it, all of it, but i would be lying if i said i wasn't a little overwhelmed. By the newness of it all. The well instead of mains water, the private trash and recycling (which, by the way, i still have to find!). By the lack of a mailbox - how does one put one of those up ? By the woods and the trees.

But i love the green and the feeling of space around us. It's like i can breathe again for the first time in a long time. I love the house already. Even with the palm tree wallpaper and old green carpets. Yes, they'll come up, but we're taking our time. Feeling out the spaces and getting to know each other, this house and I. It takes time. We love the deck and sitting out there for our morning coffee. We love the sense of freedom that living out of the busy suburbs is giving us. We have a lot to learn. There is no doubt about that. But finally in my ripe old age I am ok with that. I am ok with not knowing everything. About having to ask questions and learn along the way. Life's a wonderful big journey and if we had it all figured out from day one it wouldn't be half as much fun, or half as much of an adventure.

So i shall learn to bake blueberry muffins and how to compost and remember to check for ticks at bathtime. And maybe this space right here will be a good place just to touch base now and then. Just a place to keep you updated and share the journey along the way. A place to write and post some photos sometimes, and nothing more than that. Just what it's always been ... a little space for me to share my day to day. But we'll see about that ... one step at a time.

Here's a little glimpse into life around here ... 


Blueberry picking ...

At the Firefighter Parade, Mamaroneck ...