For a good portion of his life, my sister's husband has dreamed of living on a farm. Knowing my sister, I am not sure if this is what she had always envisioned as where she may grow old with her lovemate. I believe she had in mind a Victorian house on a cliff near the sea...just like many of the romance novels she read. Yet, seeing her dig her hands into Mother Earth and walk up and down her orchard of almond trees, whispering to them...I truly cannot see her anywhere else. She has found her home within her husband's dream and has made it her own dream too. It has been so long since I've seen her so rosy cheeked and deeply connected to nature. It is pure delight to see him shed his perfectly pressed suit and tie and dig his soles and hands into his dream, with a straw hat and gloves. Farmer Boy.
There is so much magic in their orchard. It is indeed a home to many faeries and gnomes and the sweet imp that my son is, he brought them all out to play. ; )
Cedar and I would take a walk through the trees in the early morning while Auntie DD was still sleeping. The air was crisp. The wind singing softly through the leaves. The birds melodies and the cow moo's from farm's near was such a delicious symphony for our ears. We walked hand in hand. We picked flowers and smelled them. We crouched down low to watch bugs crawl. We counted clover leaves. We stroked our fingers across the bumpy trunks of trees and brushed our faces against their low hanging branches full of leaves.
There has been some emotional upheaval within our family and being together was so very healing. It was simple. And gentle. Moving from moment to moment without plans. Breathing deep. Spilling deep. Holding. Snuggling. Quiet stillness. Mindfulness. Kindness. There is something about the country that draws you into slowing down. I forgot about phones and laptops and facebook and blogs and twitter. It brought me nearer to my heart and closer to being present with my surroundings.
Before bedtime, when I would usually be caught up in the routine of bathtime, reading, bottle, bed...we would be sitting out on the porch, watching their three dogs roam around the grass and gravel, singing "twinkle, twinkle little star" in unison while pointing at the massive amounts of sparkles in the clear sky. Sitting on our laps, Cedar watched the sun go down and felt the slight chill come in and the fresh country air made him weary.
My parents were able to spend some time with us there. They are rearing a new puppy, so it wasn't easy to pull them away from the routine that puppies need. They brought Meadow and she was precious. Sweet tiny fluffy little licking love muffin. All she wanted to do was smother us in kisses and paws. My daddy and I took her on a walk in the orchard. She thought she was in puppy heaven. Cedar couldn't decide whether he wanted to melt into her or run away. He so needs a puppy. Soon, soon. This is the healthiest I have seen my father in a long time. His bad back and diabetes has taken such a hard toll on his body and soul. His circulation is not flowing well in his feet and legs and sometimes fingers. But in the orchard he was walking stronger than usual. Perhaps it was the fresh country air or that Meadow is bringing out the youth in him. It just brought me comfort. Marmie got down on her hands and knees to draw and color with Cedar inside. She was so proud of her creation. I told her she won the gold star for the day. I think she needs to color more often. She always said she wasn't very creative. I never believed her. She's created so much beauty around her.
I felt surrounded by love. I felt safe. I felt so excited to share Cedar. Sometimes I wonder, since my sister and parents come from two different generations, if they will observe my parenting and think I am nuts for not being conventional. But what I ended up feeling was so very strong. I notice those moments when they probably want to give me advice but rather they let go and let me step into my own intuition and knowingness. There is so much space for me to explore and marinate, to seek and feel secure in my relationship with my son. It means everything to me. I know that is rare and I do not take it for granted.
I miss the farm. I still feel it in my bones. What I miss most is the late night spillings with my sister that ended up in tear soaked embraces. We both feel very seen and heard. Together we are learning how to make healthy choices for our lives and in our relationships which is allowing more space for cultivating kindness, gentleness and respect with one another. Some of this is heart wrenching...to resist old patterns of behavior and thought but yet so full of truth speaking and raw-naked-nothing-to-hide-love. Its a process but one I am reveling in with my family.
Here are a few images of our time there...