Untethered

It has rained every day since we almost had a picnic.  Pouring rains, sprinkles and lazy, gently falling showers have rendered the territory a spectacular, soggy mess.  I have never seen such weather in the many years that I have called this place home. Twice, I have slipped, attempting to venture out between showers, to survey the watery world of the rabbitpatch.  Rain is apparently very good for unruly vines and weeds.  I miss the clothes line-and I am quite concerned about the begonias. 
I spent the best part of two days on Mamas’ porch.  My sisters and nieces came to visit and  so did my “cousin Lynn”.  How good it was to all be together.  I had not seen Lynn in a long while, but she is as clever and funny as ever.  I like that she is sensible and genuine.  The small gathering left me refreshed and hopeful . . and glad.  It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how long you know someone-even for a lifetime -you  can keep learning more about them.  In that way, you somehow learn more about yourself, as well. 
Sunday
It rained every day, after that special time -up until Sunday, the day of our surprise birthday party, for Brant. Sydneys’ parents had booked a cottage at the outerbanks of NC.  Sydney had planned a day for all of us to come, unbeknownst to Brant.  It was  a long journey and we had heard harrowing accounts of traffic delays.  The forecast was bleak, too, thus , Tres, Sarah and I left with ample concerns. 
The trip started out fine, just as the day did, for at long last the sun was shining brightly.  Somehow or another, the traffic was never once jammed and we arrived with time to spare!  When Brant walked in and saw us all there, any doubt I had harbored , vanished into the the thin ocean air.  All afternoon, the men played with the children, in the pool.  The women visited with one another and produced towels and food as needed.    I watched the children having such a big time with the uncles, a father and a “Papa”  too.   What a grand  and joyous time.  The families blend so well, I thought.   . .what a sweet blessing. 
Brant and I took a walk on the longest pier, that I have ever been on. For as far as you could see, was a powdery blue sea.  Brant and I have always rambled this earth and so it seemed a fitting conclusion to the day. 
Brant is as much like me, as I am. . .only he is better.  He is just never unkind, nor does he have an ounce of judgement in him, towards others.  He loves all creatures and is devoted to caring for this planet.  He buys clothes and shoes from retailers that match your purchase with items for the poor.  He is also handy and helpful.  Once he quit a job, because his employer  seemed to dislike senior citizens, and spoke so rudely to them, that Brant could not bear it.  He is a very devoted father, which to me, is as endearing as anything.  It is no wonder, that everybody loves Brant’.
If it sounds like I am bragging . . .rest assured that I am . . and I am liable to do so, every chance that I get.  I have always made it a habit to praise others for splendid character- Most especially my children.  I have not yet raised a perfect one, but I have come mighty close.  . .at least when it comes to matters of the heart.
Monday and the days after . . 
Now, since the return from the sea, the weather has been much friendlier.  Of course, an untended rabbitpatch, is a dreadful sight.  With the sun shining, I have attempted to reclaim the dignity of the territory.  The mosquitoes are awful, as I predicted, and so I work in spurts. I do love to work on this old place. 
When I am by the young woods, cutting the hateful and quite resilient, thorned vines, the shade of “Aunt Carolyns’ rose of Sharons falls on me now, like a loving embrace . .  and I remember her  generosity and firey spirit.  There is also the biggest butterfly bush, that I have ever seen -planted by the “Hand of God” about seven years ago.  Wild honeysuckle clambers in an uncivilized manner, everywhere.  The tender fragrance of a honeysuckle  vine is sweet and never fails to remind of my youth when I walked the edge of field, in the evenings.  I work,in a trance   amongst such provocations and am quite surprised at my progress most days.  It usually takes a rabbit dashing by, to make me snap out of it and realise that I am  so hungry!  I leave the hallowed ground and take account of my scratches, bites and the dirt covering me.  I wash, eat and do something creative in the afternoon. 
One day, I painted an old cabinet and set it atop a very old table.  Both painted a delicate mint green.  I have washed and rehung curtains, hung a very old mirror and hung solar lanterns with merry ribbons hither and yonder.  The territory is as full of charm as the law allows, when the twilight hour comes. One day, filled with ambition, I decided to start cleaning up the oldest barn.  That is the one with a portion of rotten floor.  I retrieved  a floor lamp that had been standing in an old corner. 
It is an elaborate thing with ornate metal and a real marble base.  The globe is surrounded by several electric candles.  I imagine “Aunt Caddie”, the former owner, must have set such store in that lamp.  I set it carefully, by the door . . and then promptly fell through the floor!  I laid there a moment, stunned and pain shot through my hip.  I soon overcame the pain with a fear of snakes and spiders-and managed to crawl out.  Thankfully, I had fallen not too far from the staircase and so I used that to stand.  The pain eased tremendously and so, I left the barn . .  in worse shape than how I found it.  Of course, I dealt with the wrath of the children, for days afterwards. 
Another day, I restored that old lamp and then hung a cheerful flag on the porch.
Regular readers, know full well, that I have been on a mission to live simply for a while now.  It began with a major decluttering of the house.  Afterwards, the only things left were useful things and things that I have great affection for.  Not yet, have I dared to venture back on that decision.  I live by “waste not, want not” which my elders embedded in me, with precision.  (How handy that lesson is.)
As I go about my  chores, I think . . a lot.  I realised how a sense of peace and contentment was ever present, even as I did battle with thorns and poison.  I wondered how I could simplify  my life more. . .not just with possessions, but my way of thinking too . . .my  way of being.  
Life may not be as complicated, as we think.  I started sorting out, what things do I love?-and what things do I really need?  . . . In short,  an inventory of what things really matter.  Those are the things, I should dwell upon,  I thought  -standing there by the old field and  the edge of the young woods.  Just the idea, of  truly abandoning unnecessary , trivial things and  unworthy matters, made me feel untethered  , much like the wild rabbits . . .and my beloved sparrows.  Of course,
I am not sure, what prompted my wild and lofty notions, that day.   It could be, that so many things have transpired, all life altering and all out of my control, in the last year.  That was harrowing -and gloomy.  Finally, I can say with full confidence, I haven’t a clue what will unfold . . .and yet,   I abide in peace.   . .or it could be that, being older and standing by the field, in the shade of a whispering pine . . made the difference.

 

 

 

 

 

23 thoughts on “Untethered

  1. A lovely wander through your mind and your life. I loved the day celebrating your son’s birthday. Wanted to be there…You sound like you are enjoying your life immensely. So happy to hear that.

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  2. That was not good to hear, your fall. I hope the soreness has eased. I pray the angels hold you tighter next time, Michele.

    Until the pandemic hit us last year, every year would see me re-reading my treasured Anne of Green Gables books. Every time I lost myself in them, the mud and grit that life sometimes leaves within us, was washed away. I would go to my books drained and worn out by life and people here and their endless demands of me. But the pages of my beloved books would reach out and gather me close in their embrace. When it came time to rise from them, I always left stronger and refreshed, peace anchored firmly within me once more.

    I haven’t been able to read my Anne books for more than a year now, there hasn’t been the time nor has life sufficiently slowed for that. But what I have discovered is a treasure just as great – this beautiful blog of yours, tender and sweetly honest, loving freely and unhindered every tired and thirsty traveler who comes to sit by this well. The past 2 weeks or so have been very exhausting. I didn’t have much left to give inside me. But I stopped by here and found true love in all its purest forms. A loving son, brave enough to give honour to the values his mother raised him by. A courageous mother and grandmother who gives and gives, holding nothing back for herself. A tender and faithful homesteader, loving well the home and lands life has bequeathed her.

    I rise back to my waiting life, stronger, happy and at peace now, only because I stopped by here.

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  3. Oh no! Sorry about the fall! I trust you will be well soon. ❤ I loved the mental image I received of you battling the weeds to find the hidden beauty. Truly a secret garden moment. You have so many treasures in here, Michele. Thank you for continually sharing bits of your life.

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  4. Lovely as always… I always feel as if I am right outside with you when I read your posts! Gardening of all kinds us just the most peaceful of things and it’s amazing how working outside just clears the head. I am so glad you did not suffer more serious issues when you fell!!

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  5. Michele, I just love you. And your family and the Rabbitpatch. There are so many emotions to unpack as I read your stories. You are such a gifted writer. It’s like reading a melody. From the lessons you’ve learned from those before you, to the physical buildings and property, to the details surrounding your family members (and how you perfectly describe them-Happy Birthday, Brant), and the authenticity of your soul. You, my friend, are a blessings. You’re an old soul and it resonates with mine. Thank you for taking us on this journey. I’m blessed to know you. Love and hugs. Karla

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  6. I am so sorry that you had a bad fall, and hope all is well now. I loved reading about your time of refreshment with family by a ‘powdery blue sea.’. The whispering pines also sound quite enchanting….You are so right about uncluttering our minds as well as our houses. Life is short and we must make room for spending time doing the things we most want to do.

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  7. I am glad to hear that your fall did not leave you to much worse for wear. I would have been doing the same thing I think…wandering through old buildings to see what is tucked in those corners.
    I have been going through drawers and cupboards myself to downsize “stuff”. I have muy husband a bit worried as he is always questioning to make sure I am not downsizing his “stuff”. I assure him I am not.

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    1. thank you Faye- and good for you to downsize your things. I have never been sorry that I did and am quite strict about what s the house -and barns. Kyle is like your husband and can not be near when I am doing so! haha! love and blessings, Michele

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  8. Oh, Michele!! Your philosophy regarding life reflects mine so much! I am contending with much the same as you with our property and it is an honor to me to keep what I can tame and manageable. Your son sounds like a dream and I know, dear friend, just by living as the way he does, he is an example to many how life should be lived.

    You’ve had much rain. We’ve had much heat. I’ve never seen it this dry or hot here in all the years I’ve lived here. Hubby and I put in a water irrigation system for some of my bigger gardens but for the rest I run around with sprinklers. My gardens are my JOY and I will just not stand idle to watch them burn up.

    Simplicity …. that is the exact Angel card I picked yesterday and it spoke volumes. When we immerse ourselves in the Present Moment and with Mother Nature, life has a way of evening out and becoming more simple. Just to be on my knees pulling out weeds is a Sacred Act for I see it as a Moving Prayer, uniting with the Sacredness of Earth with my heart.

    I absolutely loved this post!! I’m just now beginning to get back to blogging after putting my heart and soul into some very hard work in my gardens. I’ve also returned back to the gym which in of itself is a huge aspect of my life, leaving me ever so sore. Thank you so much for writing what you did. The peace I attained from your words I take with me. What a Gift you give!! God bless you! xo

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  9. “The territory is as full of charm as the law allows.” … I love the way you intermingle wry humour with simply-expressed life lessons / existential truths. Always a joy to “sit on that wrap-around porch” for a while & listen to your stories, past, present & (sometimes, hints at) future.

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  10. If not for this accursed brain, we could live like the wild things.
    We must not make the mistake that their lives are idyllic as a Disney movie.
    Indeed, every hour, every waking and sleeping minute is governed by instinct. The gathering of food and elusion of predators. It seems their lives may be anything but peaceful at times, yet these things are real and solid and knowable and consistent and natural and normal.
    All of these things call to me.
    I will trade the comfort and false sense of security for reality and belonging.
    Belonging to this Earth and world, not just another passenger along for the ride.

    All my best,

    Scott

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    1. Dear Scott, my kindred friend-I am on a mission to simplify all that I can. I am not a rat and I do not race, We can learn so much from nature and its’ wild things. I fear we are way too detatched as a society, in general. Let us “take to the woods” every chance we get! x Michele

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