It’s been over five years since Husband and I unpacked our things to live forever on this ranch and over five years since I’ve been writing about what it means to come home here in this space.
With each passing year the story of the seasons has become familiar, repeating its chorus of changing leaves,
September 21, 2010. Horse Pasture.
October 29, 2010. Late October Snow Drift
lush new grass, buds on the trees
and heat on my skin.
And as the earth goes about its regularly scheduled changes, life happens to us humans and changes us as well. Only we’re not like the seasons. We don’t come back around to start over again each year. No. When a leaf falls off, we don’t grow a new one next year.
When our grass turns brown, we don’t get another chance to water and green up in the spring.
Our whole lives are measured in one spring, one summer, one autumn and one winter.
And then we go back to the earth.
I’m looking out the window now at leaves partially blown off of the oak trees. Gold and brown. Those are the colors left now. We’ve had a long autumn. It is supposed to be 80 degrees tomorrow.
We haven’t seen a fleck of snow yet.
It hasn’t truly cooled down.
I guess each year is different. Like each life is different.
And I can’t help but notice now, with this theory in play, that I’m on the cusp of entering a new season of this life of mine.
I’ve had a long spring. A long sort of youth unattached to the responsibilities of fully caring for another human being. Responsible only for my own vision, my own love, my own outlook on life, my own plans and my own story. I’ve been in much of this season with my husband, together, in spring, cleaning up, building space, making plans, basking in the promise of warmer days ahead, being torn down by the set back of the big, unpredictable rains that made us change directions.
This baby kicks my side and reminds me that spring is running its course.
It’s coming to a rapid end.
And that the summer we’ve looked forward to, the warmth, the calmer weather that makes way for everyday adventure, is within view.
Five years ago I had no idea what I was going to do with my life out here. I knew that I would love it and appreciate it for all the reasons I loved and appreciated it in my youth.
But what would I do for work? What would our forever home look like? How would I ever figure out how to keep my pantry stocked perfectly living as an adult 30 miles from the grocery store the way my mom always did?
Now that we decided to settle down out here, who would I ultimately become?
And I suppose that’s why I started writing it all down. Because after asking a question like that the only logical next step is to try to find the answer.
Except for that “ultimately” part.
I don’t think we find that in the spring or the summer of our lives. I think those are the last chapters waiting to be written in the fall when we harvest what we’ve set out to produce and in the winter when we rest to reflect.
I look back now on the things I’ve written down along the way and I know it’s helped me discover that I’m a little stronger than I thought I was, with a hint of brave, but not too much that my knees don’t shake at the thought of a big idea. And I think I figured out what it means to me to have fun along the way.
But discovering my ideas, cultivating them, that’s what the safe haven of this home always gave me growing up and I’m so glad I let my guard down enough so that it could continue to work its magic in that way even after the freedom of childhood wore off.
I think the 8 year old version of me would be pleased to know that we’re still writing and singing and riding horses in the home we love so much.
I take a lot of stock in imagining what that little girl would think of us now.
So I can’t help but wonder what she would say to me now that I’m about to become a mother…
Lately I’ve found myself reflecting on this question, trying to tap into the memory of what it was like to be so young, trying to remember and understand what was done by my parents to help cultivate my imagination, to give me protection and freedom at the same time.
Now that I finally feel I have a grip on what kind of woman I am, I have an entirely new uncharted landscape of motherhood ahead of me, and I can only imagine, a whole new set of stories to write and reasons to be inspired to see what I’m made of.
And I’m thrilled for the chance to add “Motherhood” to the list of categories.
And a little bit scared.
And a little bit brave.
On the cusp of a new season…