The last four years have been a whirlwind for our family. From establishment, custody battles, financial strife, watching friends come and go, we have some how clung together and kept moving. This year we have Bella homeschooling, Lori and Jake in school full time, Millie in Pre-k half days, Ollie home full time, and Alina half a world away. We regrettably had to cancel piano and violin lessons, and we have been working on those at home at a self taught pace. This year has been especially challenging for us as the light at the end of the tunnel never came, only an illusion of a break was shown, although we have nothing left to push on, giving up is just not an option.
This weekend we went to get away from the fall routine we are working so hard to establish, and we went to the wilderness to a cabin. We ran around in nature, washed our stress away in the lake that still holds the reverberations of the mighty glacier that carved it millions of years ago. There is something about the energy nature creates, promotes, and perpetuates that drags me away from the chaos to stillness. Watching the fish jumping in the early morning before the sun has peaked from behind the trees, while the birds are still sleeping, the stillness fills you and leaves no room for anything else.
6:15 am is prior to sunrise in our current season, in case you didn’t know. It is the time I’m woken every day with the sounds of two year old created ambulance and fire truck sirens.
“MOM!!!! WEEEYUUUU WEEEE YUUUU!!! LOOK! WEEEEYUUUUU”. It is very relaxing. The automatic alarm clock.
“Ollie woke-ed me up!” Another appears wiping the sleep from her eyes.
“Shhhhhh! Everyone is sleeping”, a lie I tell daily. This means at least ONE of us is still sleeping, maybe one of us can sleep past dawn in this tiny cabin in the woods.
“I’m hungry”. Then the third. All before the sun could get herself out of bed and peek behind the curtain of trees.
Pour some yogurt, cereal, and juice, and I go outside with my camera, maybe I have bought myself enough time to wait for the sunrise. If my calculations are wrong everyone in every cabin around us is about to experience camping with 5 kids and the joy the mornings bring. I’m able to get a few shots, watch the ducks glide by, and greet the fish as they jump for their breakfast of bugs that have been pushed close to the surface by the fog. Through all the chaos, nature will bring you back down, pushing you with its fog, raising you with the sunlight, cleansing you with it’s waves of fresh water. It isn’t long that I’m joined by the preschool parade and their endless streamers of complaints and demands . The dogs run to the front of the parade, and without hesitation Josie jumps in the lake to chase the ducks. Now I have three angry little kids and a wet dog. Perfect start to any day.
I collect all my people and trudge back to the cabin, whenever going in public with this crowd it is essential to pack a magic hat of snacks. I watch whole30 glare at me from the corner, and I ignore the guilt as I stuff PB&J into my bag.
Eventually everyone is dressed, fed, and off to the fair we go. The Common Ground Fair has been special to me for as long as I can remember. Its the one day a year I feel safe and surrounded by my people. I love the mind expanding presentations that take us back to nature, and the love that explodes for the Earth. The quality food and crafts made with passion, the skills that are taught, the music shared. It is a unique experience and one I hope all of my children remember, the fair that brings us back to simpler life, a slower way, and a closer connection to our planet.
The fair makes me always dream of a way to make this life less busy, less painful, less stuff cluttering my house and mind. It makes me want to live in a tiny house traveling the country with the skills to sustain ourselves. I have to find a way to be more connected to the earth and less connected to the drama of social media. I have to teach my children the importance of the planet while using the tools technology can give us. I’m thankful for the resource of the internet, so many skills can be sought with its knowledge, but the depths of garbage that are found here are not compo-stable even with the most advanced plastic eating bacteria. The pollution the internet brings to my mind in the buzzing judgmental negativity is overwhelming and so stealth I can’t see it coming. There is no reason anyone should need to be in contact with me 24/7, yet I allow this illusion to continue by answering messages. The more I want to run from it, the more I am chained to it as I parent a girl halfway across the world.
I think it is time to re-evaluate my path while we nestle in for a long Maine winter. How to be less busy with endless activities around me. How can I protect my heart and mind from the endless drama perpetuating chatter at work, like second hand smoke, the passive negativity of gossip seeps into my mind, causing tension without consciousness. It is time to be thankful for people that bring my attention to it, for challenging me to take a path that seems impossible if it means a way out of the struggle. Thanks to long recent talks with my new friend Dawn I’m starting to recognize the things to shield myself from, and the challenges to be open to. When you think you’re in control its hard to wake up and realize literally nothing is in control and the best quality you should refine is resiliency.
Maybe orphan hosting taught me more than I thought after all. Change is coming, stagnation doesn’t look good on me.