The title of this post is also the name of a book I just added to my list of must-reads. It was a sunny afternoon when Isaac and I began discussing the possibility that purchasing an RV of one’s own might be the best way to stay together while he tours with his band The Kin for the foreseeable future. I got very inspired by that idea! The thought of being apart, when we have children too, in a house away from the city, gets me a little anxious, especially when the truth of the matter is that he might be gone for months at a time. An RV or converted bus sounds like a perfectly adventurous solution! I have always loved road tripping around this country I am young in, and I’ve only seen parts of this mad world. I want to see Alaska, and Portland, Washington State, the Dakotas, and Montana, and all the wild beautiful reaches that stretch across the earth here, if we would just seek them.
A dream was formed. We would take our young child or children around the country in a vehicle something like this (my dream) playing great music to great audiences, meeting great people and seeing great sights. I think this would be a wonderful experience for everyone involved. So as one does, I made a trip to Pinterest. There I found layer upon layer of images inspiring the dream further! Soon, as one does, I came across a link within link within a picture, and found this. Yet another example of the life well lived. You see, I’m finding myself angling more and more towards a naturally harmonious life, a life truly connected to and in partnership with the earth and it’s abundance. It’s women like this, and this, and this, who have inspired me to create this dream. We are already one step in the direction of this picture, having moved to the countryside. We must simply begin to explore the land further and find the farm that fits us.
To clarify, it would be a small farm. I grew up spending part of the year on my uncle’s farm in Southwest Australia, where he grew mandarins and oranges on an orchard we roamed, and kept sheep, cows and kangaroo on a large parcel of land which surrounded their house on a hill. My sister, my cousin Vaishali and I, loved trekking this land in search of who-knows-what. The adventure was what drove us. Our curiosity pulled us over hills, across streams and rivers, through thick sticky mud, down gravel roads and back up again. I think it’s these memories that are speaking now. Yes, I dreamt of New York like there was no other place on Earth – but uncannily, almost as soon as I met Isaac, we up and moved to the countryside (it was 10 weeks after meeting each other, and four weeks after were engaged!) There is a plan, it seems. Our dreams and desires are not planted randomly. I longed and longed for New York, and now I know why.
The longing is shifting now. It’s probably something to do with my awareness that there will soon be others in our life whom we are responsible for raising and teaching and loving. Our children. What kind of a world do I want them to grow up in? I once wrote the following, months ago – letters to my unborn babes:
IF I HAVE A DAUGHTER
If I have a daughter, I want her to know these things. I would want her to feel safe, free and loved. I want her to feel so loved as she lay in her bed looking at the glow in the dark stars on her ceiling. I’d want her to have a full belly and enjoy food with her whole being. I would want her to look at the world with excitement and awe and wonder. I’d want her to take time for herself to look out the window of her bedroom at the trees and the birds and the water, the sky, the fireflies, the snow falling. I would want her to have super friends, friends who were kind and compassionate and thoughtful and generous and loving. I would want her to have interests of her own, and I would want to show her things in life, take her places and teach her things – like baking, making paper toys, how to grow a garden, how to pray, how to talk to the angels and how not to be scared of the forest. I would want her to be encouraged to be herself. I would want her to take joy in her body and everything it can do. I would want her to DANCE and sing and enjoy music, let it fill every atom of her being. I would want her to be hugged as much as she could be, I would want her to be kissed all over and blessed with more love than she knows how to take in. I would want her to know everything she can about recycling and protecting the earth. I would want her to take initiative in her world, to know what to do to protect the earth and herself. I’d want her to roar like a lion and roam the wilderness with her father, be fierce and strong and fearless as she can be – to not fear what cannot touch her. I’d want her to know that there is strength in being female, in being feminine, receptive, yielding and vulnerable, sensitive and open and honest. I would want her to smile with her whole body.
IF I HAVE A SON
If I have a son, I’d want him to know these things. I’d want him to know that he is sacred, and that his sisters, family, friends and relatives, teachers and the people he sees every day are sacred. I’d want him to know to treat everyone as if they were himself. Not just as ‘his brother,’ but as if they were he. I’d want him to be kind and compassionate and open and generous and to have friends who were the same way. I’d want him to laugh. Loudly and a lot. I’d want him to have quiet time, too. To read and think about the universe and the world and to think about the Earth. I’d want him to study and to learn useful things, and some things that might not be useful, just to practice learning. I’d want him to run and to rest, I’d want him to feel free and loved, so loved, that he could stay naked wrapped in a towel after a warm bath at night. I would want him to feel so loved that he would be cuddled and tickled and squeezed senseless by his parents. I would want him to smile lots, and to ask lots of questions and to have the courage and the trust from his parents to ride his bike around and to be safe and to scrape his knees and climb logs over rivers and look at bugs. I’d want him to look after his brothers and sisters if he has any, and his friends, and to explore the land, the earth. I’d want him to stay out after dark and know that he’s safe to find his way home. I’d want him to look at the stars and build fires with his Dad and eat with gusto and ask for more. I’d want him to cuddle his Mum and to lay with her on the couch and let her stroke his hair and rub his feet. I’d want him to tell me his worries and his dreams and hopes and fears. I’d want only the most beautiful life for him, the life of his dreams.
I think it’s these children who are creating the future for Isaac and myself. I believe their dreams and hopes and wishes are made manifest through the fact that they choose us. I feel the spirits of our children around us, very often, and I know their desires are my desires also. So, there is The Farm. As I start to engage with this idea, I feel my future self speaking to me, and she has learnt many things. I’m going to order this book among others, and I am going to learn the ways of the past – a time when we weren’t trapped in nine to five jobs, with dozens of bills and an imbalanced reliance on the supermarket. I know it’s a lot of work, to keep animals, but I don’t doubt the desires I’ve had for decades! When I was about 10 or 11, I became intensely interested in the animal kingdom, so much so that I thought I might become a veterinarian. I read yesterday about this woman’s experience as a one-time ‘goat doula’, and thought how powerful it must feel to be privy to the cycles of life and death which we’re often so removed from – and which come as great shocks when they knock on the door.
The idea of living a suburban life, with two cars and a mortgage, sounds very much like a trap to me. After finding this woman’s instagram blog, I have a sudden yearning for the presence of an alpaca. Ideally, we’d have a manageable plot of land, with forest, creek, brook, or river, sunny and fertile plots for growing vegetables and fruit trees, a chicken pen with egg-laying hens, a goat shed with four or so goats to milk and care for, a dog or two, and a guard llama to keep the herd safe (and interesting.) I have gotten into the habit over the past few months of baking my own sourdough and making almond milk, which has eradicated any reliance on store-bought bread or milk, which I now can’t stand.
Thankfully, I notice that several converted RVs house an oven! (For those times when we’re not on the farm, but roaming wider.)
As the days pass, so do I shift and adapt. I am finding my dreams so different to those I had before, and with good reason I believe. It seems we must learn to let go of rotting fruit, to plant new seeds, to rip up the garden that didn’t grow, and start again. To believe in the God-flow of life (for lack of a better word) and participate once again in the dance of its expression. This is what I am surrendering to now.
For lack of a better word, thank you.