> jumping into life.


The web of community begins to grow around us. We've made friends with the neighbors on two sides, which feels wonderful in a deeply rooted sort of way. Hopping over the fence to borrow a rake on one side, getting an armful of lilac blooms on the other. Brunch out in the garden, which is already beginning to overspill its banks. It is a good life.

We are both candidates right now for good, interesting, well-paying (and nearby) jobs that we can each imagine keeping for a while. Jobs that "serve other people, provide learning experiences that deepen the worker, and do as little harm as possible." If we get these jobs (or find others of their description), we're going to start seriously looking into buying a house. We are both tired already of paying someone else's mortgage. We are tired also of moving so often, of uprooting, of planting only annuals. I want to plant asparagus, I want apple trees; I want to know my neighbors and keep knowing them.


I came to this place in February, the midst of winter's dark heart. In April I still knew the land. It is nearly June now and the new growth is shocking. Ferns raised their tight fists against the winter, then released them into loving hands for spring. The trees all opened overnight. The fields were turned and turned again. In the garden, the lettuces filled their neat rows and spilled over into the spaces between. Birds everywhere. The ants came alive, the beetles stuck end-to-end on every flat surface, the soft face of a beaver mostly submerged and content. A moose and her yearling, watching us for one slow moment before slipping away. Everything suddenly shoves itself into the present tense, active voice, won't take no for an answer. Winter's coiled quiet is gone, and in its place is the tink of a baseball bat, the owl calling, the lawnmowers and barbecues, the red-winged blackbird, the rush of water, and the shock of a world that is not dead, that is not dead, after all.


In the woods, though we are barely outside of town - the stretch of road I most loathed in my commute hardly a mile away - the soothe descends. A few minutes' walk and we are out of earshot of the cars, out of sight of the houses: in the woods. The overcast, drizzly light turns the new growth almost florescent, and the dark feathery pines behind lend a sense of depth and stability what might otherwise feel a riot. Flowers everywhere: trillium, Solomon's seal true and false, yellow and traditional violets, a hundred tiny white blossoms, bouquets of scarlet columbine with pure sunshine inside. Even the sky seemed to ache with stillness and beauty. At the overlook, the lake spread out soft and grey, light mist between us and the far shore.

This afternoon, the rest of the garden went in: tomatoes and corn, basil and cilantro, peas, cucumbers, marigolds. The Brussels sprouts and the lettuce took off this week, and the carrots are on to real leaves. The potatoes and nasturtiums are up, though the chamomile doesn't want to show its face. And the slow, drizzling sky covers all.

Friday was my last day of work; I am once again amongst the ranks of the unemployed. So far it's nothing but a relief. Though when I'll finish my book on tape, I don't know.


Last day of work at the vets' is Friday. Turns out I have a modest mutual fund that's been sitting around being meagerly productive since my parents were in a car crash when I was three, so I don't have to be quite as scrambled-out stressed about getting another one. J graduated last Friday, and we're going to take next week and do a bunch of hiking, a bunch of gardening (the kale! the broccoli! they are huge already!), a bunch of barbecuing, a bunch of laying around and a bunch of reading. Hopefully it'll rain the whole time.

I was beginning to be afraid that any place I lived would suddenly dry up. Arizona had its driest winter in memory; my winter in San Francisco yielded fewer than a dozen rainy days. He's been promising me a month solid of spring rain, but it has yet to materialize. So far we've got two days in a row.

My darling adoptive uncle has been chiding me, but I swear I'll be writing more soon. The days have been long - with the drive I'm out ten hours a day, and the days start early. But I have been feeling the tug and rumble of words. The tug also of my zafu, which finally pulled my butt and my scattered brain down today for a scant ten minutes. Japanese chants waft abstractly through my mind at work, in the shower. The Zen Center incense smells like home.

More soon. I promise.


Happy birthday to me!

Birthdays are a good time, I've found, for evaluation and consideration of decisions and directions. The job isn't what I hoped it would be - my responsibilites keep getting cut, and while my hours and pay are the same, what drew me was the excitement of learning. I'm not learning any more, and they aren't planning to teach me. So it's back to the job market. And this time my priorities are much clearer. J and I want to be starting a farm, and sooner rather than later. My job should either give me skills - farming, business, carpentry, mechanics - or money. Or both. I'm looking at one now that'll pay me at 24 hours a week what I'm making now for 40+. That means time for volunteering, time for gardening, time for, yes, writing.