Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Charting the New Course

It's been a little more than a month since I stepped away from my desk and my commute to be closer to home and see what would happen.

Since then I've cultivated various patches of beans, swiss chard, onions, carrots, and beets. I've helped harvest three kinds of kale, two kinds of beans and parsley, sweet basil, potatoes, beets, four kinds of summer squash, broccoli, and dug carrots for this first time. I've snipped so many different types of lettuce that I can't keep track of them, fennel, radicchio, endive, chives, arugula, sorrel for a lettuce mix that also includes an assortment of edible flowers.

Peaches, blueberries, raspberries red and black, and mulberries have been jammed and canned to sweeten our winter. Zucchini pickles sit on the counter and on the shelf. Cabbage is turning to sauerkraut to grace our table later in the season. Basil and parsley are pesto in the freezer, and more is to come. I've made my first sun tea - rosemary, mint, and fennel - to enjoy with dinner or sip on a hot afternoon.

I've thrown hay on hot, dusty evenings, and tried milking a goat - twice - with little success and lots of laughter. I've helped cull a sheep herd, and found it hurt my back and heart to do it. I've cultivated a corn field with a horse, and chased a barn cat until I caught it.

Each day I check our pear tree even though I know they won't really be ready until sometime a bit later. I water the new damson trees and native plants I've added to our hillside. And I monitor the progress of our fall crop of kale, calabrese, beets, and beans. The cold frame design doesn't exist yet for them, but necessity is the mother of invention. The popcorn is coming along nicely, and I look forward to picking and drying it.

I did think there would be more reading, writing, and reflecting on life, liberty, and my pursuit of happiness; however, I think I've done what I needed and wanted to do with the time given me. I've begun to wonder if I'm following some inner call. I find it easier to say no to things I don't want to do, and be aware of the compromises I make. I don't think either of those is bad. Being cognizant of the latter is helping me understand how the former works out for my time here.

What the future exactly holds for a "career" remains unclear. What is clear is that I no longer want to do things that I don't enjoy or make me into someone I don't like. Whatever it is I'm meant to do (and I'm sure it's going to be a selection of things) is close. I can feel it, and I'm excited.

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