My relief comes from going cold turkey on the game I was playing on and off for years. While I miss it, it was exhausting me because it was yet another thing I volunteered to do (lead a team), but real-life factored in and I just don’t have the time or energy for it anymore. I might go back someday, maybe when things in life become more manageable and possibly when it becomes cooler again and I don’t need to do so much work outside. Relief spread over me when I made the decision, and I felt a huge grin overtaking me. I have started to get back to gentler things, more productive things, my writing and work, for instance.

Lately I have been reading Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass, and it hits me in the heart, underlining an ongoing sense, the older I get, that my life revolves around family, friends, and home. Home is not just our physical home but the planet live on and the meadow around our home, where we have, now going into our second year here, planted multiple trees, including fruit trees. We wake up to the sounds of wild birds and insects, as if we lived in a jungle. Already we hear the night sounds of distant frogs and possibly crickets, though we aren’t yet into deep summer crickets. Robin’s book goes into deep respect for nature and having a different mindset than the consumerist culture that uses resources excessively. She talks  about the wonder she felt as a child each year when the wild strawberry patch came up. Our wild strawberries also recently began peeping through the ground, and I feel that wonder as well. Robin also spends time talking about the three sisters (corn, beans, and squash). The mythology of the sisters is beautiful lore. It makes me wonder what my sister and I would represent if we had an interesting cosmology in which our path would be a metaphor for a vegetable life form some day. Second, we are also doing this planting method mentioned in the book, which is one corn, one bean plant, one squash per square foot. The corn comes up first, and the pole bean grows up it. Third, scientifically, corn, beans, and squash are good for us and they grow well together and complement each other, such as beans providing nitrogen in the soil that the other plants need. Her whole book is a salute to, and in some respects and ode to, the natural home we have here on Earth.

We’ve been busy in the meadow and gardens for a few weeks now.  Everything is planted, though because the germinating plants came up late I need to still transfer them. The tomatoes are just about ready. We’ve planted all the new trees and bushes and put our new fences around them. Then we put a fence around our garden, and Morgan made a gate for it. Yesterday I went out for the first time to water all the trees that we planted last year and newly this year. It was a hot, humid day with black flies and discomfort. I’m also more wary out in the meadow because Morgan found a tick on him the other day. I come in and throw my clothes into the dryer for a few minutes and then shower. There’s so much to still do: weed the trees from last year, start planting the new plants germinating in the garage, water things every day, mulch and weed the one bed that we haven’t planted in yet, do some artwork with cyanotype paper, and paint the basement.

Morgan’s mom and a friend of hers, who we’d gone camping with in 2019 at Salt Spring Island, are hoping to come and visit in late summer. I am so excited by this. We haven’t had anyone over except for bonfires last summer and quick visits from our friends to check their bees or gather fruit from our trees or bring us a surprise meal! I haven’t seen any family since  March of 2020 when I flew here to take possession of the house. We do a lot more phone calls with family, for sure, but it’s going to be so nice to have Morgan’s mom and her friend visit. It’s all dependent on travel opening up again, but at this rate, with cases going down again and vaccinations, we’re hoping for the best.

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