Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This Moment

Not much writing here lately.

Mid-winter is a lullish period in North Carolina. [Sidenote: my friend Tricia from South Florida wrote me yesterday to say she is currently having the best tomato crop ever. She and her daughter (husband doesn't like tomatoes! can you imagine?) have to eat a minimum of four tomatoes a day to keep them from rotting.] We aren't quite as temperate as zone 10, but here in zone 7b, early winter could be considered late fall and during late winter here, spring is close enough that you can really start planning your garden.

Normally at this time of year, I would be obsessing over hordes of plant and seed catalogs, pen and paper in one hand and catalog in the other. Last year's winter activities included measuring the potato bed and graphing out the space in order to determine how many seed potatoes to order from Wood Prairie Farm. Having only grown potatoes once in Florida and with an unmemorable degree of success, I called Wood Prairie Farm to ask what I should grow in my area. The owner of the farm got on the phone and gave me a 15 minute explanation of early and late varieties, why I would want one over the other, what varieties would be best for our growing season and climate, how to plant, how to harvest, and how to store my harvest. I doubt I will ever have reason to buy my seed potatoes from anywhere else.

But I digress. We are not doing any homesteading and we are certainly not harvesting, aside from the occasional yield of a haiku from the mind. I feel like a bit of a fraud, but mostly I am frustrated that our plans to move to Boise have been stalled by forces that are totally out of our (okay, my) control. We have decided that we will put our house on the market, but in order to do so, the leaking underground oil storage tank so graciously left by the previous owner must be mitigated.

The state of North Carolina is in our corner and they are pursuing his action on our behalf, but it is a slow process. Several environmental consulting firms have been out to the house to assess the site, including the recent college graduate who showed up at my back door at 7:30 pm in the dark and the rain and scared the beejezus out of me. Presumably, the previous owner is seeking bids for the work, but my concern is that he will continue this process in an effort to draw out the conclusion or worse, that he will try to fight us in court (he will lose as the statutes clearly state his responsibility, but this will be another unwanted delay). Yesterday, Jon told me that we got a letter from an attorney and my heart leapt into my throat. Turns out it was from my dad. Scared the beejezus out of me!

See, The Great Plan is that once we get to Boise and Jon finishes nursing school, we will be in a position to either move to or spend a significant amount of time at the ranch in Montana. And that is where the real homesteading will happen.

What I am being continually reminded of in this process is that you cannot map your life's path just because you sit down with a pad of paper and a pen. No matter your intentions, the universe will curve the road that stretches towards your destination, and the lessons for me are 1) learning to adapt and 2) learning to live in the moment. Two things that require alot of practice on my part.

I have been noticing that all of this anxiety over the future is manifesting itself in my muscles and my brain. I mentioned recently that I have started yoga again and this is helping immensely. I look forward to my Monday night yoga class like a kid or my friend Shena looks forward to a birthday.

I also checked out a book on mindfulness and meditation from the library. I haven't started to practice much, but just reading the book helps me to pay more attention and to recognize the interconnectedness between myself and sources of my stress. I'm not losing sight of the goal, but I must stop agonizing over how to get there.

As Baba Ram Dass said, "be here, be now." I'm trying Ram, I'm trying.


Liz said...

This is such a frustrating nightmare for you all. I wish there was more honesty in the world and that the previous owner would just admit wrong doing. It costs so much more time, energy and money to lie!

I agree, the five year plan I want to come true is already thrown off by a couple of things. I have learned to constantly try to adjust course and really roll with the small sand pebbles, all while keeping my big rocks firmly in the jar.

Anonymous said...

i was happy for the snow this morining. it won't grow a garden, but its reflective quality is a nice change in our raleigh landscape. spring will be here soon and the oil tank will be gone. i know it is a difficult wait. and you are anything but a fraud. you are planting other seeds in the process.

i look forward to seeing your garden grow in the west. i can already see the landscape through your eyes.

Anonymous said...

"....................... Be in the ocean, but learn to surf well." Swami Satchidananda, The Golden Present, 31 October. Peace & Many Blessing, k-K.