31 May


We moved to this land In February, at the time of BE’s third birthday.  It has been all levels of arriving since then.  The story of my home in Jacksonville is best saved for another (dozen a) blog, so here I merely say, its old, its full, and we are the 99%.  Its important to my story because I have bought it ten years ago and occupied it (gladly and otherwise) until I moved this February.  

Now, our family lives under the same roof for the first time.  The best advice for couples I have ever remembered is this: Choose problems outside of your relationship.  You can choose to focus on how she/he squeezes the toothpaste tube or scatters their clothes about the room OR you could choose to focus on the problem of world hunger, of plastic in the ocean, or… you catch my drift.  The idea is two fold.  One: that you have choice.   Two: That people who are united in achieving big things in the world share a fire that is passionate and powerful, that burns the little stuff away and that builds alliance.  

Our “problem” is the opportunity and great potential of this farm, or at least generating the physical labor it requires.  This becomes more clear the longer we live here.  We have the opportunity to steward this land in a way that is abundant and nourishing for our family, our community and the land itself. 

Last week, BE and I had Girls Weekend on the farm.  Papa went away to play music and we stuck around to hold down the fort.  Handling the chores here by myself was both empowering and humbling.  It made me really appreciate my partner, his ingenuity, his physical prowess and his willingness. It also made me realize that living on land is a lot like being a mama, its a big and unpredictable responsibility. My favorite of the Girls Weekend challenges? Friday late night, the dog encountered a skunk and she was sprayed direct. Yes, please laugh as you picture BE and me getting off to market early Saturday morning without either of us physically touching said dog.   

A few days before Girls Weekend, we had an intense experience.  I was home alone with BE getting dinner ready.  She went outside to ride her bike.  She came in and said she was going to Home Depot, and I said “Ok, but just for pretend.” She told me to call her on her cellphone when dinner was ready.  I said, “Ok, but just pretend, you don’t have a cellphone.”  Long story short, she dragged her bike through a little space in our gate and road off down the road.  WAY down the road.  And even though the above conversation happened, when I realized she was missing I did not think she’d really left.  I started searching the land.  Checking the gates to the pond and the pool, checking the barn and the back gardens, yelling and running and trying to be smart about searching 16 acres by myself.  Finally I got on a bicycle and started down the road.  By then she was headed back toward the house, trailed by a big ole’ brown pickup truck driven by a lady who kept saying, “I found her on the double yellow lines”.  At the time, this just did not compute but she just kept repeating herself.  I muttered a thank you and followed BE to the house.  BE looked at me and said, “I told you to call me on my cellphone.”  I said, “BE honey, check your pockets, you don’t have a cellphone!”  She told me that the lady stopped her truck and asked her where she was going.  BE answered, “Home Depot”.  The lady then said, “Where do you live?” and BE pointed down the road. The lady told her she was going to follow her home and BE led the way.  This was the best possible outcome of an incredibly scary situation and I say truly, that we are beyond lucky BE came home safe and sound.  I am forever grateful to that the kind-hearted lady who brought her home.  The following day, the What If’s danced around inside my head as I grappled with the unbelievable weight of the experience.  Here I thought I had identified every danger on this land, from ponds and drop offs to snakes and ticks, yet the idea that she would leave absolutely never crossed my mind.  When it did, in flooded the recognition of her individuality and the simple fact that no matter what I do, I can’t always keep her safe.  It hit me like a brick and for a moment I thought this whole mom-ing thing is just too much for me.  I thought about throwing in the towel.  Absurd, I know.  But real.  Sometimes I wonder if I am truly tough enough for this position.  This was one of those times.

And then came Girls Weekend and with it some rain and a good windstorm.  BE and me found a nest that had been blown from our beloved, ancient spiral of a cherry tree.  The nest is exquisite.  For me it came as a physical symbol of just what we are doing here.  A symbol of the delicate balance of life, of the incredible desire I have for the people in my family to be nurtured and to blossom, and of the importance of excellent work and attention to detail.







5 Responses to “Nesting.”

  1. shelly May 31, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    liz you are so poetic, i love it, i do not ever feel like i express my self in the deep lovely feeling of awness that you can bring about. anyways i have had you in my mind every since bees home depo trip. Needless to say we had a similar experience and that is why we have Murphey our big black dog. living on land with water, horses, snakes, WATER, water tanks i needed to be able to call a dog and hopefully know what direction to look, and to this day when the girls are out side they are supposed to have the dogs with them, water, snakes Cougar and bears, the large animals are more of an issuree here, now that the girls are older. Danny still can not swim, and we have a large pond also. There big black dog does not star with them if there is any-chance someone else will throw a ball, I love him dearly, but i do see a big shepard dog in the near future. Samy is now big enough to do all choirs required of a puppy- hoping that will instill full loyalty. I know my old dog Josie- there was no way i could have drowned with her around, i could barely swim over my head with her around. I started a fire in my camp trailer, she was inside, stuck her head out then back in, i thought thats wired, opened the door, she dashed out like a light, i saw my careless fire, had she just come out i would not have known. anyways i am now dog rambling, but we are looking into getting a canine kid sitter/protector. my heart was going out to you over bee. your place looks absolutly wonderful.

  2. peaceblossomcandles June 1, 2012 at 1:04 am #

    You are such a wonderful writer. What a gift. I look forward to your thoughts on this blog. I consider it a treat and a privilege to follow you down this road. And of course, the relat-ability is all there for me, since I am 10 years ahead of you on this life’s journey, and so I can laugh and say been-there-done-that!!! I’ve had those moments with the kids too; as in, can I even DO this??? And, what was I THINKING having kids? Luckily they were fleeting. All I can say is, this too shall pass and it gets better. the kids do grow up, then you have a whole new set of challenges, but at least playing in the street isn’t one of them…

  3. christina ammon June 1, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    A GREAT writer. Had no idea you were hiding this talent! So glad this story has a happy ending. I can’t begin to imagine what those moments must have felt like … Be stay in the nest!!

  4. uberherbalmama June 1, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Yeah! thanks for all the love! I am really happy to have a writing outlet. Glad there are folks out there to read it.

  5. amber June 2, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    thanks for the share, liz! it’s a treat to get a window into your world and to feel into your heart a bit. i am so glad for you and your family to have a sweet spot to live and grow. and i really can relate to the sometimes overwhelming and mostly awesome experience of ‘mom-ing’.

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