The morning began with a piercing screech that any mother would recognize as the default method of communicating “low blood sugar” by a small child.
Our visiting friends were up before we were.
Sleep hung heavy on me, a cup of green tea not enough to clear the cobwebs. I struggled to pull them back, with the energy of the impending full moon filling the empty spaces, having built up for days, niggling incessantly at the corners of my mind, now behind a sticky curtain.
Fortunately, we had made a plan for the day the prior evening, so at least I knew in what direction I was headed, and could plow ahead (with all the grace of a snail).
The promise of tea and scones (imbued with the subtle divinity that seemingly permeates both the words and edibles of their maker) offered their faint but persistent prodding to keep on, and they were, as always, well worth the effort.
It’s our version of “church,” this Sunday tradition in summer – the coming together of community (even if only borrowed for a spell) on the sweet sacredness of a Vermont farm – its stacked rocks, wooden steps, and handmade benches our pews, with “standing room only” and children free to roam and cuddle and connect without bother – families supporting families, even the brand new among them. There are rows upon rows of berries to pick, which even at the busiest times offer a sense of calm and a place for meditation or escape. It’s the simplicity that is the message each week, and continues to call us back, rooted in the reality of its creators who are so hard working and generous, without ever being fussy. Grounded in a way I aspire to. A recurring event, steeped in kindness, fellowship, and the offering of food, uniting to care for a farm and her families.
An extra cup of tea and some small fuel later, we trekked to the home and studio of renowned potter and sculptor, Malcolm “Orv” Wright, and his wife, Marj, who live just up the path on Turnpike Road. There, we toured his spaces, in quiet awe of the grounds, his work, his kiln, and his collections. He said something, today, that resonated deeply. The words are mine, but the crux is his… There comes a point when we need to pursue creative challenges that diverge from what we have done (and come to be expected to do), at a high level, for a very long time. When we are called to venture down paths that are fascinating and uncomfortable and therefore irresistible. We only have so much time on this earth and in these bodies as vehicles to explore, and when we truly realize that fact, we naturally release the need for approval of others. We have one chance at this life, and when there is something that pulls at us like a magnet, and the weight of time sits upon our shoulders, just heavy enough to keep us accountable, we are suddenly free to listen and work towards understanding and mastery of the joyous unknown.
We trickled, slowly, one by one, like reluctant raindrops upon a window into a world worth knowing, back towards our cars, gazing fondly at all that was shared and those who shared it.
With thank you’s and handshakes as punctuation, we drove home, children in tow, my youngest begging to peek his sun bleached head from the car window with eyes closed and mouth open in the breeze, grinning from ear to ear (yes, we finally let him, bumping along Barrows Road as slowly as possible). I believe my boy needed that, and we his sheer joy. There were cattle in the field with the view of mountains for miles, and we paused to take them in under the hot sunshine, blue skies, and August’s collection of buzzing, chirping insects.
Lunch was managed and imagined dragons emerged, roaring their terrible roars, just before our child wrangling goddess whisked the fire breathers off to an outdoor adventure. Fathers dispersed to tackle work, and the mothers and the youngest one took a needed pause, he settling into sleep, and we into laundry and words.
Just a few minutes, now, until they all return and the evening gains its momentum. A little bird made mention of a special hike with the menfolk to glimpse the moon, while the food and fire and and other secret surprises will be left in the hands of the mothers.
With closed eyes and a deep breath, I chuckle as I hear the call within…
Let the wild rumpus start.