Aug 29, 2008

New place, but new beginning?

In Hollywood, bad things are always preceded by sinister music, stormy weather, and dark lighting. What skill it would take to capture a real low moment that can just as easily happen in the midst of beauty. A shot of a man sitting in a canoe with the snow-capped mountains reflecting on the still waters rocking gently around him, crying and shivering and alone.

Today was a day of doubts, of fears, of being Tired in the midst of a through and through good day. From hanging out the morning wash on a windy clothes line, to a canoe ride and meadow walk with four boys who chose to sit in a circle and meditate, to the subsequent game of Meditate & Hide and a visit to the pigs and turkeys. The usual bounty of homegrown organic foods, crafted into individual pizzas by the woman who takes loving care of our bellies each day.

It was an afternoon jaunt to the Waldorf School that set my thoughts a-wondering and my faith a-wandering. On the way over I felt shy (yes, me!) of joining in with the set of parents already established from two years of kindergarten together – the exact reaction of our boys on the playground two days ago when a bunch of other big kids were there, eying the new kids curiously.

I was the only parent who showed up for the afternoon get-the-school-ready work session, so Galen’s teacher – Miss Jewel – accurately assessed my construction “expertise” and asked me to cut tackpaper for the supply shelves. As she left for a home visit (Waldorf teachers meet with each student and family before the year begins to establish a relationship) I sat alone on the floor with my scisssors and crayon and tacky paper and began to feel the same old adolescent fears of belonging.

Will we really be embraced by the community in a deep, dependable and consistent way? Will Galen fit in, will his old friends be loyal, will the new kids see beauty? Will Miss Jewel be the magical mentor and support that Suzanne was in Kindergarten? Is Waldorf really any better than other schools, or did we just get lucky with one teacher?

We are so temporary and adrift, living in a tent for the next month, waiting for house and school and real patterns to start. We are new farmers-at-heart who won’t get to plant this season. As idyllic as the day was, being in the school brought the reality of Tuesdays, of rainy afterschool walks home to a dusky garden needing weeding. To the ever-present work of building and nurturing friendships and community. Why on earth would anything be different in this new strange place?

But the winds brought out the afternoon sun, flapping and warming our happy new orange tent as I napped the woes away. I woke to find our children picking nasturtium flowers for the evening salad, while crickets are chirping and I’m in an open air curvaceous mud-walled shelter writing to people I do believe care and are with me on this journey. A symphony of stars will watch over us tonight as we slide out of a wood-burning sauna with a slew of international volunteers, here at the ecovillage to learn what they need for their own journeys.

Will my own insecurities and doubts magically go away in this new place? Of course not; but we are in an environment that is healthy, connected to nature, in tune with the rhythm of community. After low moments, it is so much easier to recharge and reconnect with what is healthy and true. When doubts come, I will work my land, lean on the community, walk a dirt road, pick blackberries, borrow a cucumber from a neighbour, breathe in the moon’s cycle, pull beets from the root cellar, dance with the wind, chop wood to keep my family warm, go barefoot, howl to the mountains, bake bread, drink deep from the source and feel grounded and connected and Home.

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