We've done the impossible, or rather the inadvisable - turned and old garage into a warm cosy rental suite in just over 2 months. But the price, as I've already written, has been a collapse of balance. For two months, anytime I've been anywhere but in the garage I've felt a pressure, an inability to be fully present with anyone or any activity. That finally changed over the weekend.
It started on Saturday, when I blew off the garage and rallied 5 families for a long-overdue birthday hike up Mt. Tzouhalem - the one we see each morning out our breakfast window. It was fresh and fun and one more big step and understanding where we live, like a dog circling closer and closer before tucking tail. But as much as I enjoyed the easy mixing of adult conversation, the kids running rampant through the woods and just up to the cliff edge, and friends who readily agreed with just 15 hours' notice to come celebrate my birthday and Spring in this clear way, there was still a cloud of knowing I should be finishing up the garage suite for move-in day tomorrow.
Sunday, on the other hand, was a fantastically busy morning of scrubbing the old fridge, site clearing, etc. We made the spiritually enlightened decision to forego Quaker meeting and spent that extra hour with a vacuum and sponge in every nook, shelf and baseboard of the suite, while the kids picked up all the wood and garbage from outside. Instead of rushing to a worship meeting and spending the hour fretting about the suite, we arrived right at the end with a huge weight off our shoulders and photos to prove that it was ready for move-in (OK, minus a bathroom and a few other details...).
The rest of the day was the definition of mindfulness, of living in the moment instead of always knowing that something else is calling. Went for a Peaceful nature walk with Friends, then to an all-afternoon musical cabaret featuring local musicians and music students. Fiddle, African drumming and dancing, accordion, choirs, storytelling, harp, improv modern dance, didgeridoo... all the while a big gang of Waldorf kids running around the beautiful Providence Farm property then back in to listen and dance more, then back out again, free and wild as the music.
The cabaret, organized by our unstoppable community-builder friend Cari, was a pure local celebration of local talent and Joy. Nothing overly-professional, although the quality was excellent, a feeling more of sharing than performing or listening. We planned to stop in for an hour and ended up staying the full 5 hours then going for dinner with a group of friends we met up with there. We knew about half the performers and at least a quarter of the listening folk. This is the small-town, know thy neighbour life we came to find.
The splendid irony of the event was that it was a fundraiser to build the community yurt that we were supposed to live in last year. All things have their time and place, I guess. And as of Sunday, I believe that I'm back to that centred place of presence, with my watch reading Now and my compass pointing to Here.
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