It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and I am thankful for Nothing. On a 3-day romantic get-away in a haunted hotel on Saltspring Island, and Nothing is right.
Nothing on the To-Do list. Three whole days with just me and Sarah and sweet sweet time. We spent the whole Saturday morning enjoying the “farmers” market (82 artisans, 22 baked goods, 5 farmers). Long hike with views over the ocean to the East and West. Two naps (so far). Delicious dinners out and local produce picnic lunches. Long long talks and dreams and financial visioning from rocks overlooking the ocean, fish&chips joint flooded with the sunset, 5-Rhythms Dance with our incomparable dance-diva friend Shawna, hotel queen-sized bed with the TV cabinet closed (except for that really bad chick-flick about the Playboy centre-fold who becomes a sorority house mom.)
The awareness of this sweet Nothingness became poignant in the final half-hour of preparing to leave the house. As we scrambled to pack, close up the house and leave instructions for my mom and kids to keep the farm going, we rushed past all the Work we would have otherwise been doing this long weekend. Stepped over the broken doorsill, passed by the piles of garlic to be processed, walked under the falling insulation that needs ceiling board, and through the open doorway that really needs that new door hung. Covered up the apples to be canned, piled up the laundry to be folded, put all that FreeRange Consulting work back on the shelf to finish later. Walked through the garden that’s ready to put to sleep for the winter, through the greenhouse of tomatoes that needs a final harvest pronto before the frost gets serious, and out to feed the cow and water buffalo in the tub that needs replacing with a real pallet hayfeeder. Then drove down the driveway alongside the cabin that will get interior plaster on Monday, out by the farm stand that needs to be replenished with garlic and apple butter, and up the road past the mailbox that we haven’t collected in a week.
In so many ways this is the worst timing to run away. Just when we’re exhausted from the spring/summer farming and think it’s rest time, October is our busiest month – final food preservation, winter gardening, and this reno that’s so temptingly close to Done. But these three days have let us clear our heads, reconnect with each other and ourselves, rest, get some perspective. We’re the star basketball player who hates being called off for a breather, but then goes back onto the court with renewed vigour. That huge list of time-sensitive Things-to-Do now looks not only do-able, but enjoyable again – stuff we Want to do. And the circles that Sarah and I have been running in are at least concentric again, joined and overlapping and coherent.
So thank you Grandma for the chance to sit back and take stock, to breathe deep with my wife – out with the overwhelm, in with the appetite. We return this afternoon ready for our children, our land, this ambitious life we choose and thrive in and for which we are truly Thankful.
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