We looked at land last weekend. Land with trees and a lake and a small barn. Land which was the closest thing we've found to what we see when we close our eyes. It was beautiful. As we walked through what I decided was the perfect spot for our fruit trees and honey bees, I could imagine the series of small cabins framing the lake. It is ideal for trails and gardens, chickens and goats, picnics and clotheslines. We could make it all of that; the land would allow it.
But it was also a lesson that potential reality is not the same as existing reality.
We walked through the waist high grass, stamping after the realtor, who was going on with robust enthusiasm about property lines and building permits and then about how he wished the water moccasin he had seen last week was on the fallen tree again today, for us to see, that great majestic beast!
Which is when my pace changed from David Livingston of the Indiana wild to a palsied, high stepping epicene. AP must've noticed; he kept shooting funny looks over his shoulder at me. Finally, eyebrow raised, he asked
"are you alright?"
"What? Why? Why do you ask that? Why wouldn't I be?" I responded, without stopping my frantic search of the brambles and thicket covering the ground, scowling with preemptive accusation.
"Uh, no reason, I guess" He said, skeptically.
And as I walked... well...pranced really, my mind began to catalog a Rolodex of things both big and small which will change or be uncomfortable if we do this thing.
I will have to reconstruct my entire relationship with snakes and spiders, into some cross between tolerance and pistol-wielding vigilance. Not, I suppose, that I would shoot at spiders. That would probably be overkill. //probably//.
Existing withing a perfect climate bubble is out. No more long days in regulated temperatures when there are gardens to plant and goats to milk.
Speaking of goats, what am I even thinking? I've had dogs. Low maintenance, companionable dogs, which sleep in my bed, and dislike getting their paws wet in the rain. And I realized something.
Goats are not dogs.
Nor are chickens or bees or sheep or ...Lord, cows! Cows are certainly not dogs!
And do you know what else isn't a dog? A Coyote.
Which are apparently abundant, in the wild.
Not to mention the fact that in my present life, we can go weeks without really grocery shopping, per se, because I can swing by the grocery store any evening for a thing or two. I can bring carry out home. I even sometimes go to the store late at night, when we have some spontaneous urge for chocolate.
I say we. That's probably not accurate. It's mostly me, with the chocolate.
Nonetheless, how will I get my midnight chocolate if we live 30 minutes from the nearest store?
And then, we're going to bring children, lots and lots of children to our land. My introverted husband and I are going to go from the two of us, set in our ways, to living under the daily demands of a mini-multitude.
And that's not to mention the ways we'd like to make the property productive or all of the other people we'd like to have be part of our community. Friends and family who come to get away, to visit, to work with the kids, to live, to contribute their talents or just to share some lemonade and a rocking chair on my hypothetical porch.
It's not to mention the fact that this will require a level of daily physical effort unlike anything we've experienced. AP has come close, I suppose, having done landscaping before. In my imagination, I think of happy, lean muscles and sun-gilded skin, of coming to the end of every day and being good tired.
Stamping through the grass, my imagination was abashed by swarms of gnats, drizzly weather, and aching calves after a twenty minute trek around the edge of the lake. Maybe someday, with effort and attention to both my body and the land, what I imagine will become what is real. I wonder, though, if I am strong enough to endure the, achy, snaky road between here and there.
And! And. We're talking about building all of this from the ground up. Which doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense because frankly...we know nothing.
All of this summed up really only equals the most trivial of sacrifices, if they can even be called that. Not to mention that Nineveh, Indiana is really only barely the wild.
I know this.
I have always felt so close in my heart to the idea of a pure and simple life, still, I worry and fret. While each change by itself might not amount to much, I wonder if the fact of so many changes at once will be my undoing.
And these light things say nothing of what is beneath; a worry I muffle under layers of what is trivial.
What if no one comes and we become isolated and alone? What if we put everything we have into this and we don't have the strength to carry out the mission? What if we can't find a way from such a failure and implode on ourselves under the weight of disappointment?
What if what was supposed to be a dream ruins us instead?
Whether it will or it won't, though, the idea won't let me alone.
It calls to me.
It calls with an insistence I am utterly mesmerized by. And when it speaks to me, in the cradle of my imagination, I more clearly see my future in this foreign world than any incarnation of myself in the familiar urban existence where I currently spend my life.
Is it true that nothing ventured, nothing gained?
I think it must be.
And for me, it must be, because whatever trepidation and uncertainty I might sometimes battle, this is where we're going. To where risk and reward live in higher proportions and where we put all of talents on the altar, and pray
Oh God, Oh God, let these things please you. Cause them to increase because
frankly, we know nothing.