Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Walking Back Forward

A great friend and I have been talking a bit lately about taking steps forward, taking steps backward, and some of the subtle differences between the two.  The case in point, of course is our decision to return to the ‘working world’ for a bit to get a few projects completed. 

It feels for all the world like stepping backward, out of the realms of sustainable living and into the clutches of the dreaded ‘MAN’ (whoever he is).

I’d be lying if I tried to persuade anyone that that is not happening.  It doesn’t matter that in the end the decision was made almost by accident.  Both my husband and I were trying to give the other what we thought they needed or wanted(a la O. Henry’s Gift of the Magi).  The proverbial MAN will indeed have a great deal of our attention for the next year or so.

For a while this really threw me for a loop. Especially when some of the people I told about the decision seemed excited that we’d be going back to the great Mammoth Cave.  I literally felt like a refugee being torn from her land.  I even came dangerously close to contacting my soon-to-be employers and begging them to forgive me but to please let me out of my commitment.  Then a strange thing happened.

(Ahem, the Judas bit really doesn't apply here.  Just sayin'.)

Spring came.

It got warm outside, the daffodils came into bloom,

I put a few potatoes into the ground, and suddenly, I felt better about everything.

As tomatoes began popping out of the potting soil,

and the yard started looking neater, I realized that we can do both things.  We can have our garden, even if it is a lot smaller than it has been in the past couple of years.  And we will make progress in a great many areas, particularly getting buildings built that we need to perform certain farm activities (greenhouses, cabins, grain drying and storage, craft shops, etc.)

If it sounds like I am still trying to talk myself into this, that’s probably true, at least in part.  But at least it’s getting easier.

How can we have something better if we do not imagine it?
How can we imagine it if we do not hope for it?
How can we hope for it if we do not attempt to realize it?

Wendell Berry
What Are People For?


  1. you can do it Barb. it may not be easy - but you can do it.

    1. Thanks. I've lost track of whether it's a forward step or a backward step and am content to simply regard it as a step.