final countdown

Eighteen days to go.

Last month I gave the requisite 45 days' notice to our landlord. It seems like an age ago and just yesterday -- time is being strange, like cold honey stretching out into long ropy strands, gathering into drops and nodules around golden mornings on the farm or long evenings spent dancing or talking or singing or just wandering the roads of this friendly little town that's become very much like a home.

I'm torn. On one hand, this was always the plan. On the other, it seems like just recently, all the pieces that make up a strong sense of belonging to a tribe are falling into place.

Chico and Walnut greet me with whipping tails and looks of utter adoration on the (now cool) mornings I head to Rose Farm. It's not always easy work -- there was the day I became suddenly very aware of my level of dehydration, and the other where I dug for potatoes, sinking my hands into the loosened clay to feel for round smoothness, not realising that the clay was pushing its own way up under my fingernails and packing in until they bled. But it feels solid and ancient and somehow undefinably right.

chico

The evenings are long and lingering and painfully beautiful. If I look at the sky for too long I begin to weep.

opal sky

And then when the sun sinks for good we gather around the fire and I learn that my friends are magicians.

firebender

There is a part of me that wants fiercely to preserve all this, to nourish this beauty and these connections to the neglect of other facets of life. There's another part that would like to remind the rest of me that preserving is what you do with things after they're dead, and true nourishment is the precise opposite.

-b