95 acres of sky
Well it has been quite a year, with much beginning and some endings too, as is the way of things. For us the end of the year was also the beginning, on the solstice 95 acres of land became legally ours, though my heart has called it home for a little while now. As the old year ended and the new began, under the gaze of the full moon and the solar eclipse, our new life began. This week I’ve walked on the land 3 times knowing that I am entitled to do so, knowing that it is ours and that we are free to do as we please there.
It is hard to explain the feeling I had when Stephen and I walked the land together on Christmas Eve. It really is a large parcel, though 50 acres of it is environmentally protected forest which means that half the land cannot be ‘used’. For many this would be a negative but for us the knowledge that we will always have this beautiful view, looking out over fields and down to the tree line that marks the border, is blissful. We walked as much of the land as we could safely reach, following a track left by the vehicle of the departing owners. We walked beyond the confines of what is becoming known as home field and found our way down to the lower pastures and the wide open sky held within the arms of the trees that border half the land’s perimeter.
I felt so uplifted by the blue sky and the space around me, so freed. At the same time the trees seemed to surround me too, providing a feeling of security, of boundaries that prevented the space from being overwhelming. I feel welcomed and safe when I am there, I see the endless possibilities; future days filled with activity and purpose. In the bottom fields the wind is stronger, scouring my mind and leaving me feeling exhausted and clean. I feel enlivened but also ready for a long sleep, the fresh air doing it’s work on my body and washing away the hubub of suburban life, replacing it with the quiet of trees, the silence of the ice bound earth.
When I see the boys there, so occupied by the theme park that is nature I feel secure in our choice. I’ve yet to see them bored by the natural world, they never seem to run out of things to do or ways to be creative. There is always another thing to look at, pick up, build, ride on, slide on, jump in or off. Their cheeks are red in the chill air, their bodies moving and exploring. What seems an impossible challenge one moment is an obstacle overcome the next, building confidence or teaching caution.
As I stand in the place that will next year be our home I have no difficulty pushing aside the image of a derelict field that needs clearing, instead I see the home that Stephen has spend hours designing and planning. The ice melts away and I see green and productivity. I see the kids playing, a neat driveway that beckons our friends as they pull up to visit. I feel warm breezes on my skin and smell the sharp tang of woodsmoke on the breeze as night approaches. I see stars encrusting the sky unhindered by electric lights, giving them full reign of the blackness above.
In these moments when I am so consumed by this perfect vision, more real than so much of what I see around me but aim to tune out, I try to remember my motto “Work imagined is easier than work done”. I remind myself that there will be bad days, bleak days, lonely days. I remind myself that I do not know this life, have only imagined it and really know nothing of the challenges, the work, the exhaustion it will hold. I remind myself this is an unknown future.
But there must be some trick that the wind is playing on me because these thoughts will not stay in my mind. The icy breezes snag them and toss them aside, I laugh as they are blown high and away, I cannot remember what those worries were as the trees smile at me. Looking around I can only exist within this perfect future, all I can feel is the freedom of the wind and the openness of my spirit, all I see is the sunshine. And the sky.