Friday, February 25, 2005

An evening alone...

Tonight I am home alone... listening to music and drinking coffee that came from dark, oily beans. The dog is asleep on the bed in the next room. The cats are curled together, their black fur dissolving into each other, only an ear and a tail allowing me to see that they are two, not one. Settling into a relatively relaxing weekend with only Virginia Woolf homework. Homework that doesn't feel like homework. The house has found some order after several hours of cleaning. My clothes are ironed, folded, hung, and stuffed in drawers for the first time in months. I look forward to the next week of being able to find matching socks, of having at least the little things in order. Life so easily flies out of control. I am easily set adrift.

The moon rises big and full in the east. An orange orb tucked behind lines of bare popal. It seems like it was a full moon last week too. Or maybe that was last month? Or two days ago? I don't know... but tonight my wolfie is laying spread out and content in its strange light. The warm days are good for her. She sleeps well. But I look at her and see that she is a little bit sad. A little bit lonely I think. I go out often to hug her and give kiss her nose, to snuggle my face in her fur. She smells like hay and winter. She returns me to center. She is the biggest sweet heart I have ever met. Sometimes I wish people smelled that good... but they never do. Tomorrow I am promising myself and her to take that walk in the woods that we both need.

Today I cleaned house instead of playing outside because my uncle and his wife will be visiting from the cities. I am hoping to get a chance (one that I've been procrastinating) to ask them if they want to buy my house. Sometimes I just don't care anymore. But other times, like today, I feel the weight and pull of this decision. I built this place with my own hands. My hands and my dad's. We built this place together. I love my dad for that. I wonder if he realizes just how hard this is to do. I can only hope that he does. This place is more than a house. It is blood, sweat, tears, memories... and it is beautiful... this place with its elm tree holding up the roof, the windows and more windows, the hand-crafted railings, split log stairs, the open loft, this writing room, the big diamond window that I watch the moon rise through, the porch that I've spent many rainy days enjoying, the winter night's warmed by the woodstove, the open loft where I feel a sense of breathing space, the high ceilings, the warm-colored wood floors. Putting the floors in was my favorite part of building this place. I'll remember that day forever. These little memories that surround me. And such magic outside. The field that mist rolls across every summer morning, the ridge that sparkles with frost in the winter, the swamp filled with tamarack that turns a fiery gold in the fall. These are the things that break my heart to consider leaving.

I told a friend of mine my intentions of selling. She tried every angle to talk me out of it. But the thing is that it is more complicated than can be readily fixed. She suggested boarding horses to pay for what we can't afford. Once upon a time I would have thought that was a wonderful ideas. Who wouldn't want to dedicate their life to horses? But the thing is that I don't want to, as incredible as it might be. I want to teach. In another year or two V. and I will have to move away in order to make that dream happen. It complicates everything. But I am not willing to give it up, or even put it off.

When I was in high school I promised to never sacrifice my life for material possessions. As beautiful as this place is, as much magic as it holds, that is what it is, a material possession. I've seen too many people give up their lives to this. I've seen it ruin too many lives. It used to be easier to live life fully. Now it comes with compromises. Sometimes big compromises.

My life has changed many times in many ways. I would never trade it in for anything else. I remember walking down the cobbled Himilayan streets of Ladhak. After being there only a month and a half, I remember crying for a week straight because it was so hard to leave. I think it might have been then that I realized that if a place makes you cry because it is so hard to leave then it was a good place. A place to be thankful for having found. A place to be thankful for having experienced. This place is like that. Eventually when I have to leave I will cry. I will cry a lot. But I'll know that those tears are because it was a good place. It was a place that gave me supreme happiness. And I'll remind myself that not everyone is lucky enough to have experienced that. Not even people with "enough" money.

Because when it comes down to it, it is never about money. It is about what you are thankful for. It is about what you carry around in your heart.

I'll move forward, but I'll always have this and everything before. Always. Because life has been lived fully. And that is a way of living that I never want to give up.

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