Tuesday, January 20, 2009

slow-living in the fast lane

There are times when one of us has to leave the farm to take care of our family. There's such a clear division of responsibilities that when one of us has to be gone the other has the chores of two non-stop, slow-living farmers. Right now, I'm in Tucson visiting my mother. Every morning I talk with Wally and go over what is happening on the farm and what the priorities of the day are. We are still a team. I'm buying seeds, vet supplies, car parts and various other things that are easily accessible here and that we often do without. Wally has been orienting new volunteers to farm life and vegetable gardening while nursing our favorite rooster after a death assault from within the flock. The poor rooster is isolated in our kitchen and getting supplements in his water and antibiotic cream on his pecked-bare neck. The dogs are already depressed because I'm not around but now more so that they are restricted from the comforts of the kitchen. Our days are full and never the same, even for the dogs. Being here I realize that living on the farm has changed me. I don't merge into the fast-lane of ordinary American life automatically. It's not natural to me anymore. I am enjoying time with my mom more than before . There's a lot to accomplish in this visit but we are calmly content cooking, mending, walking and talking. The urgent gets done with little effort or strain. I find that I'm comfortable in the moment and don't feel the need to take advantage of being in the land of "get it while you can". I' feel rich with what I already have though I would like to surprise Wally with something that would delight him . I'm confident that even that will come to me before I leave. Today Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. I know that this is an important fork in the road for America. Mom watched the proceedings throughout the day. I stopped a few times to listen and watch but mostly stayed with my chores. I was deliberate in choosing to celebrate this way. I wanted to savor the hope in the course and flow of ordinary life. I'd rather my contribution be my own pure imaginings than be influenced by the yammering of the TV. It is a quiet collaboration with the rest of the nation and with God who knows all our hopes. I'll be finishing my visit in a few days and catching the bus back home. I feel good about the time I'm sharing with my family. I have more to offer as one who lives slow.

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