On Tuesday I felt alive again. And it felt good. Damn good.
The last time I felt so alive was the night I went into the hospital, July 16th. I was riving in such tremendous pain, only a sentient being can experience this kind of physical suffering. I can’t promise I wanted to be alive in those hours, but it is clear to me that I was. My shirt soaked with tears. My throat scratchy from screams. My eyelids sore from being closed so tightly. My heart aching with sorrow for Steve’s fear. Memories of pain don’t go away. Or at least mine haven’t yet. Since then, life has a shadow. Even the sunny days have an unknown darkness within them. I have written about this all before.
Yet the events of this week were kismet. And since Tuesday, I once again feel an overall sense of hope that life will be filled with brightness again one day. We will get through this and hope and laughter will be present.
You might stop reading here. Perhaps that is enough of a blog post – starts rough and ends on a positive note. But if you want the story, here ’tis:
Two weeks ago Steve and I were invited to a Whole-Farm Planning Class. I learned the topic years ago, so wasn’t inclined to go, but the class was being hosted by a farm in Naples, NY. Meanwhile, on Thursday I was invited back for a second interview for a job with a non-profit who trains people to be new farmers. The interview was Tuesday night. 2 days with farmers and an interview with an organization that trains farmers. Coincidence? Kismet?
The farm class was in Naples, NY. Naples is a small town in a valley next to Canandaigua Lake. It’s just minutes from the cottage where my family spent hundreds of summers’ days together; swimming, laughing, eating, lounging and more. It is here where I first slowed down enough to witness that nature has her own language. It is here where, by swimming across the lake and learning to slalom water ski, that I discovered I had the strength and capacity to do anything I wanted. And it is here where a large piece of my soul still resides – always full of glee and wonder. The farm course was being organized by a woman who owns a farm in Naples. She is somebody I have wanted to meet for a few years, mostly because her farm is in Naples but also because the farm’s priority is to cultivate, share and inspire abundance by saving and selling seed. The owners of this farm are selling the seeds from plants grown in a valley where my soul lives. How could I not want to know who they are? I signed up for the course.
Though Day 1’s content was repetitive and slow, I had the chance to connect with 12 other beginning (and some experienced) farmer’s about each of our business’s and also the opportunity to ask them how a non-profit that trains farmers could help each of them. This was well worth the trip in itself.
But Day 2 is when I realized I was still alive. I had been preparing for my Tuesday interview for days, not sleeping well at night, going through answers to interview questions in my head and reading about the mission and work of this non-profit. A feeling that I actually might want the job – that I want something – started becoming real. I haven’t felt this in months. Also on Day 2, our group of farmers spent 90-minutes ‘Whole Farm Assessing’ parts of our Wellspring Forest Farm. It was enlivening, eye-opening, and humbling to have 12 farmers process our farm and our holistic life goals with me.
These few moments were the first time since July 17th I felt like I actually cared about something (other than other humans and animals). To be more accurate, I realized I actually still care about my future. To feel this, I realized, I am still truly alive. Yes, I am fighting a disease that shadows my every move, but that shadow is not me. And will no longer be me.