I have a confession to make: This has gotten harder.
This constant reflection, soul searching, and reporting on my daily life is harder. At first it was effortless. For a person who had never been able to keep a journal, I discovered with some astonishment that I actually had a lot to say about my life, that it was actually worthy of comment, and that writing it all down felt good.
But something happened recently – perhaps the doldrums of hot sleepless nights, or maybe it’s the whisper of autumn that has followed. My birthday maybe? Or the sudden calm after the storm of the big summer party? Maybe it’s the fact that my savings are once again dwindling and I am anxious about getting through the winter.
Whatever it is, something inside me got a little unraveled. That’s the best way I can put it. After a nearly a year of diligent stitching, the orderly patterns of projects, work, and documentation that have made up my life at the Ranch so far have started to come apart at the seams.
Weeds grow up in the bee garden I worked so hard to set up this summer. I look at them everyday, spreading chaos over my careful design. I have been allowing them to overtake me, I feel powerless to stop them. They are parasitic, vampiric, but they don’t realize I am already bone dry. I don’t want to write about it.
Daily I must encounter the unfinished-ness of tasks. The gate to the chicken run, unbuilt, held up by baling string, is an ugly, temporary solution that mocks me and my seeming inability to replace it with permanence. I don’t want to talk about it.
Why have the hens stopped laying? Why won’t the doe go into heat? The tomato plants are withering. The dry landscape aches. There is no momentum, no fertility, no flow. I can’t write about this nothingness.
It was in the midst of this that I looked up at the night sky. I had missed the Perseids weeks before, my favorite late-summer event, in what can only be described as a subconscious confirmation of my blockage. Did I really forget to stay up to watch them, or did I deny myself that showering of energy because I feared what it might do (or not do) to my intransigence?
As I chastised myself for my laziness, a shooting star, just a little bright flash, almost so tiny it could have been dismissed as a wish or a phantom, showed itself to me. Two days later I found myself bathed in a shower of sparks, the effervescence of another person, with a mind full of sweet dreams and flying machines, who showed himself to me.
Let’s build this gate, he said.
Let’s pull these weeds.
This place is alive, he said. I can feel it. Can’t you?
That evening there was a warm brown egg waiting for me in the nest. A blood-red dragonfly hovered over the chapped, yellow earth, and I suddenly found my words again.