Tons of branches, large and small, would fall into our yard – True! It looks like we just held a javelin competition in our yard – branches are sticking straight out of the ground left and right! Nature’s tree service…and fuel for brush-fires this fall.
Trees might fall and do damage to our house – False! (Although we did hear some pretty big snaps other places in our yard… we’ll explore tomorrow)
Our sump-pump might fail, and we might end up with a wet basement – False! Yeay!
And finally, no matter what, we will Definitely. Lose. Electricity. We live in the woods. We always do.
Yet here I sit, writing this blog, on my computer that is by no means wireless. Aside from a few flickers, we have been going strong all day.
And after all is said and done, I was prepared for the unexpected, because despite the fact that I knew we would lose electricity today, my plan was to can peaches (which calls for a hell of a lot more water than I bought at the store, and also for my stove – which is gas, but has an electric starter – to be on all day) Loosing electricity could have left me seriously stranded in the middle of this process….but let’s not forget the unexpected.
As I worked harmoniously beside Matty – sometimes quietly, sometimes jokingly, often interrupted by little girls showing us a painting or a “book decoration” or needing help in the bathroom, I took note at how peaceful the day was; a tranquil day in the eye of the storm we call our life.
The reality is, that our everyday life is a hurricane – moving swiftly and apt to change direction at any moment, and though we try our best to prepare for it, we always fall short. This is true all through the year, but especially poignant in the summer, as we try to balance a need to live it up and get away with the need to be home for and do all the work that comes a long with the harvest time. Although I dream of having vast stores of food we have grown and processed in our own kitchen (someday!) what our summer usually boils down to is us trying to schedule our picking in between the fun – vacations, parties, weekend get-aways, swimming – and the not-so-fun – work, sickness, yard projects, house projects, my father dying…
The photos seem idyllic, but what it is – really – is me and the girls picking blueberries from not such a good crop (making it harder and much more time consuming to pick) on a hot day, for hours, after a long drive, a week after my father died. Days like this (and there are many) we just have to throw in the towel, take some goofy photos, and come home with much less than we had anticipated.
And then there is the processing… which usually happens into the wee hours of the night because we haven’t planned well and the fruits of mother nature can’t wait…
Isn’t this what your kitchen looks like the night before you go on a two-week camping trip with young children?
Our life is full of rushing here and rushing there, trying to fit too much into the hours we are offered in a day, having to let things go more often than we’d like…but in the middle of it all, there was the gift of this exceptional day. In the middle of roaring winds, high waters, branches blowing here and there, our family enjoyed a moment of repose; a time when we all worked together at a slower pace; a time when our hands moved with purpose and joy; a time to be thankful for what we have and for being together; a time to relish in the unexpected.