As Arnold would say, “I’m Baaack!”
I abandoned this blog a few years ago when life got so complicated that I could hardly think straight. I felt like I was swimming in the ocean and waves kept crashing over me. I’d (figuratively) head for the beach to get out of the waves but the tide kept pulling me out. For a few years I floated around, buffeted by winds and waves.
Even though all the advertisements featuring “seniors” show us happy and vacationing and exercising our trim bodies — Life after retirement holds just as many challenges as life in your 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. We maneuver them the best that we can and realize in our wisdom that we just cannot control everything.
But now, I am ready to get back to this blog and writing. Enjoy my stories, share or comment, or – better yet – start your own blog! Tell your stories and we will listen.
Here is the first post about selling the farm we had lived on for 27 years.
The Hour of Separation
I don’t know when the love affair began to disintegrate. Was it in the dead of winter when the dark skies and constant cold turned my heart? Was it in spring, when the promise of new growth filled me with dread? Was it in the silent white heat of summer when grasses turn brown like a gasp of death?
But the ambiguous anguish which had been circling my heart became clear. I was miserable and bereft. My heart was abandoning a precious companion; once the abandonment began, I was unable to stop it.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t love you anymore. We need to separate. I need to begin over again.”
And thus began the withdrawal of my devotion to my Kentucky farm. The pink sunrises, the emerald spring grass, the black-necklaced Killdeer, nesting in the gravel on large grey spotted eggs, the supple branches of pines praying in the wind. The images of my past love, now being gently dispatched into a deep corner of my heart.
I am 68 and alone after the death of my husband. To keep the farm would have been an easy choice: care of yard and pastures, planting and weeding, tending to horses, fixing fence boards and cleaning both house and barn. Nothing new or surprising. Nothing mentally or emotionally challenging. I could have continued my routines in this dance of affection, one foot in front of another. Collapsing into bed each night, weary, dirt under my fingernails that would never come clean, sore back and arms from lifting and bending, and thinking of the list of chores for tomorrow.
Do I want to get old hand-in-hand with a small patch of ground I have bowed to for 26 years? My life the price of my servitude.
Today I begin my journey of pulling away. Today, the Purple Finch echoes a somber elegy: Farewell, farewell, farewell.
Today I live as if these hours are my last. Stopping to admire a bent limb stretching towards the ground. Touching delicate new-grown weeds, forgiving them their lowly status. Pausing mid-stream in the creek, amazed at the insistent pull and whirling of the muddy water. Breathing deeply, eyes closed, the musty fragrance of hay and sharp odor of manure in the barn. Marveling at the night silence, broken only by the soft thud of pinecones dropping on the roof.
I grieve for my farm before I even leave it.