Choked Up at MOSES

We have this wonderful family friend Mary who cries at the drop of a hat.  It’s the most beautiful thing. I ran in to her unexpectedly at Whole Foods once and this brought her tears.  As the years go by I often remark that I am taking on this trait- a compliment to myself. It also runs in our family.  My Grandpa used to cry when he listened to music, or when the grandbabies were doing something especially cute. He would always say it was his allergies as he wiped big tears from his cheeks.  My son, just last night while watching a cartoon started crying at a touching scene and immediately blamed it on his watery eyes. We’re criers, I said to him! So this weekend Dan and I were at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference and as the keynote speakers were being introduced I started crying.  Tears dripped down my cheeks and down my neck – real big time crying. Dan gave me a smile, he’s witnessed this a hundred times. It’s important to note though that the frequency of these crying events truly does not depreciate the circumstances. I consider myself lucky to feel moved this often, and I know there’s something magic about our friend Mary – her crying is meaningful and truly touching.  So why was I crying at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference? There were so many reasons.

 

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This conference has taken place for 30 years and for the last 19, it’s been in my home town of La Crosse, Wi.  3,000 plus people involved in organic farming gather to connect, learn more, and share. Of the 3,000, one is my dear childhood best friend Jonnah Perkins; I write about our friendship and farming connections here. From third to sixth grade we spoke our own language, and cultivated a kooky, creative world of our own.  We have both taken circuitous routes to farming, both spending time in New York City, in the arts and then, like homing pigeons, back to the Midwest.  In addition to farming, she is a professional runner (!), coach, and all around brilliant artistic soul. We connected over how we both have two children, a boy and a girl and how we’ve found ourselves here in this spot in life.  Jonnah noted how we’ve both always been committed to an alternative life, even if we weren’t always sure what it was.

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The tear spurring keynote speakers have been farming organically since the 1980’s and were instrumental in writing the organic farming standards published in the Farm Bill of 1990.  They’ve been preaching the good news of organic food for decades. They spoke of it being our duty to continue to share this news. It is our duty not only to grow food naturally and share it with our community, but to stand for organic on a national level; to demand better for our communities.  It was powerful to see these six people closer to the end than the beginning of their farming careers, so passionate and so fervent in this belief. They were energizing and inspiring and reminded me to keep the plot, stay true to the bigger picture. It is so easy to take a deep dive in to crop planning, successions, how many plants per row, the cost of a pack shed, the list goes on, the costs go on – but how important not to forget why we do what we do.  We farm to connect with our community and provide people with quality food grown naturally!  I can’t wait to share the farm and it’s bounty with more people this summer. I’m dreaming up events, farm dinners, and more ways to connect with people.  I can’t wait and this chokes me up.

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Vote.

11/6

This weekend we fulfilled a huge part of our farming life and bought a walking tractor.  This way we can plow the field for next season and prepare for expansion.  I’m terrified of any type of big purchase.  I admire Dan’s steadfast nature and his commitment to laying roots, doing things the right way the first time and investing in good equipment.  I come from a place of trying to strip everything down to nothing, like what if money didn’t have to exist?? So, we meet in the middle on these things.  The tractor is necessary and truly so good.  I spent a chunk of Sunday turning the prairie ground in to fresh soil for next years food.  I listened to Cat Power’s new album, The Wanderer and then I listened to Hurray for the Riff Raff’s, The Navigator. It’s an incredibly freeing feeling, blasting music and pushing a tractor down a semi-straight line.  I feel privileged and very lucky.  I thought about our right to vote for the things we believe in and how important that truly is.  Dan wrote a letter earlier this year, saying as much, but I thought about how badly we need change in our country (understatement of the year), how we need to vote every day with how we spend our money.  Money does indeed exist, and we need to use it for good.  Vote today for sure and then vote every day after that.  For the people who aren’t allowed to vote, for the children, for the oppressed, vote.

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11/5

I sat down the other afternoon while Mirah napped I got out a blank piece of paper and started writing down my goals and dreams.  There was a time when I did this obsessively; a little voice in my head whispering, “what’s next,” “what do you want?”  In the past year or so I’ve become so practical in my thinking and life has been in sharp focus, not leaving much room for the wild, outlandish dreaming of years gone by.  But here I was, home from work with a sleeping child, the other one at school, and a blank piece of paper in front of me.  On the top of the paper I wrote “back to the drawing board of dreams.”  In the middle I wrote “if you don’t take brave steps forward dreams shrivel up and float away.”  Life, to me, is this delicate balancing act.  Sharp focus in concert with a squinted eye, questioning the fuzzy, mysterious energy residing in that space.  Things lay dormant for a while on purpose.  When I say things, I mean dreams, ideas, aspirations.  When you find them again, they look different, intriguing, and for me this time, more possible.

…more thoughts tomorrow.

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Why CSA; and a Few Other Suggestions for Getting Through Winter

This winter has felt a little extra long, right?  I’m not sure if it’s the extreme cold, mixed with snow, then warmth than extreme cold on repeat, or the juxtaposition of having a four year old yearning to be outside adventuring and a ten month old wanting the comforts of carpeting and warmth, but winter is getting old.  Ways I (and my family) have been coping with the winter lately, to varying degrees of success are:

-Staging my own personal Winter Olympics competition that involves running up and down the drive way a few times. I put my hands in the air when I reach the house, waving, and blowing kisses while playing commentator while my husband and children look on with equal parts intrigue and fear I’ve actually cracked.

-Making combination toy-fruit towers.

-Riding a scooter between the front and back door (approximately 34 feet)

– Rearranging the furniture at least four times and then putting it back how it was.

-Bonfires

All that aside, what’s truly and honestly kept the fire burning for us out here has been planning for our farm season.  This will be the first year we will offer CSA (community supported agriculture) shares to people in the area.  Our dream, long before purchasing our land, was and is to grow a lot of food for local people.  We played around with how we would do this.  We thought about specializing in a few different crops; growing for farmers markets, restaurants, and grocery stores.  We still have big dreams to make some of those ideas a reality, but we realized CSA is truly our way forward.  On the most basic level CSA means community members purchase a share up front, and we use that money to grow food for those members. The exchange is about as direct as can be.  On a deeper level, CSA means connection.  The polarizing political climate and the hunger for human interaction without the existence of screens has me desiring more and more face to face with my community.  More often than ever before I hear people, my peers, saying they feel alone, or isolated in their day to day, measuring themselves up against the perfectly curated images on social media.  Life is messy, even if we rearrange our furniture ten different ways, there are still graham cracker crumbs smashed in to the rug, and dust bunnies in the corners of the room.  The more we can connect in our mess, the better off we all are, right?  So, to me, CSA means connection in a real way.  If we can grow delicious food and provide a box full of it for a community of people each week, all summer, we are connected on that base level.  I love people, I always have.  I love to talk and laugh and dream up possibilities.    I love to take twice as long grocery shopping because I ran in to a few people and got to talking.  CSA is a way we can give to the community, to reach people and to grow something meaningful.  We’ll start out small this year, with only as many members as Dan and I can count on both of our hands, but we hope to grow and grow, spreading the idea of connection through good, local food.

If you are in St. Peter, Henderson, Mankato, or any other surrounding community, please consider joining us this year.  It will be fun, it will be delicious and it will be worth every penny.  Sign up over at www.littlebigskymn.com.

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The heart and the home.

Do you ever feel just as light as a feather, like the paint a graffiti artist uses to tag a train.  A little naughty, full of pigment and attached to something solid.  

Do you ever wish there was someone crazier than you at a party?  Do you ever get scared you are not doing the thing you should be doing, or do you ever just not care?

I’ve been making this joke lately to Dan about selling all of our belongings, buying a Westfalia camper van and hitting the road.  Just the four of us.  Dan usually looks at me with a disgusted smirk.  A smirk because he knows I’m mostly kidding.  Disgusted because we’ve dedicated this chapter of life to laying down roots and building a home.  Both smirk and disgust because we’re happy here.    We’ve put our hearts, soul, sweat and blood into building a simple shelter for our family to live close to family and friends.  Brick by brick, two by four by four by six, we built the walls around us.  All the while, growing the family that fills in all the blank space.  We finally feel ready to start working our land to the extent that we’ll provide food for more than just us.  We are settled AF.  (That’s a thing people are saying now right?)  We have begun this winter season with out any major changes.  I’m not pregnant, we are not scheming to build bedrooms, finish spaces.  We feel good in our space.

We visited dear friends in Southern California this fall, and it was dreamy… Westfalias everywhere.  We went to the beach every day and Omer was the vision of pure joy frolicking in the waves.  I walked down Venice beach in October feeling comfortable in shorts, a swimsuit top and sandals.  Omer’s eyes were wide watching the body builders at muscle beach, the basketballers and the eccentric gentleman letting him pet his iguana.  We fell in love with the waves and how they pull you out then back in.  The ocean is truly magical, the waves meditative, life giving and restorative.  I understand why people shape their lives around the ocean.  In Malibu, we swam at the iconic Beach Boys, Surfin’ USA beach (I don’t think that’s it’s official name).  I noticed a family of surfers there, the youngest child surfing looked to be about ten.  My friend Katie said she’s observed a lot of surfing families that travel around hitting up different beaches, probably in their Westfalias.  What a life.

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photo credit: Katie F. Collins

My adventuresome heart is so easily caught up in the magic of the other, the what if.  But, there is something rooting my feet firmly to the ground these days.  I’m realizing again and again that we really actually get one time to do this whole thing, which, for some reason, gives me pause more than the old familiar reminder that life is short.  I will only listen to my daughter laugh for the first time once, I will give birth to her once, we will raise our children in rural Minnesota once.  So, what if we were raising our children at the beach?  So what.  I’m learning it’s not the point.  If you are lucky, life is full of choices, and we get to make them… who we spend our life with, where we live, what we do.  I’ve learned that part of being my best grown up self is doing a really good job with the choices I’ve made.  I am so lucky to be in love and to be married to a really good, funny, supportive person who knows how to build us a house.  I am lucky that as I type I am watching the snow fall on to naked trees outside our window and I can hear my mother rocking Mirah to sleep while Omer plays.

Life is of course full of do-overs and thank goodness we get do-overs.  We don’t have to stay with an asshole ’til death do us part, we can change careers, change states, flow through life being kind to ourselves as priorities shift.

But, as the year clicks over, I will not wonder about some fictional sunnier, sleeker, sexier version of life.  I will do my very best at this one.  I will feel lucky I get to visit dear friends at the beach and then come home, like the waves pulling me out and back in again. I will try my darnedest for my daughter’s sparkling eyes and my son’s hugs to fill my heart for a hundred lifetimes from now.  I am so fucking grateful.

It’s been bitter cold here.  We finally put a heat lamp in the coop for our poor, crabby chickens.   I whisper thank you to the wood shed for keeping us warm and to Dan for chopping and hauling.  Me and my adventuresome heart love it here.  The cold is meditative in it’s own way, and the frenetic beauty of the summer is magic; coming all too soon.

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Shape Shifting

I lay Mirah down for her morning nap, the heat from the wood stove floating to her upstairs nook.  I still find it amazing that babies can be ready for a nap at 8:15 in the morning.  I walk downstairs, putting intentional blinders on, cruising past dishes half done, full laundry baskets both clean and dirty, baby food blended, but not yet put in jars, mail to be sent, bills to be paid, to get to this room.  There are literally one hundred other things I could be doing.  But, I’m writing, because writing feels good.  I have spent a good part of my life being an artist, playing and writing music for people, but I haven’t wanted to do that in a while.  It’s been a conundrum because the inspiration never leaves and the impulse to create is strong.

About every two weeks I walk around the same circle, me and my creative self.  I get inspired, I’m flooded with ideas I want to write down, thoughts to share, and then my mind kicks in with all the reasons it’s not a good idea.  I think about how our culture is obsessed with sharing and instant gratification via social media platforms, I tell myself I should be writing music, not anecdotes about life.  Then I start feeling guilty about not writing music, like a part of me is dying away.  I tell myself I am not a writer; why am I sharing?  It’s a ridiculous circle I find myself plotting around approximately twice a month.  So, when I reach that point in the cycle when I’m inspired, I stuff it somewhere deep down. 

IMG_6098That being said, I am not really tortured by this.  Life is filled with the hustle and bustle of sweet, funny, tiny people, coffee fueled mornings, a million interrupted conversations, friends, dinners, dreaming, bedtime, and more dreaming.  I smile more than I frown, and I’m not as exhausted as I thought I’d be with two children.  I delight in my little nursing baby and my son who has taken to spoken word poetry mostly about how much he loves me.  His latest, “I made a rainbow in the sand, now lay on it, it’s where you’ll feel my love the strongest” blew me away. I am keenly aware that they won’t always be this sweet and little.  But, within the day to day, mini-victories and break downs both mine and my children, the desire to create is never any less strong than it was when I was twenty-two.  The torture is certainly gone, but the desire lives on.

I am certain a part of me is dying, but it’s not my song-writing self; it’s more subtle and less simplistic.

I gained fifty pounds through each of my pregnancies.  It was quite amazing!  Those pounds were baby, and boobs, thighs and cheeks and more thighs. I felt healthy and youthful in that body. After each birth the pounds slipped away, easy at first and then with some effort.  When they were finally all gone, I was not left with what was there before.  This woman is different.  I caught my face in the camera of my computer the other day (I was trying to figure out the webcam feature for a class I’m taking and this was tricky, because I’m getting oldish), and I thought, who is that woman?  I didn’t shutter, or think negatively about the person on the screen, instead, just a question and a certain answer, I’m not what I was.  This physical change is dramatic when having babies, but it happens to everyone, here and there through life.  There is beauty in change, in old selves’ dying away.  The physical change is only a metaphor for what is happening inside.  I like to think my priorities, goals, and passions are being refined through time.  This happens to me, just as much as it happens to my baby; she is born and at first she only sees faces and looks using inquisitive wrinkly expressions, then one day she smiles and then four months later she’s crawling after the cat. 

I’ve spent the last few days contemplating wether I should keep writing, scratch that, keep sharing what I write because there’s always a part in my two week circle where I say, no.  I’ve been reading Louise Erdrich’s The Blue Jay’s Dance and last night I read this:

I acquire an old portrait of this house and its inhabitants, taken by an itinerant photographer in 1891…

How many women are buried beneath their houses?  How many startling minds, how many writers?  This house is over two hundred years old.  How many women lie stunned within its walls?  It is a new phenomenon that so many women bear and raise children and do work in the outside world.  Again, the photograph.  I examine the woman’s face, her stance between the spires of hollyhocks.  I imagine, her, and I wonder.  A woman needs to tell her own story, to tell the bloody version of the fairy tale.  A woman has to be her own hero.  The princess cuts off her hair, blinds her eyes, scores her arms, and rushes wildly toward the mouth of the dragon.  The princess slays the dragon, sets off on her own quest.  She crushes her crown beneath her foot, eats dirt, eats roses, deals with the humility and grandeur of her own human life. 

I love this so much.  For me, this paragraph is enough.  I’ll keep writing and sharing because of this.  I’d like to be done with the wasted time of self doubt and questioning, both about art and in general.  Maybe that’s another way I’m evolving (fingers crossed). 

The sky is gray and it’s windy, not that I’ve been outside. I can hear the chimney shake ever so slightly.  The chickens are busy in their coop, Mirah sleeps on – maybe enough time to finish the dishes. 

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‘Tis the Season


We were away this past weekend at what Omer calls “Grandpa’s Lake,” a house my Grandfather and Great Uncle built in the 60’s on a deep, clean lake in Wisconsin.  It is where the bulk of my childhood memories were made, and is quickly becoming Omer’s favorite place.  We decided to go up on Friday after I mentally and emotionally gave up the idea of selling arm loads of flowers at the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market in St. Peter.  See, bugs are eating all of my flowers, and my plan for a bumper crop of zinnias is shaking out a little differently.  Mirah and I walked the garden rows this morning, her dressed for the day, me in my tie dye pajama shirt.  The garden, like the season, is in full bloom.  Zucchini, cucumbers, strong sturdy kale, green beans and way more tomatoes than we can eat or can or throw at each other.  The flowers are blooming in droves and take my breath away; bug damage and all, they are beautiful.  But, even more than the annuals I carefully chose and planted, it’s the weeds that have surprised me.  By this time last year I had given up using a hoe or pulling them by hand, I was just mowing massive amounts between the plants.  So we decided to be more prepared this year.  Last fall we plowed up an eighth of an acre of prairie to put our garden on, closer to the house, easier with a new born.  The plowed ground sat all winter and we tilled in the spring with a borrowed walking tractor.  We planted the garden Mother’s Day weekend, and weeded faithfully through the beginning of June.  As far as I could tell we were earning a solid B- in the weeding department versus last year’s D+.  The weeds that dominate our garden plot now are prairie flowers, coming up even though we plowed and tilled them away in the cold months.  They are gorgeous and everywhere.  Coreopsis and Black-Eyed Susan fill in the garden rows and weave themselves through the tomato trellis.  If you ask me, they are way too beautiful to pull or mow, or hoe even if they are inhibiting our carrots from growing as they should and stealing nutrients from the annual veggies. We 

As a new mother of two, I am constantly drawing parallels, making connections, feeling a well spring of inspiration and creativity (and listening to way more Adele than I ever thought I would) and all of this sits dormant most of the time (except for Adele), as I pour my energy, love and joy in to my home, my children, the day to day.  Life, like the summer season, is brimming and spilling over in ways I couldn’t have imagined.  Time is different now.  All winter I dream of summer, with expectations of a beautiful garden, the right amount of flower’s to harvest and sell, days spent outside with my kids.  It’s a clean dream, no mistakes, no weeds. I think it’s okay for me to have these high expectations with the garden, I’m already studying up on how to get rid of these pesky bugs for next year.  But, with the rest of life, I am striving to let go of expectations, of what once was, and live in the energy of this season.  I don’t have time for much, I even write this post on borrowed time.  But, this too is a season, and their are metaphorical wild flowers growing everywhere, in Mirah’s first laughs, and everything Omer says, and the way Dan and I have figured out how to work as a mostly happy team raising kids, while moving our own dreams forward. 

I have so many happy memories of weekends spent at Grandpa’s Lake as a kid.  The whole day was spent in the water.  When hunger struck there was inevitably a green box of club crackers and cheddar cheese on a plate on shore for us to devour.  My sisters, cousins and I fell asleep in a line of sleeping bags on the porch floor giggling, pillows wet from the last swim of the day still in our hair.  I remember my mother and aunts buzzing around, busy doing things I didn’t understand.  At sunset, my Mom and Dad (when he could get off work), Uncle and Aunts, even my Grandpa jumped in the water for that last swim.  They swam out deep, and I watched with astonishment as their bobbing heads drifted toward the middle of the lake.  I could hear them laugh, and in that moment, they were kids too.  The buzzing that I now understand to be delivering the club crackers, making dinner, taking general care of the children under foot, was shed as they swam out further and further.  When my own kids finally fell asleep this past Saturday, it was me swimming out in to the middle of the lake.  Dan and I splashed and laughed like teenagers.  My shoulders were tired from nursing and carrying Mirah, and my brain was mushy from answering all of Omer’s questions, but I couldn’t feel any of it as I swam.  Obviously none of us know what’s to come of our lives.  But, I know this is a particularly full and beautiful season.  It’s one of endless work, endless joy, and making sure to swim out deep when I can and to leave the wildflowers to grow like weeds.

Look at What the Light Did Now*

Our baby girl, Mirah, was born five weeks ago yesterday.  I tried to write something when she was three weeks and then again at four weeks, but it was all too fresh, and probably still is, but here I go.

I gave birth to her in the middle of the night early in April.  Maybe because this labor was shorter or because I’d done it before, I was acutely aware of the pain.  It was unbelievably painful, just nuts (sorry if you are reading this while pregnant).  But, the moment she came out, I took her in my arms and breathlessly uttered, “I feel great.”  I really said that, and it was true.  Two hours later I was wheeling her little bassinet in to our hospital room, walking on my own two feet, feeling immensely, overwhelmingly grateful.

Birth is absolute magic and I could talk about it for hours, but instead I want to attempt writing about the time directly after; the first tender weeks of life.  With new life comes all of this light and hope.  The world is new and pure and this person, this new soul is saying hello for the very first time.  In my mind’s eye I imagine light cracking through darkness or water loosening up thick hardened clay.  For a few days, maybe weeks the world is open, letting her life come in.  I say hello to her and see my ancestors in her eyes.  Dan and I made her, she is the future, but she is also part of everything that came before. 

Having babies makes me miss my Dad a lot.  He died too young, and never got to be a grandparent.  He would have been really good at it and he would have known just how fleeting it all is and to enjoy every minute.  He would have found these children hilariously entertaining and held them in his arms in just the right way to transmit the greatest amount of love.  I look at Mirah and feel closer to him, like she knows him some how or like she’s seen him before.  I felt this with Omer too.  They get it.  There are no greater mysteries in life than birth and death.  No one can describe being born or dying, although we will all experience both. Mirah, and all babies born, bring this light and knowledge from beyond, into the world.  In the first weeks all I could do is look into her eyes, watch her gaze out the window, and soak up this sacred creature.  The shift may have come with her first smile, but now I look at her and she is Mirah.  She is rooted here with us, embodying all of the light she carried with her in birth.

Mirah and I have been growing with the season.  When we left for the hospital the grass was brown.  When we returned a few days later there were tiny buds on all of the trees and the grass had changed to a beautiful neon green.  Each day we’ve watched the world around open more and more.  In the middle of summer when it is humid and there are biting bugs and weeds all around I want to remember this time of tiny buds appearing on trees, and grass shifting before my eyes to a deeper green.  It’s almost as magical as birth.

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Dawn is breaking everywhere

Most nights this winter I haven fallen asleep next to Omer listening to the sound of Dan working on the other side of the wall.  His feet travel quickly up and down the stairs and I hear his hands sanding, painting, patching walls.  I am stunned by this, because he also spends all day building in other peoples’ homes.  Inevitably, War on Drugs covering Touch of Grey is playing softly.  Although I’ve never been a huge Grateful Dead fan, thanks to the Day of the Dead Compilation,  Touch of Grey has become our theme song:

Must be getting early, clocks are running late.  Paint by number morning sky, looks so phony.  Dawn is breaking everywhere, light a candle, curse the glare  Draw the curtains I don’t care ’cause it’s alright I will get by, I will get by, I will get by, I will survive.
We decided in early January to complete the upstairs of our house.  It’s the last big project before we can sit back and feel like this place is finished, at least for now.  Living with a carpenter I learn that a building is never finished and there is always room for improvement, i.e. the flow of the kitchen he keeps mentioning.  For the past eight weeks our unfinished loft space has been morphing in to two bedrooms, and a nursery.  Most of this has been happening in the wee hours of the night, or during ferocious weekends of work.  I am very pregnant and of course cannot help at all.  I focus my attention on making sure Dan is eating enough and drinking water.  He has mostly been doing this work happily with an unmatched energy guided by our baby’s imminent arrival.
We both look forward to Spring out here maybe more than we ever have.  No big plans to make or do anything.  This is the final push.  Kinda like how labor starts out very steady and gradual and then gets super crazy at the end.  We did that last time too, here we are, just a few days before Omer was born.
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For now, here are a few pictures of the project and the paint by number morning sky.

 
 

Even more being.


I just woke up from a two-hour nap.  It felt like and actually is the
ultimate luxury; sleep.  I got a little teary eyed in my midwife’s
office this morning when she suggested that, even though my body is
starting to really be tired of this whole pregnancy thing, I try to
enjoy this time, because, let’s be real, newborns are intense and they
change everything.  She suggested napping, going to a movie, hanging
out with my husband.  Today, immediately after the appointment I
decided to take her up on this.  I napped and it was wonderful. Now,
instead of writing the word “blog” on line one of my to-do list for the seventh
day in a row, I’m actually writing something, with a clear mind even.

I really love to-do lists and calendars.  Half of my journal is made
up of hand written calendars filled with goals, desires and hopes for
the future.  I’ve always been a dreamer and thinking about the future
is inspiring and joyful for me.  When I was playing music full time,
I’d mostly create calendars around the music. What shows do we want to
play, cities do we want to travel to?  Since Dan and I bought this
land we’ve dreamed of all the possibilities and chipped away at them
one by one.  We have a greenhouse now and maybe next year we’ll make
it functional.  I’ve always found it very helpful to set intentions
and then get after the work.  Now, as I reach my mid-thirties, I sense
a bit of crossing over.  Intentions remain wonderfully helpful and
magical motivators, but I also find myself doing a lot more looking
around at what is, and thinking, is this good?  Does this serve me?
There’s a certain confidence that comes with this kind of questioning that
feels extremely right.  It is doing the things in the moment that are
required of you or that are good and life giving and not questioning,
or dreaming too much past it; living with the knowledge of experience.
Like right now naps are actually required of me, and if I’m not taking
them, I’m being sort of an idiot.

Three plus years ago, when I was getting ready to have Omer, I knew
there was a lot of change coming for Dan and me. I knew our dynamic
would be different and priorities would shift, but I also thought I
would be living my same life, except with a baby.  I expected the
sleepless nights, but I didn’t expect the intense growing pains
between me and Dan and the self- examination, I didn’t know that all
of life would shift like tectonic plates.  Having Omer changed and
molded me in new strong ways, and organized my dreams into the things
that are really worth working for.  When I look at my son, I see the
whole world, present, past and future.  Now, what I want most is to
raise happy, secure children.  My dreams, goals and intentions have
become hyper focused.  What is worth my time and energy?  I am so
thankful for years past, working out my passions, because now, I get
to decide and bring my journal and my to-do lists to life in the most
sharp, in-focus way.  It’s a little bit like the time I overheard my beloved nephew Enzo telling Omer, “I’m strong and focused batman,” as they played upstairs.

Now, here we are, about to welcome one more member in to our family.
We really don’t know what that will be like, but I reject those who
try to tell me the horror stories.  I ignore comments in the grocery
store of, “it was so much easier with one,” or “just wait, you don’t even
know what’s coming.”  Of course I don’t, and neither do you, tired Dad
at Ikea.  No one does.  A year ago no one thought it would be possible
for Donald Trump to become president, or that the wrong movie could be
announced as best picture at the Oscars, (the horror!).  I hope for a
healthy baby and expect that all of life will be shifting again, in
time, making me a stronger, more passionate, focused batman.  I
know there will be weeks where I’m a pool of blithering love, staring
at this human that has been growing in me for ten months, finally on
the outside.  There will be other weeks, days or hours where I am
utterly confused, sad or anxious.  Either way, this focusing in I
speak of doesn’t necessarily accompany having children.  I think it
can happen with or without.  It’s reaching some point in life and
knowing, more than you’ve every known, what truly matters.