Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Time Out: The Farm (Chapter 1)

I can be afraid of the quiet. Our lives get so busy and noisy and trinkety that we learn to live with a constant, whizzing hysteria around us - but when the quiet comes, we get freaked out because we don't know what to do with it.

Do we pray? Do we listen? Do we talk to ourselves? Do we turn the music on?

This week, I'm living at a farm on a housesitting mission for friends who were in need of some sun.

This morning and yesterday morning, I started my days by putting water out for 12 cows and one rambunctious horse. The cows shuffled in as the horse bucked them away. This happened a few times. There was the odd moo, once the cattle finally got their liquidy dues from the blue bucket, but the sound of their tongues slurping was like a chorus of sump pumps. I lurked around in my overalls, and walked between their giant bodies. It's good to feel small.

I've never understood the idea of a personal retreat, but I think I'm starting to grasp the concept of slowing. At first, with a full day off, I felt like I needed to be busy. I felt like I should run around and yell, just so the noise of my voice would reverberate off the empty farmhouse walls.

Right now, my keystrokes on my old mac machine are the only thing I can hear. There is no music. Only a window beside me that shows two of the pics in the above view. The sun is in the golden house of the sky, just below a thin veil of wintercloud. The striations and colours are pretty damn majestic, and hint at something I long for, but can't quite touch.

I'm not sure what I want out of life. I've sinned. I've been redeemed. I've pushed the envelope. I've walked the line. I've seen the sun. I've lived through dark nights. But it seems like I keep coming back to a place of recognition and acceptance and willful gratitude - and sometimes, it's overwhelming. When I recall some of the short cut lives and horror stories of my comrades, I know I have lived a charmed life.

For a long time, I felt like I needed to deviate from my track - to find the next glowing pit stop that lured me into its neon, gasoline-stink compromise. But lately, I feel like I'm pushing on towards something. My tires are locked into the country road. I'm not sure what the end result will be - but it feels nice to slow down.

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