Last week, we caused the permanent relocation of thousands of small – and a few not-so-small – spiders. During our backbreaking week of harvesting, spent plant removal, wood stacking, trellis deconstruction, and merciless, endless weeding, there was never a point at which we did not see at least a few, and sometimes hundreds, of arachnids on the move. In recent days, I’ve been having a hard time reconciling the fact that we too will again be on the move soon.
This next segment of the journey is the least structured and most unsure in terms of where we will end up when and how we will do basic things like use a toilet once we get there. Ah, the things you do not consider fully when you plan a madcap adventure in three weeks time. But I digress…
I have been having an especially hard time dealing with the idea of moving on because by the time we depart for Massachusetts tomorrow, we will have been in Maine, and mostly in the company of family, for exactly one month. This was enough time to get comfortable with the use of a kitchen again. And to recall some of the small comforts we take for granted, like being able to sit on a couch next to a lamp to do your knitting/reading/whatever. For perspective, this is as opposed to huddling under a quilt in the back of a van with your butt going numb from a combination of cold and sitting on unyielding metal with only a bit of carpet to cushion your bum, while performing whatever task by LED headlamp, which is fine, focused light, until you turn your head to speak to your partner and blind him or her.
So, once again leaving the comforts of home while wondering where that even is for us, let alone what it looks like and how we will make it manifest, have made me a bit anxious of late. But we have in this journey as a whole, as well as of late, given ourselves the ultimate gift of time. But as we all well know, all we ever really have is the present moment. As such, everybody say it with me now: I do not need to have everything sorted right this minute!!
I almost find it galling that, to me, one of the most lamentable human characteristics is our discomfiture with the unknown and the indefinable, and yet I occasionally catch myself falling victim to that very affliction. But, alas, Human. Damn it all.
Over the last few days I have often thought of those spiders scurrying frantically as, one by one, the plants they were comfortably occupying were pulled up by the roots and tossed aside. And it is not insignificant that they did the only thing they could do in that situation. They kept moving.
That realization helped solidify what I already knew when we took our initial turn south just over a week ago. We, too, have to keep moving. The journey must go on because it has already enriched us in so many ways that any temporary discomforts we might feel are negated. And even though there is relatively less structure to our plans at this moment, I know we will find a new rhythm and rhyme in the weeks to come.
Just as we forcibly uprooted ourselves, we did the same, however unintentionally, to many other lifeforms in our labors last week. The spiders, the earthworms, the peeper frogs, the field mice, the salamanders, the plants with their leaves doing a rustling, shivering death (rebirth) dance: they all follow their instincts and just go where they must. And I am sure that at the end of the day, when we were congratulating ourselves on surviving another grueling, yet satisfying, day of farming, they found a new place to call home.