These past two weeks have been ridiculously full. Jamie and I have been at one another's throats too. I've been in go-go-go get shit done mode, forgetting the fact that he wants and deserves to be a part of farm decisions now that he's well. Meanwhile, he's been busy catching up at the other farm, building a high tunnel and at the fish shop, being away from the house for almost 11 hours at a time and coming home tired, frustrated, and unpleasant. We've had very little time to actually sit down and communicate.
Meanwhile, we've been catching up on the bills and sharing the truck. (Our plan is to fix the car in a few weeks when we can afford to.) We had also been stretching our last bale of hay since the day Butter was born and so the animals were ornery as hell. Imagine a cat that wants to be fed times twenty times five sheep. There have been a lot of stressed-out tears, hurtful words, and apologetic and necessary conversations about how we can meet one another's needs by communicating better.
I'm writing all of this because the waves have settled and also because I think it's important to be honest about how challenging relationships and transitions are at times. Our circumstances have been cyclically difficult over the years we've been together. When we first started living together we couldn't afford to buy heating oil during the winter for two years in a row. I can remember cutting up old carrots for a truly meager soup and my toes were so numb that I'd have to take breaks just to get in my bed and desperately warm them up.
At the same time, we'd have amazing and serendipitous luck in other ways... like finding the cabin and now this farm and being able to eat healthy food and have one another to lean on and learn with and friends and family who give us a helping hand sometimes. Finally, (finally!) I was able to pick up some hay and grain for the animals on Saturday. I got home, finished mowing the lawn in the rain, and spread straw around the potatoes, onions, garlic, and strawberries. My landlord drove up and dropped off a box of Royal Farms fried chicken and Natty Boh beer and told me to take it easy.
I had a flashback to an experience two weeks ago with this energy healer friend of a friend, Jonathan. It was the first time we'd ventured back into having a social life in months. The lamb was just born, and I felt awkward because I didn't know what to talk about besides sheep placenta and Jamie's infection. Obviously that's disgusting. I tried to keep quiet, but what are you supposed to do when someone puts you on the spot and asks what you've been up to? Tell them everything has been absolutely normal?
So I was talking to that guy about all of this stuff, trying to make light of it, and he was looking into my eyes in such an intense way that made me feel like he was sorrowfully peering into my soul. Usually when you talk to people they just sort of listen to what you have to say, but not in his case. It was like he knew exactly what I was feeling before I even said anything. (It's no wonder he makes healing his job.) Then he said, "McKenzie, don't take this the wrong way, but if I had one bit of simple advice for you it would be to really take some time to have fun this summer." I was in the middle of all of the stress, unable to see beyond it, and felt so absolutely sad and alienated by what he said. I knew he meant it out of sincerity, but it made me feel so boring and old and tired. I did (and still do) need to let go and have some fun after everything we've been through this year. So I plopped myself on the couch, chugged a beer, and devoured the biggest piece of chicken all by myself. It was good. It was fun.
I don't know where I'm really going with this but I do know
that the intensity of our to-do list and all of these undulating emotions and symbolic challenges... they're all leading towards our wedding in June, which is going to be the biggest and most significant celebration of happiness, love, and determination in our lives. It feels like these first four years being together have been some sort of spiritual initiation. I'm sure there will be more of them to come down the road, but boy am I looking forward to the relief of honoring what we've overcome and then moving on to a period of normality. So close. I need a vacation.