A little bit of real life

We arrived home, the night before last, after a day of driving filled with rain, cold, NPR podcasts, (many, many NPR podcasts) and our friends who drove with us. They were coming from the same direction to visit us at the Land for a couple of days, and we had fun playing with the configuration of drivers and passengers and vehicles. Girls in the van! Girls in the car! Boys in the car! Boys in the van! There are endless possibilities.

Our van is kind of funny, with its no heat function, so when rain happens we have to open the vents and the windows to keep the windshield from fogging up. Choosing between no sight and being cold is easy, we choose being cold. Choosing between the $1000 needed to fix it and being cold is easy too. Blankets for everyone! (I'm going to look into it before winter hits, though, to see if there are any less expensive options. There is nothing quite like deciding not to go somewhere because you don't want to be cold.) But then the rain stopped and it was sunny in California, and we hit the beach and fed some ground squirrels.

When we got home, I opened our front door and looked inside, and wow! I fell in love. Again. With my house. It was so beautiful, the warm wood everywhere, and Renee had cleaned it up for us (she was housesitting) and I felt so, so sad to be leaving. I went to bed happy to be home.

And then, yesterday.

I think it took me about two minutes to become stressed out. So much to do, finances out of control, (I say to myself, I am about to have a heart attack) weeds in the garden (despite Renee's valiant weeding while we were gone).

I have not yet complained much about living at the Land. But right now the burden of these ten acres is pressing down on me. We handle our finances with the combined contributions of the people who live together. Right now, as we leave, we have so few people living together that this isn't working. Neither is a shared work force, maintaining and improving, since it turns into Chinua and I, and a handful of people, running around the Land in circles.

It's like a bad dream. I run and I run and I can't get it all done.

I've never wanted to simultaneously leave and stay so badly before. This is my home in a way that no other place has ever been a home to me. Driving back into the Redwoods was like driving into the womb, or something. (Bear with me.) But the situation has become unsustainable, and it is time for the next step. And this is breaking me, a little more, when I thought I had done all the breaking I can. There are so many other people who have history here, too, and our leaving has become symbolic to them of the end of something.

Selfishly I feel like I can't carry their sadness along with my own.

There is no way to escape this, no other home I can go to, no possibility of getting away from doing what I hoped I'd never do, dealing with the end of ten years of being here, hurting with it. Leaving the river.

The only way over this is through it, we have to put things in boxes. We have to stretch farther than we've ever been stretched before, and this is no small thing. I fret about money and I fret about mess and it has no result.

And yet, God is here. He is calling us forward and we look for small miracles in the journey. I hear Him in the rush of the river and think of being swept over, again and again. Once more, I am being combed through, and I pray that I will emerge a little more free of burrs, of the stinky me that sometimes seems to refuse to lay down. I pray for grace, for the ability to be more than me, more than what I am, because what I am doesn't seem to be enough.