With the temperatures dropping and the lush green of summer beginning to fade from the hills into the muted and brilliant crisp colors of fall, we have held steady in our persistence, day by day, block by block. This past season has served us up plenty of humble pie as we learn, slowly and many times over, what it really takes to accomplish big dreams.
Which is to say: everything in its own time.
After a beautiful yet very wet June, we finally managed to prep and pour the foundation for our new barn in July only to grapple with the monolithic task of laying 396 cement blocks for our inner thermal wall. This week, we topped the eighteenth course with its final layer of sand, rebar and concrete, and celebrated for a few glorious moments before dashing out into the looming thunderstorm to gather fallen pears from a neighbor’s road side tree. Spiced pear sauce, anyone?
With our impressive many-lithic wall finally behind us, our attention is turning eagerly to the pile of lumber that will soon become the walls and rafters of our now internet famous unique multi-purpose nut farm structure. When helping hands come at just the right moments, and support from the sidelines reenergizes our mental state, all doubts and delays melt away leaving determination in its place! This barn is going up! Perhaps not as quickly or easily as we imagined, yet these steep learning curves have only enhanced the significance of this work for us. One cannot haste through life’s lessons on sequence and time. There is a rhythm of observing, planning, working, and assessing; no amount of force will speed up or pass by a critical phase in the cycle. And then there is heat, and rain, jobs and commitments, visits from old friends and social gatherings on the hill, not to mention the rhythm of ourselves and our own need to rest, to heal, and to take care of our being.
It is finding some semblance of balance between self-care, oikonomia, and economy that has been our most pertinent challenge these last few months. With so much still hanging on our plans for the future, weathering the slowness or soreness or minutia of the day can take its toll, on both body and being. We are learning to create and give each other more space and support, and – most of all – to acknowledge that each step is likely to be more complicated and take far longer than we anticipate. But the truth is that it is all okay – we have so much to be grateful for that to not notice what we have for want of what we don’t (yet) would be intolerable. Cultivating the equanimous joy that comes with the ache of impermanence is part of the path we walk. And one day we will look back on it all and just smile.