We haven't given a name to the new place yet. No Name New Place is what I use to refer to it in my journal, a way of distinguishing it from The Farm, the name I used for the old place. But in my mind I've come to think of the new place as Wildwood Spring, after an Eliza Gilkyson song by the same name. The story of Wildwood Spring in her song sums up beautifully how I feel about where we live now. It seems the lives we live and the work we do are largely about slowing down enough to pay attention to the world around us, to where our food comes from, to the amazing activity of the many lives, however tiny they may be, that surround us, to each other. It's about daring to live out values that in many ways run contrary to the culture in which we live and that come with a sense of urgency that, at times, turns us into evangelists of sorts.
But our lives are not all sober and serious and completely oriented to the fulfillment of some higher good. A few nights ago we watched the llama play "king of the hill" on a mound of dirt in the night yard. He playfully bounded up and down the hill, chasing any sheep or goats who dared to ascend the mound.
There is a deep sense of pleasure and joy and satisfaction in this place. I experience love here at depths that have eluded me most of life, largely because I wasn't open to it. This place breaks me open, sometimes leaving me vulnerable to the point I fear my heart will never be protected again. But it's only a momentary fear, one that occasionally takes my breath away for a moment when I stop to think about all that I've let in. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I'm so grateful to be here.
There is a steady breeze blowing through the trees that stand tall against a sky that is moderating the light it will let in this morning. Clouds are scattered about, the last signs of the thunderstorm that passed by us earlier. The sun is shyly rising behind them, like a school girl trying to stay covered in the locker room during gym. Soon it will find some boldness and break through, rising higher in the sky and bringing a brighter hue to the world out here, but until then, I relish in the gentleness of a morning that starts this way. It matches the quiet, reflective mood I'm in and makes me want to walk the woods or write or just sit on a rock by the pond and watch the waves dance across the water like fireworks in a 4th of July sky.
I'm grateful for my life. Truly grateful. Grateful for the sense of revival that has come from the choices I've made over the past few years.