Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quoting Thoreau, Defending My Passions




I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.

From Thoreau's Walden. I find myself almost apologetic about my love of solitude, as if it too makes me weirder than I might already be, especially here in a large family.

My days when the kids are in school are days I treasure, in that I feel myself healing from within, in all the parts of me that have been so damaged by severe trauma.

And Bingo, Thoreau asks, "What is the pill which will keep us well, serene, contented? Not my or thy great-grandfather's, but our great-grandmother Nature's universal, vegetable, botanic medicines, by which she has kept herself young always."

One of my 30 something year old daughters was telling me yesterday of so many friends of hers taking anti-depressants and anxiety medications, both of us shaking our heads and repeating to each other how much more so we desire to be in control of our ownselves.

"Shake it off," one might suggest, those of us who've never labored under a clinical depression and don't know any better, right?

But hey, even though it is grey and dreary this morning in Georgia, I'm supremely feeling blessed by the rainfall, and the fact that the pitchers and catchers report today in Orlando for the Braves Spring Training Camp, the rest of the team straggling in over the next two weeks, a harbinger of very happy times ahead...Baseball Season.

That's the only crowd I can abide, a bunch of opinionated fans yelling suggestions down to the dug-out. I fantasize about how rare it'll have to be someday to get my butt to town, why budge from this lovely property in which my work is never done, yet my work is my joy?

Yesterday while the youngest kids and grandkids rough housed on the trampoline, I weeded there within earshot and eyesight, lost in my own reverie, anticipating the rain that was fixing to fall.

Chuy'd taken on a project, bossing Ray and Nando around to fetch tools, they were both grinning and dragging out wheelbarrows, but being so young they're not allowed down to the creek without me supervising, so they only were able to load up the woodchips Chuy needed to prevent erosion in his landscape plan down the dirt road by the first creek.

It's not like they can't swim, it's the fact that I demand 100% line of sight supervision.

I have a stone pathway we'd built many years ago, yet neglected ever since, in my single-minded rush to get everything else done. Honey, even the laundry, dish washing and grocery hauling is a full time job, but nowadays I'm having rushes of free time in which to try and play catch up for the last two decades. I eyed the original path and dove in, getting it about 30% presentable, but honestly I surprise my ownself in my over enthusiastic excitement over future plans here on my property.

Is it normal to get so enthused over what others might consider boring? Yeah, I think so. I just like being happy, and, more importantly, feeling safe, and knowing that my kids here at home feel the same way nowadays.

Overall I don't see myself as a hermit, just a homebody who really loves her family and her land.

"Mom, did we use up all the rocks?" Chuy'd asked me, knowing we'd moved 'em three times in the last ten years, as we juggled plans. Scouring Craig's List for building materials, stuff to scrounge, cash talks, low balling works, but dern if we're not out of stones now. Chuy'd used the last of 'em building a fire pit.

Tony took photos, Lily drew...because we can.

We've spent so long being controlled by the whims of those who can't control themselves, crippling my other children's abilities to enjoy hobbies, fun, food choices, or breathing abilities. Now that we are free, it's hard to be able to trust it, that's what trauma looks like, but even Chuy is slowly shaking off his fear of what will happen to his siblings without the professional care that they deeply need, now that we finally accessed it for them, he too is breathing easier.