My time at Salt Hollow is drawing to a close, and things are really coming into perspective. I have responsibilities still, sure. I've got a list that seems daunting, and a couple of big uncertainties. But the finality of these responsibilities is giving me a lot to think about. Maybe this is the stage that the real learning happens: at the end. Or at least it is the time that you can sort your thoughts and breathe with a new present-mindedness.
Organizing those daily tasks yesterday gave me some insight, as well. It's a lot to do for one person, but having it all there in one place makes it seem like not such an all-consuming livelihood. When I spend time sinking my feet into the dirt, all those tasks become really apparent. They're just stuff that needs doing. And in the middle of the garden, feet in the dirt, it makes you care even deeper than your feet can sink in. I want to feed those goats, because it makes them happy. I want to search out the eggs, because they nourish me. I want to water the plants, because they bring an invaluable vibrance to the place I've been enjoying. This place is such a gem; in the middle of what could be a desert, we actively make an oasis that not only sustains, but heals.
Yesterday alone, someone came here to have their jaw reset, having been kicked in the face by a horse or somesuch. People come here when they need respite from their jobs. The greens I harvested the past couple days are doing their magic in the diets of at least three other households this week. Depleting as it may be to work a shovel in the hot sun, there is water here. That's a miracle in itself.
I'm reflecting a lot, because tonight, I'll start packing up my stuff. I'm hoping that I can fit it all back into the bags I took here. I haven't accumulated much more than what I brought, but there's a lot from here that I hope to take with me. Sauerkraut, and other ferments, bones for making broth, soap we made ourselves. And a lot of stuff that is much easier to carry: the how to in making the things above, and the confidence to just do it.
Before I left Grand Rapids, I ran into something that hung on a friend's wall. It said, "Doing is the New Talking." It's my new motto. When I think about it, just coming up with the words is tough. But I suppose that taking things one day at a time makes it easier. A lifetime of fixing shit you didn't break is too much to consider. But feeding a goat? That's easy. Especially when you can do it together.