Ordinary Belonging

It’s another windy Monday here atop the hill. The kids are tucked away in blanket forts doing schoolwork, the chicks are chirping their excitement from the brooder in the entryway, Hubs is working downstairs in his office, and I’m bouncing between housework, office work, and teacher work, depending on who is vying the loudest for my attention at any given time.

Each day, the sunrise is more spectacular than the last, giving light to the hills around us becoming more of the faintest shade of green. While it seems like new life is taking its time in appearing, I know it will soon overwhelm us.

The cedar and juniper pollen are making life a little miserable now, and the grackles have moved in to the treetops for their annual spring annoyance, so in many ways this seems like any other spring, despite it being in a new place with new surroundings for us.

And that’s the kicker. We’ve not been here but seven months, yet it doesn’t feel “new” to us. It feels like we’ve always been here. It feels like this is where we belong.

I don’t say that lightly. It’s been a struggle of a season for us in a lot of ways, but despite circumstances, it really feels like this is, and always has been, home.

We’re still finding our way here, still finding our people, still figuring out what life here has in store for us.

I’m still having totally awkward interactions by being too forward or – even weirder than that – finding myself with nothing to say at all. When someone at church asks, “How are you?” and I just smile and nod. I can’t even say, “I’m so good!” or “I’ve had a week-long ride on the struggle bus.” No…. I just…. smile. And don’t talk. What is that about?

I feel like I need to rehearse something so when particular people ask me how I am, I have an answer. An engaging, conversation-encouraging answer. Something like, “You know, I’ve been trying to find the most enjoyable cup of coffee in town, but I know of two places. Is there a best-kept secret I should know about?” Wow. I should really remember that one, honestly…

But we keep trucking along, finding our way – or hoping to.

I keep dreaming of what homesteading on this hilltop will be and Hubs keeps telling me to slow down in the dream department.

After he read my last post, he came upstairs and said, “I wish you would have talked to your husband and asked what he thought about your plans… You’re a little too ambitious. And by that, I mean we’re not getting sheep this year.”

It made me laugh, I’ll admit. Maybe I am a little too ambitious. But in 2017, I had a 5-year plan to get sheep. The clock is ticking. I’m not saying, I’m just saying: sheep belong here as much as we do.

So that’s about what it’s about lately. Grackles, greening up, gale-force winds. Spring is here, sheep are not, and I’m working on not being so awkward in conversation.

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