A Haphazard Series of Brief (or not) Thoughts, Part 1

I left my house at 3am today, the first of 20+ days of travel this month, home after this only for farm work days every Saturday I can manage to be there. Farms, man; they’re a lot of work. But there’s so much clean air out there — and constant earth magic — so the trade-off will do. 

{Gotta say, though, Dax Shepard’s new sitcom, Bless This Mess, about a couple with less than zero farm experience (I mean it — mathematically negative farm skills) giving up their NYC life for a barren bit of land in Nebraska is cracking us up. It feels very REAL LIFE to us right now, minus barren/Nebraska, plus blackberries/Oregon.} 

Yep — I left the house at 3am today after zipping my bag, and hoping I remembered everything (more crossing fingers than actual planning), and giving the dog — who will miss me most of all — a treat, and whispering I love you to my family…

…  and hoping I see them again because travel always makes me afraid even though I refuse to let Fear drive me. I opened my front door, and stepped outside, and snuck my hand back through to click the lock before pulling it closed behind me.

The world is oddly still in the few hours before dawn. The wind from the mountain behind our house has died down by then and  the crickets have shut down their programming. The wisteria even seems to pause its ambitious land war to conquer first my house and then Planet Earth. While it sleeps, its petals fall and dry like it’s a mini-autumn in the late spring, making drifts of petal piles the fairies probably play in.

I heard a frog, then an owl, and I watched a raccoon gambol away from the elementary school and into the hazelnut orchards as I drove out of town. 

Next stop: Honolulu…

…for Abby’s roommate’s graduation and two days with my oldest kid in the sun as we pack her up to head home to the wisteria and the frogs and the owl and the farm. 

I love launching young humans into adulthood. I really do. There’s something stunning in bearing witness as they embrace their power and wisdom. 

So that’s what I’m up to this week, but I’ve also been wrestling with finding time to write as we prep Cairns Farm for her grand opening this summer, and my biggest reticence about travel was having even less time to put words on a page. I cherish my connection with you in my online space, and I feel like we need each other more than ever as we wend our way into messier, more magical living — louder, more loving, more honest about our weariness, less apologetic about our joy. So this is my experiment — writing to you longhand in shorter, more frequent (?) bursts as I travel… and hoping you’ll cast a line my direction, too — just to say hi and tell me how you’re doing.

Waving in the dark, as always,

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
19 comments
  1. no way that’s your shitty first draft lol. now THAT I want to see…. we are in the middle of stress, love, stress, work, singing, kicking balls, more singing, stress, playing RISK, weddings, stress, driving young adults back from college with almost all of their things and then they steal your car for 3 days, and then another 4 days, and then in a week you drive them back to college with almost all of their things. o, you know, life…

  2. Hi. Been better. Waving. No launching of anyone. Yet.
    Thanks for everyting and the beautiful flowery longhand.
    Hug and more waving

    1. Sending love, Jade, and hoping for the return to better.

  3. I like your post today. My young adults are fully launched and doing great. Just wanted to mention how much I LOVE Wisteria and it’s earth-taking-over properties!

    1. Me, too, Becky! I love how beautiful and wild wisteria is. And that it’s never deterred by being cut back.

  4. First- I’m feeling like a “failure-to-launch-young-adults” kind of mom lately, so breathing deep and trusting that in time, it will happen.
    Second- as K and I “contemplate” this city life (his recent job loss and my impending job shuffle AGAIN aren’t helping) we are wondering if there is room on your farm for 6 or 8 more….
    Third- I am looking forward so much to sipping wine and appreciating travel with you- See you soon!!

    1. I’m so sorry, Carrie! As you know, I’m achingly aware of how different “launching” looks for different young humans. I can’t wait to sit with you, too — Italy soon! And we’ll catch up on all things jobs, cit, and farm. Xoxo

  5. The peacefulness you describe gave me a real lift today. It has been a long day after a week of worry about my husband. His red blodd cell count had gradually decreased for about 4 years, then made a begger drop this year. After all kinds of worry and many, many prayers we went to see an oncologist today. She wants a few more tests, but is pretty sure that it is something that will only need treatment with occasional blood transfusions to give him enough to live on. Thank You, God!I feel so relieved and no much better. Thanks for sharing the beautiful word images.

    1. That’s AMAZING news, Roxanne! Joining you in your relief. So much love to you both.

  6. “I love launching young humans into adulthood. I really do. There’s something stunning in bearing witness as they embrace their power and wisdom. ”

    I will be launching the “last” of young humans into adulthood next weekend. Oy – it’s hard to believe that my baby-baby will be graduating college in a couple of weeks. It’s even harder to believe that my first born baby is now 32 years old! I have come to realize that age is nothing – your baby will always be your baby, no matter how old they get – and no matter how frustrated that may make them. I have 4 dear, precious adulthood babies whose power and wisdom I revel in.

    Enjoy your daughter’s friend’s graduation! Celebrate her accomplishment. I will think of you when I move my daughter out of her lovely, but relatively pedestrian college town, while you cavort around Hawaii!

    1. I so agree, Kim. Age is nothing. For us or for them. I need my parents as much as ever. My current campaign is to convince them to live ‘til 125 years old. I feel like by the time I’m 100, I may be able to navigate life without them. They’re shockingly not on board with this plan. My mother says it sounds “awful.” Just wait, though — I’m pretty persuasive.

  7. Love that show, it is super funny. I’ll think of you when I watch it now! Have fun in Hawaii. What college is your kid going to? What a great experience that must be for her.

    1. She goes to Hawaii Pacific University. It’s been a great fit.

  8. Your journal is beautiful! My handwriting looks like ants crawling across the page. Happy travels to Hawaii!

  9. Safe travels….I was thinking this morning you must be the smartest Mom EVER…..making your child go to Hawaii to college so you could visit! Sending love to you and yours…..Catherine

    1. Ha! I WISH I was the smartest mom ever, but I think I have the smartest kid ever. I never even considered I could go to school in Hawaii!

  10. What pretty journaling! 😉

    Have a great time.

  11. Yay for Hawaii and your kid! Enjoy the sun❤️

  12. I love you and i love this post. Thanks for making us all feel a little more alive.
    p.s. Tonks says hi (and she has a little brother she’d like you to meet and maybe help her evaluate how this whole “sibling” thing is going)

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