Looking Ahead


Yesterday was Sherod’s birthday.  I spent most of the morning assembling a raised plant bed, my gift to him.  That involved taking his truck to bring the kit home from my office where I had kept it to make this a surprise, reading instructions, figuring out what tools I needed and gathering them up, hefting bags of dirt and large wooden parts from one place to another.  I was hot and sweaty and pretty grimy by the time I got through.  I had hoped to surprise Sherod with the bed already fully assembled but fairly quickly, realized I would do the job better with some guidance from him.  Sherod sat like a Pasha out on our deck and gave instructions, letting out sighs and huffs of frustration because I may be somewhat strong and somewhat smart but I am still pretty clutzy about this kind of stuff.

Still.  I assembled the plant bed and before too long we will have fancy lettuce and heirloom tomatoes growing.  Even more, it will be a daily reminder of where we are heading.  Increasingly, it becomes clear to us how much we want to be in a small patch of land with a simple, well designed, house.  Some of the possibilities we are discussing include working with the folks from the Auburn Rural Studio project.  Or putting together a house using modules from Kithaus.   Sherod talks about wanting a goat,a pair of geese to chase people who come visit, giving him cheap and endless amusement from the front porch. And he wants him some biddies.  For me, it’s the possibility of the kind of darkness that’s filled with starlight, that’s real and alive.  The experience of working in a garden or in the kitchen or on a house project so at the end of the day I am maybe more than a little sore but also tired and able to see what I accomplished, able to stand back and say, “I got that done”.  Incarnation.  It’s all about incarnation and not the endless mind games I was stuck in for so long.

We are getting increasingly serious about moving back to Alabama, somewhere out in the country around Selma.  I don’t have any illusions about what that means—the conservatism, the bigotry, the poverty—in other words, a place with sharp edges and little in the way of comfort for this progressive, feminist, non-traditional Swedish-Colombian woman. I also know this. Alabama has enacted the toughest, meanest anti-immigrant laws in the country—and there are still Latinos in Alabama, including many who are invisible and marginalized.  I am still a priest…


4 thoughts on “Looking Ahead

  1. Your raised plant bed looks like a manger. 🙂
    You would be pretty much in culture shock, but that is ok – you will do fine. About 3 hours from where I live.

  2. It is funny how we all want to head back to our beginnings. Mike and I are considering a retirement between the town I was born in, Hendersonville and the large progressive city of Asheville, NC. Having land, chickens, ducks and a bit of water will always be a part of us. I hope you find what you are looking for.

  3. Good job on the plant bed. Living in the rural south will be tough. It is tough for me in the mountains of Tennessee, but I love living there with my animals and all the natural beauty. You will definitely find your niche but I suspect you will question, as I do, why does it have to be this way?

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