The more things change, the more they stay the same…
Christina here, writing about summer traditions and how things feel both old and new right now.
Some things are the same as every year.
Typical of my life in June, the kids are asking all the time to go to the pond. Even while I fantasize about traveling again to oceans or rivers or… other ponds, I have to admit that the DR pond is really one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. This week, the puffy clouds in the blue sky, the waving wildflowers, and the still pond, reminded me to appreciate the beauty around me.
The sunsets too have been pretty epic recently, especially when I’m out weeding the garden after spending a day inside hiding out from the heat. Fireflies have returned as well, as they have every year at the beginning of summer.
I’ve got a pile of garlic scapes waiting to be dealt with and I’m wondering if the rain we got last week is enough or if I should haul out some hoses to water. The tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and lots and lots of flowers have all been planted out, and now I am just waiting for things to grow.
We sort of staggered to an unofficial end of the school year, and while I do believe that kids are always learning, I am also struggling to come to terms with the lack of structure and probably a lot more screens going on at our house than in previous months.
The goats need new pasture just about every day, and with that comes the summer trinity of chiggers, ticks, and poison ivy. I’ve gotten back into my regular preventative routine of thoroughly washing my hands when I get home and have finished reaching into knee-deep poison ivy. And I have also become accustomed to my nightly routine of trying not to scratch bugs bites and irritated spots.
Javier left for his yearly seasonal work of fighting wildfires out West. And per the usual, we don’t know how long he’ll be gone, when he’ll be able to call home, or how safe the trip will be.
Weekly potluck, song circle, meeting with women’s circle, Ultimate frisbie in the blazing sun, Village Council meetings, the weekly WIP (Week in Preview), clean team… all of the things that make us a community are happening again with regularity, along with the important work of building our connections so that we can better work and play together.
Visitors have come and gone, and we have survived and maybe even thrived through two very busy weeks of meals, workshops, and lots of great conversation.
Some things are new.
I facilitated four weeks of VC meetings—my first time actually facilitating a meeting after finishing Alyson’s facilitation training almost two years ago.
The Conflict Resolution Committee held a “Gossip Hangout” (aka Communications Norms in Community Salon) to talk about, um, why we talk about each other and how we can make that go better in our everyday lives.
Friday night, after some complicated carpool arrangements, a bunch of people headed into Kirksville for an art walk and to see Grace’s work on display. I was so happy to wander around without much of a purpose. Spending an hour in the car with three tweens was also a nice change for me.
I’m trying to appreciate all that makes our lives here rich and challenging and special and not take it for granted again after a year when almost everything was canceled.
And also, after a year of very limited social interaction, I’m noticing that my whole body feels like my skin after pulling a bandaid. It’s like we are all coming out from the rocks that we have been hiding behind for the past year and a half, and with that, things often feel a little too bright or too loud. Did I really used to spend so much time talking with other people?
I’m trying to figure out what habits or routines from the past year I want to keep as my life returns to pre-pandemic normalcy. Weekly walks with friends, outdoor meals and meetings, and lots of reading are all high on my list of keepers. I could do without zoom, but I have also become accustomed to seeing friends who are not local.
We’re still navigating the effects of the pandemic which has changed our lives in ways that maybe we still haven’t even come to understand yet.
But I’m doing the work of figuring out what matters and what doesn’t, what I want to work on and what I need to let go of, how I want to spend my days, and how I can best support those around me. All of that continues, no matter the season.