I've written quite a bit about living a more simple life. I revel in the farmers' market, its seasonal surprises, the friends whom I see only once a week, the just picked berries that disappear on the ride home. I embrace the solitude of line drying clothes, methodically bending and clipping while birds sing in the trees and my cat wends around my feet. Peace can be located on my front steps as bees burrow in the borage and yellow and orange butterflies chase each other amongst the poppies, cosmos and Queen Anne's lace. All of those things center me, make my life feel real and meaningful. Even when I am tired or too busy, I, like Eco 'Burban Mom, cannot let them go. Living any other way feels out of sync.
I've also posted often about building community and a social green movement. Sometimes, that means gathering physically, either with new found friends or rediscovering greener interests with old ones. Just this week, I attended a class on chicken keeping with a long time friend and struck up new friendships at events hosted by my son's new school. Tonight, I will host a jam making session for my book club and, tomorrow, visit a nursery with a close friend. Building community is also virtual. I became friends with Arduous while setting up A Crunchy Tribute and then bonded with Katrina, Donna and Shannon while collaborating on The Blogging Bookworm. I got to know many of you through email exchanges on the Forage for Borage giveaway. Even virtual relationships, though, can become physical - as when I met Arduous and CindyW for brunch. Through my burgeoning relationships - both in blog land and in real life - I've gained perspective, found support and a sense of belonging.
On several occasions, I've urged bloggers to become political, get active and be heard. Putting my money (or time) where my mouth was, I joined my city's green task force. I'm writing their newsletter (due this weekend!) and brainstorming about growing the group through social and volunteer events. Volunteering for the greater green brings a sense of fulfillment, of accomplishment.
And, last on this list but most importantly, I am a mother to my two boys. Indeed, they are the reason I feel so strongly about living lighter, developing a network, using our voices, building critical mass. It is for my boys that I haul grey water, write letters, mend torn clothes, and turn the lights off. As summer edges in, school will be out, vacations, the park and the backyard wading pool beckon. Time with them, watching clouds shift overhead, trying new popsicle flavors, reading books, is fodder for a lifetime of memories.
Each segment of my life is happily blooming, stretching and growing like pumpkin seedlings warmed by the hot July sun. Yet, the stems crowd each other, the roots compete for water. There are too many seedlings planted in the same hill growing at the same rate. Pruning needs to be done and guiding too. Perhaps a seedling can be transplanted to another hill, where nothing yet grows. Perhaps, if shaded, some of the plants will not grow quite so fast.
As I sit before this computer with farmers' market produce and dirty dishes sprawled across the counters behind me and only one short hour before the boys are home from their last week of school, I realize that, like the pumpkin mound, I have too much going on. Too much growing at once.
I have much to write about but little time right now in which to write. To me, this blog is a matter of not just expression, but self-creation and self-knowledge. It is not something I will let go of. But, please bear with me over the next few weeks as I regain my balance, rearrange activities, ask for help. There will be times here and there where I don't post for a couple days. That doesn't mean I'm gone. I'm embracing equilibrium. I will be around both here and at The Blogging Bookworm every day. I will also be back two or three times a week with the answer to "Are You Chicken?", delving into "The Rugged Environmentalist", enumerating concrete ways to build a social green network, "Energizing Ears", my weekly One Local Summer posts, and much more.