"You better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone -- for the times, they are a changin'." I've loved Simon & Garfunkel since my mother introduced me to them as a little girl. Imagine me, a nine year old, along with my best friend, equally innocent, belting out "Cecilia" at the top of our lungs on the rooftop outside my bedroom window. I don't think we knew what it was about, but we felt it - felt the drums, the rhythm, the pounding, the call to action, and we couldn't help but holler and hoot and pound our little paws on the shingles -- that is, until the neighbors complained. I've come back to Simon & Garfunkel's music so many times over the years, usually when I'm feeling particularly thoughtful, or contemplating a new path. There's something about their music that brings me back to my roots. Not surprisingly, when I sat down to write this post, the first thing that came into my mind was this song, the title of this post (props to Bob Dylan for the original version).
It was a sweet, long summer here at the farmette, with some moments more bittersweet than others. We've savored laughter from friends, with friends, from ducklings, chicks, and our dependable gaggling hens. Even Rooster Rooster - our not-like-Big-Bird-who-attacked-me - rooster who lovingly (sometimes with a little "extra lovin") shepherds his girls around and doesn't so much as puff his auburn feathers at me, has contributed his fair share of joy with his confidently broken crow (ala teenage boy). But as one might expect, there has also been some death on the farm, right alongside our own string of miscarriages.
I started writing this nearly a month ago--days before my sister's wedding, when the summer gourds were reproducing like mad in my garden. Well, things went pear shaped (me, the misshapen zucchini, but thankfully not the wedding) and the post went on hold. My sister still got married (hallelujah!) and it's mid September and the zucchini continue to fornicate like rabbits. So I'm in luck, and so are you if you've got pounds of the stuff sitting on your counter or growing like wildfire in the backyard (or on fire sale at the farmer's market). With chocolate is the best way to eat zucchini...or in the dead of winter curried up on a grilled cheese sandwich when the bounty of summer squash dances in your head like a vision (that recipe up next). Until then, I dread a few days away for fear of monster zucchini hiding under the vines, discovered and begging not to be wasted.
I'm in the middle of a spinning vortex of business planning (I'm legal!), fruit sourcing, fall and winter garden sowing, preserving summer's excess, and trying to enjoy the bountiful fruits of our labor with garden curated meals as often as possible. As much as I'm stressed, it feels really good not to have a case of the Monday's come Sunday night. Instead, I'm excited for the week ahead and what I will learn, cook, harvest, and sow. And in times of heaviness, of which we've had plenty this year, I appreciate the lightness --the laughter, the humor, gaggling chickens, and the "I still can't believe we live on an island and raise ducks" and "Am I really starting a jam business?!" Exciting, yes, but do I often throw myself into tizzy of radical doubt still? Absolutely.
On June 12th I happily and nervously sent off my Food Processor's License in the mail to the regulators in Olympia. As I penned my signature onto the most important form, I paused at the date - already inscribed "May 10th". May 10th was before I knew I was pregnant for the third time - and before I miscarried for the third time. May 10th-- long enough since the last pregnancy that I was starting to feel like myself again. I remember what that felt like so clearly. I was finally moving forward --with or without a baby. It's been a little over a month, such a short period of time, and so much has happened. I've digressed in some ways and grown in others. I desperately want to feel like myself again. Forcing progress, like submitting my license application, helps, but it's not completely genuine. Despite being a month later than I intended, it feels rushed. But sometimes you have to put the head down, and run-- run fast. Other times, putting your head between your knees is the more appropriate response.
I'm really overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and dialogue following my last post and want to say thank you to my readers. It means a great deal to me and I feel full with love from friends and even strangers from near and far. It's important to me to be able to use this blog as an avenue for exploring more difficult issues -- but I also want to be a source of lightness, and occasional inspiration. Because life is so very much both. So bear with me as I figure out the right balance.
Today- I swing to the opposite side of the spectrum, and talk about balls, and in under 500 words. Edible, quick balls. With nothing in them from my garden. I could tell you about the armful of bok choy I harvested this morning and how it'll be stir fried tonight with local Coffelt's ground lamb and my first clippings of basil in a staple sauce of fresh ginger, garlic, sweet thai chile sauce, shoyu, and a dash of fish sauce (a glorious combination taught to me by dearest friend Mandy our first year of college... she couldn't make mac'n'cheese but she could rock a stir fry). But then I'd have to wrap that into a story about college longings (and Mandy attempting that mac'n'cheese naked) and how many years I spent desperately trying NOT to get pregnant. Moving on to edible balls, with nothing in them from my garden.