So many changes have happened in my life over the past year. Ethan and I are getting a divorce, and I am facing the prospect of leaving behind this land that I have loved – finding new homes for all my animals, saying goodbye to my garden, finding a new place to live and wondering what I will do to support myself and my daughters as a full time single mother.

cows grazing

I feel like one of those days that rains while the sun shines and the foxes hold their weddings in the secret forest glades. Some days I feel so relieved to leave behind things that felt so wrong for a long time, and life feels so free and open to new possibilities, like the start of a new adventure and I feel I am going out to seek my fortune at last.

Some days I feel like an uprooted tree and find myself held in the deepest depths of grief and sadness to leave behind a place I have poured my heart and soul into – all the long days over fifteen years and the laboring, sweat running into my eyes as small children clung to me and asked me for stories while I worked in the cactus and blackberry brambles, and that tiredness in my bones, to shape this place from empty land, left behind to grow up into sparse grass and thorns. I think back to those early days that felt infused with the sweet smell of prickly pear cactus in the sun and pine needles, and how I felt the long width and breadth of the land stretch away into what seemed like obscurity.

Now my eyes watch the familiar tree lines as they flush with spring, like the smile lines on the face of someone you have always loved. These days I walk the land and it feels not just like a friend, but like my mother. This place is like someone I’ve relied on so deeply and who I hold as a part of me as it has fed and supported me. It has shaped me and my children. I come back to the places I haven’t been to for awhile and note the changes and the growth. I’ve been here long enough to see the slender trees grow into maturity, and see the pastures become thick and full of grass and flowers.

As I work in my garden, I feel the earthquake of change shake my sacred refuge here, shattering the invisible walls of my inner sanctuary. I feel comfort to know the plants will remember me for years to come – the amaranth, the wild pumpkins, the bright cosmos and zinnias, the shiso and sweet potatoes and basil – they will come back and look for me.

It’s spring, and it hurts my heart to greet the new, young animals and not be able to welcome them to me, but to know I must find them a home elsewhere, where I hope that they will be tended to with the same love and care that I would have given them. My dear companions of the hearth, the cats, sit on my lap before the fire of the stove I will leave behind, and I feel their soft, purring fur against me and try to hold on to the love that I have for them.

I feel a deep connection right now to all the ancestors who left their land behind – the ones who left homes and families and friends and crossed the sea, bringing seeds and milk cultures and customs and songs with them for comfort and connection – and also the ones who were driven away from the land they loved and watched it be transformed into what we have now. I see before me now a little glimmer of insight to what that experience is like: It is a grief that cuts deeper than just losing another human being. It is tearing out and leaving behind a bloody chunk of yourself.

I wish I could be like a bird and disappear into the blue, blue sky of spring.

What are you willing to give up for freedom?

4 Comments Add yours

  1. My sweet friend I pray your feet find home, your heart has comfort & your life for you and your children moving forward is full of joy, love & peace

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I have faith that the future holds beautiful things for us!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael Heupel says:

    Sending You a digital Hug.

    Liked by 1 person

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