“Let this new day be the defining moment of your life. The day you make the decision, once and for all, to focus on what is truly important.”
What is on my mind this morning is my neighbor. He lives at the end of Carls Road, within a 20 minute walk. He came down and introduced himself, after we first moved in, and made it very clear that if we needed anything, he was here. He brought down cucumbers, warned me about the dangerous corner I should avoid at the end of Grossen Road, told me the best grocery stores to shop at, gave me a tour of his very old 1800’s house, gave me a history of the land, and said he would be willing to plow our driveway in the winter.
On the outside, he and I seem not so likely to be friends. I am realizing that the outside does not really count for much. On the inside, he and I are really quite aligned. If I had to sum up what my purpose/desire is here on this earth, it would look something like this: To live simply finding joy in hard work, good meals we eat and grow together as a family, tending gardens, caring for animals, eating local humanely raised food, love, giving and being gentle with our earth. Most of those ideas are present in my neighbors life, probably more than mine.
I think in battling with addiction and anxiety issues, I have had to really look hard at who I am and what is really important to me. It was not just there, ready to be cultivated; but had to unburied first. My neighbor seems to do the things that I yearn to learn and do with such ease. He told me a friend dropped off to him a huge amount of apples at the end of the season. He decided to spend the afternoon using his antique cider press, and made applesauce that he ate with his dinner that night. He is a canning master, and seems excited to teach us what he knows. He offered to till up our garden spot this spring with his tractor.
The first time it snowed here, he was down here lickety split to plow our driveway. He said that he charged $30.00 per plow, which really is reasonable for the length of our driveway. Yesterday, when the snowstorm began, I pondered the idea of trying to keep up with the driveway myself and getting to skip out on paying another 30 dollars. So, I did. I shoveled our driveway with our really slick pushy shovel 4 times throughout the storm. It felt so good to be out there working hard and saving money.
I called our neighbor to tell him that we were so grateful that he would come down and plow, but that we really could only afford one plow a month. (We have goats to pay for, you know!) I thanked him profusely and told him I would call him if we needed his help in the future.
The driveway was in pretty darn good shape, if I say so myself, when it stopped snowing last night at around 9:30. As I was washing the dishes, lights shined in my eyes through the kitchen window. It was my neighbors plow, coming up the driveway. What a kind man, coming over to check that the driveway was sufficiently cleared of the 6 inches of snow.
This morning I went out to say hello to the chickens and check for eggs. I found two beautiful eggs. One white and shaped like an Advil pill, and one chocolatey brown. One was laid in the heated nest box and one was on top of the triple stacked hay bale I had placed in their nesting area. There was the white egg nestled in their neatly made nest up in the cozy corner. Those two eggs are going in a special egg carton for my neighbor along with the next 4 magical eggs.
Deepak Chopra says, ” There are no accidents…there is only some purpose that we haven’t yet understood.” I believe that there is no accident that I continue to get placed near neighbors who offer something of themselves that feels so authentic and pure. That “something’ is particularly hard to articulate because I only recognize it as a feeling in my core; my soul; my being. It is a feeling of being honored, seen, and cared about. That “something’ is so powerful that it really does increase my sense of meaning, hope, and surely my purpose. Thank you to all of you that have given that something to me along the way and helped me to see myself so much more clearly today.
I am grateful.