Isak Dinesen begins with "I had a farm in Africa...."
I once had gardens fruiting and flowering, a porch swing, and a beachy home where a selkie could feel perfectly at home whilst land locked.
Now, my love and I come home sweat grimed, looking like coal miners. Some days we speed to work on a boat to another island and pile into a van loaded with sweaty men who know how to work and make road problems vanish. They execute delicate maneuvers with monster machines. Artistic flourishes with dirt, gravel and oil? Yes.
Life is different, inconvenient and awkward now. We are camping out in a teeny-tiny studio. This is what it's come down to. I puzzle over why I'm not completely miserable? Why am I so comfortable?
Maybe it's because the tent out in the yard has been up all summer and occupied with people who want to come visit? Or perhaps it's the porpoises, whales, starfish, and beach glass I find? Or how I'm learning to fish? Or the eagles and blue herons that fly by, curious? Is it Tessa's picturesque garden she shares with me? Maybe it's the smell of salt water coming in on the breeze, or the rhythm of living with the tides?
What will I remember fondly about this year, in ten years? I don't think it was what Isak Dinesen had that made her life story a riveting one, it was everything pulsing around the experience and adventure of that farm in Africa.