Little Miss P has a very large head, which I blame wholly on Jeremy. She also has a very loud voice, but I don’t think Jer can take the credit (or blame) for that one. That may have more to do with me. When the little one has something to say, but feels the need not to just say it (with the coos and sighs and giggles that are her language), but to shout it, scream it, exclaim it with a multitude of exclamation marks, we say that she’s expressing her feelings.
Not feelings of pain or joy or hunger – there are other more recognizable noises she makes for those feelings – but the whole abundance of other human feelings, be they physical (my nose is itchy and I don’t know how to fix it!!!!), emotional (I have a new friend who I can’t get enough of!!!!), or otherwise (FEELINGS!!!!!). It’s totally acceptable for a 4 month-old to have loud, indescribable feelings. It’s totally acceptable for a 4 month-old to have most things, really. Sometimes I wish I was a 4 month-old and I could just shout and yell and exclaim sounds as loudly as possible in order to express myself and my feelings, because there sure are a lot of them right now.
June was the month of visitors on the farm. We had a clan of my family descend for a night, which was lovely. We had friends from Vancouver, who are moving back to the East Coast, come for 3 or 4 nights. We had my parents come for almost a week. And then we had the Wittys, comprised of Witty himself, young Mr. Atlas, and Golds, the friend who spans the ages and the kilometers.
You see, Golds and I met 9 years ago, in Bolivia, at the end of a 10-day meditation retreat. You can read about her take on it here. I had a different experience meditating than she did, and while I didn’t speak with anyone, with my words or my eyes for 10 days, I certainly spent time staring around the room, making up stories about the likely non-native Bolivians, Chileans and Argentines. I grouped the travellers into partnerships, gave them home continents and narratives about what brought them to this small town in Bolivia, the only land-locked country in South America, and to a 10-day silent meditation retreat. I was wrong on all counts (4 of the 7 were from Australia! I was the only American, defined here as “from the continent[s] of America). But even though Golds was from Australia, when we got to talking we found out that this may not be our first meeting. Our first meeting may have truly been 20 years prior, on the playground of our elementary school. She had come to Calgary
during the 1988 winter Olympics, and we’d gone to elementary school together. Our chance encounter in Bolivia, followed by 3 weeks of Stampede-laden debauchery in Calgary created a lifelong friendship. Our month together here, as new mamas with happy, smiling, loud and feeling babes in tow, cemented that friendship and I sure do hope that it takes less than 9 years for us to see each other again.
So those are some of my feelings… feelings of gratitude for having these delightful and joyful people in my life, feelings of incredible love when I see Miss P flapping her arms in delight when she is in the presence of her buddy Mr. Atlas, squeaky feelings when I see Golds dog-paddle at the beach on her last night here because the tidal flats go on forever and she doesn’t want to (rightfully so!) scrape herself on the sharp barnacles, but also feelings of sadness because these friends have just left us to continue their year-round jaunt.
Other feelings have to, obviously, do with my daughter and the relationships she has and the relationships she’s changed. The relationship between my mother and myself, the relationship between Jer and I, and her relationships to all of these people I love so dearly. Those are big feelings. Those are shouting really loud feelings.
And then there’s these other feelings. You see, our neighbours and closest friends on the island, are moving. Not far – Google Maps tells me it’s 5 km and a 7 minute drive away – but far enough to not be drop-by neighbours… This family is a huge part of our Denman Island community. They feed and water our chickens and garden when we’re away. We share groceries, meals, and tea and cookies at least once a week. I was so excited to know that Miss P was going to grow up next door to their lovely daughter, who would teach our girl to tromp through the woods, bounce on the trampoline and pick the best strawberries. I have a deep respect for the choices this family has made and the people that they are and I’m supremely bummed that they’re moving. I’m doing my best not to be like Miss P and shout and scream these feelings, because this is really not about me my feelings (I’m not the one moving, after all), but sometimes I wish that my girl and I could just switch places for a moment so I could shout and yell and get a bunch of these feelings out (and maybe cry a fair bit too), and then I’d feel better. For now, I’m “holding it together”, trying to help them as best I can, and maybe by this weekend, when their house is no longer “theirs” in the legal sense of the word (it’ll be theirs for a LONG time, and not just to me… in describing our house, I still use the previous owners’ names, 6 years later), I’ll have my first little (or big) fit of feelings, and start to move on from them.
Not a farmy post at all. One day I’ll give you a real farm update. This month has just been about so much more than the farm…