"Ain't no sunshine when she's gone...."

"...It's not warm when she's away. Ain't no sunshine when she's gone, and she's always gone too long any time she goes away."

I love this song.

Being gone too long has taken away some of my sunshine and I'm ready for a refill. I'm coming home next week for a visit and respite from the always-changing world of AmeriCorps NCCC. Twice now in only a few weeks have I broken down in tears, having grown tired of leaving the places and people I love so much. I'm in a slump and I need help pulling out of it-- I think my mom's home cooking and the laughter of friends and family will help. In 8 days I will be home for an entire week. Ahhh.

This project has been trying, to say the least. Spending 8 hours a day sorting donated clothing for a rummage sale feels mindless and I'm trying hard to keep the perspective of "reuse and recycle." I am lucky to have such a kind and understanding woman as our sponsor. We will host the giant sale this coming Saturday and call it good, moving on to environmental work with Friends of Decker's Creek. Some of the high points I've encountered here include: working with inmates at the rummage sale; building trails and team cohesion at the boy scout camp; drinking Chai tea and Newcastle (separate but both wonderful!) at the Blue Moose Cafe; the rolling hills, fog, and absolute beauty of country farms; and countless hours spent reading.

I've been reading a "life after AmeriCorps" guidebook and it is helping me recognize that every new job and new location are transitions in my life and that I need to understand them, appreciate them, and say final goodbyes. The children of Biloxi, MS enter my dreams frequently and I wake up with fervor to serve them. Unfortunately I am in West Virginia and have lost contact with the kids that use to brighten my every day and find myself wishing for some way to see them. I dream (literally) of being their parent, their nanny, their best friend. Leaving them in some ways was harder than leaving my family because it was probably goodbye forever. Their laughter echoes in my ears and their smiles burn brightly in my heart. I may be repeating these feelings but they are a part of AmeriCorps that I just couldn't have predicted. I had no idea saying goodbye would be so hard. Why can't I just let go and fall into the routine of our new project?

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In other news, I spent a good 4 hours last night reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle when I was unable to sleep. From what I've read so far, the book restates many of my own thoughts and after discussing my reading with a teammate that has also read the book, my stink with the author is this: she argues eating wholly and locally is cost-efficient task to undertake, and similar or equal in price to processed and outside dining choices. I disagree. Growing one's own vegetables is a time consuming activity and in this day and age time=money. If time=money and seeds and animals have an initial cost purchase, and time spent going from house to house or market to market are of value, and if owning or renting land on which one can grown are figured into the equation, I hardly think eating locally from foods grown from yourself or your neighbors is so simple.

I dream of having my own small-scale farm. Perhaps it's the romantic idea of being one with the land, maybe it's my own sadness for the semi-demise of our family farm, maybe it's the calling my body is yelling to my brain. Any way I look at it, my heart and mind and stomach all say "DO IT!"

My mom tells me great stories about the swiss chard she just picked from the river bottoms near "the pit." She says her garden is all planted with the basics are family has grown to love. She mails to me cinnamon rolls baked with love.

My aunt mails to me a picture of my brother and my cousin feeding their cattle.


Sigh. I am lucky to have the life I do. I'm homesick again. Time to stop writing.

Comments

  1. I can't wait to see you!!!! I'm sorry that you have had to find out about my life through the internet -not something I would have liked to happen. From now on I will call you as much as possible and update you on the things I find rather boring and not important. I am in search of a good book if you could point me in any direction. I am just kind of wandering around, discouraged to even start to look. I love you TONZ

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  2. It looks like you are having one neat adventure! You are so brave! I don't think that I could ever do anything like that! Hope all is well! Love ya!

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  3. Glad to see you blogging actively again. How is the running going so far?

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