So, the emotional manipulator that I am, I have been witholding information about my whereabouts, my mental state and my doings. But no longer. What would you like to know, I wonder? I'll just guess.
I got the bus to Peterborough on the 3rd of June. I think that was when Luke and Lorelai were supposed to get married but I'm not sure. I was picked up at the bus station by my very first ever WWOOFing hostess and her baby son and driven to our farm, the place I was to spend the next two weeks and eventually come to view as a sort of home. It's crazy how bonded you can get to people and places in such a short amount of time, especially when you've been moving from location to location every three days for a few months and suddenly have some semblance of stability. When I first saw the farm I thought the matrix was playing a trick on me or something because it was drop dead gorgeous. The view from the hill of the lake, the picture-perfect vegie patches, the old farmhouse ... impossible. I didn't get used to the beauty either, the entire time I was there, despite the time spent dozing in hammocks or going for walks by the lake or just sitting on the porch in the early morning or the early evening. I met my host and the four French WWOOFers that shared part of my stay there and that first day at lunch I knew I'd walked into something special. I had a room upstairs to myself with no curtains (at first, until my hostess stubbornly refused to let me go without them any longer and nailed some up herself) and a lot of happily solitary hours ahead of me. They were spent reading and thinking, mostly. A lot of writing ceased, as you can tell, probably because I was so busy living. There was a lot to live there. It was strange, sometimes I would crawl into this quiet space for a while, maybe fifteen minutes or a few hours, and be crazy happy or unbelievably sad. I'd be crying, alone, as I seem to do a lot of these days, or I'd be closing my eyes and just absorbing the beauty of my situation.
There always seems to be drama when quite a few people live in an isolated house (at one time there were eleven of us and the hot water had broken for four days...) but I think I felt truly peaceful a lot of the time I was there. Farm work is satisfying to me, at least so far, and I hope I continue to feel like this at the end of my days. I bonded a lot with the host family; baby especially was a joy of mine and I unwittingly monopolised him some of the time by accident. Mostly the unconventional routine of farming felt good, I enjoyed the ups and downs of weather and mood and work and exhaustion. I also got along really well with one of the interns who was an inspiration and also a true friend to me for no reason other than she seemed to know I needed one. The whole atmosphere just reassured me that I have come across the world for the right reasons.
I gush on and on about this place and my point is only that sometimes paradise is what you make it, and in many ways that's what that farm was to me. It was sad for me to leave, I didn't like the idea of goodbye, but I'd had my fair share of adventures there. Getting lost in the woods, walking into town and hitching back with an eighty-year-old driver who had lots of stories to rival those in the books I'd just picked up from the Library, discovering a kick arse lesbian cook-slash-masseuse who works at a cafe called the Planet who didn't mind when I accidentally broke the bike she built for her girlfriend, cooking lamingtons just to inject some Australiana into the household and doing some seriously hard yakka taking care of a one-year-old for hours at a time (and loving every second of it).
I arrived at the present farm on Thursday. It too is fantastic and the family I am with here are very down-to-earth, friendly Canadians. Already I've had more weird arse experiences here; one being supermarket shopping in North America (Bill Bryson is right about Junk Food Heaven), another being second-hand book shopping again and ending up with a grand total of 13 books I am now carting around for a forgotten reason, and being rushed by turkeys while on a tour of the farm (that was seriously like something out of the Birds).
My birthday is tomorrow, so we'll see what that brings.
It's not a perfect metaphor.