I never said thank you to the taxi driver who told me I looked "pretty in purple" and kept me talking the entire way into town when he picked me up from the last farm and I'd been crying all morning.
Every tool you need in the garden here is kept in a dilapidated gypsy wagon. There is an arbour hung with grapes that is nice to sit under while you read on days off, or pick from on the days on. By the large trees that are constantly shedding their leaves lies a mountain of bikes that you can select from and ride anywhere in the world if you're not scared of crossing the road- that is, a busy highway.
I got the opportunity to learn how to can tomatoes the other day in an outdoor kitchen and had so much fun doing it while the sun was shining. Everything around me was hot and beautiful.
I don't know what counts as news right now so I'm just going to tell you what I remember.
One of my tasks on the farm right now is feeding the animals which feels kind of strange considering I'm a former/wannabe vegan and I don't know how I feel about raising animals in order to use their products. That being said, as long as I am a vegetarian I feel that it's important to take some responsibility in what happens to the animals you are, well, exploiting. I have been enjoying and learning the ups and downs of feeding chickens and collecting eggs and such (my favourite creatures are the silkie chickens. They have mohawks and shaggy feathers on their feet and they strut around their cage like rock stars). Something that really upset me was when four ducklings died in two days. I suppose it's natural, that's what the farmers here told me, but I couldn't help but fret about whether there was something that could be done. Mostly I'm learning that there's nothing easy about raising food, and one of the sadder things for me is witnessing death in the name of sustaining life. Someone did talk to me about focussing on the fact that it's natural, so I am doing that as much as I can. I still feel a little shaken though, which is probably a sign that veganism might be the only thing that leaves me with an even-beating heart.
I have some new sisters here. They can't possibly replace the old ones, but they're proving to be amazing sources of strength.
S is a surly, German girl of few words but many faces, beautiful like an angel in a painting and infused with a hatred of "girly girls". She giggles and scowls in the same breath, enjoys both dark music and chocolate and lives her life simply. We ride bikes into the nearby town, melt into the grass at the park and gulp iced tea until we're done being elsewhere.
N is a writer, the kind of person who is a storyteller in every context of her life. Her words are always beautiful and the clarity, precision and yet flowing nature of her prose is reflected in her physicality. She is a creator of wonderful things on her body, around her, and in her mind. The kindness she displays to language extends also to that which she says to others; that is, she is sweet whenever she speaks.
K is an enigma, painfully cool and elusive and yet friendly and approachable all at once. Her easygoing nature disguises a determination and resolve that resides in every inch of her. This woman is beyond intelligent, or clever, and is instead submerged in understanding all the time. It drips off her in what she says, and falls to the floor in heavy droplets when she stays silent. I relish her presence.
On Thursday I board a bus to NYC, with K. She and I will see some sights and I will retain the dirty fingernails and dishevelled appearance that farming for a little over three months has given me. After seven days, I will be alone again. Then I will be just another object floating haphazardly across an Autumn sky.
It's not a perfect metaphor.