Day 12 of Fun-a-Day. I chose blog-a-day-- for good or ill.
I borrow the truck from our neighbor aunt and go to purchase three 55 gallon drums, for storing wood ash, feed, what have you. Before I leave, I explain to my son I will be back soon, and he asks, Can't I come? I slide slowly over iced and sanded roads in the truck with plow attached, making sure to brake before hills to keep my speed down. The sky is spitting snow, steel grey and white. I make it to Cate Farm, a giant of the small farms in these parts, started in 1981, now with 7 high tunnels and wholesale markets locked. I am awed by their set up, their barn, the conversation with this elder farmer where he welcomes me to the neighborhood. I am learning that, though we live 5 miles apart, we are in the same neighborhood.
We make it late to Quaker Meeting, and I take my son down to the children's room. He is the only child in this small meeting, and a dear and gifted member offers to come down, every week. And he refuses. But this week he asks after her, walks into the silent room, and says, Won't you come? to her. She agrees to meet us down there in a few minutes. But he dissolves, barely makes it through the waiting, and when she comes, he can't hold it together. He is confused, where is his father? Why can't he pray with everyone else? And over-stimulated, and rude. We leave after 45 minutes of weeping and struggle.
I rush out of the house to make it to a community meeting, and hear, as I close the door, my son talking to his father, asking, Can't I go with mama? I want to get away, be with adults for awhile. I sit in the meeting, trying to pretend like I don't have a child waiting for me at home. The work of listening to community building and evaluating community resources is fascinating and mind expanding. I marvel at the work of years this small community holds in the minds, bodies, hearts, of its members. There is power here, and purpose.
I come home from the meeting just in time to see my partner and son making a bee line for a far field, in hopes of neighbor children. My son says, Won't you come? and though I think I would rather jog, alone, or read, alone, or do almost anything else, alone, I come. We walk to an empty field and decide to not let this get us down. We walk in the gathering cool up a field with skeletons of harvested corn plants jutting out of the ground. Our sled catches on one, and he asks after it. We see turkey, mouse, cow, deer tracks, and stop to talk about how we know they are what they are. We slide under a wire and see a half dozen cows barely moving in the coming cold. And on to the town trail, the small hills a joy of push and pull of the sled chariot our son is riding.
I have come to be with him, as he wants it, as we should be. In this cold season, on this hillside. He had been asking since 7 this morning, and it took me until 3 pm to listen.