When we walked through the front door for the first time, I wanted to prattle on to you all about how right it felt. When we signed the contract, I wanted to turn cartwheels. I wanted to tell you. When we walked around the property line two weeks ago, discovering neglected scraps of flower garden and berry bushes eager for resurrection, I wanted to jump up and down, and I wanted to tell you. I settled for an enthusiastic hug from Patrick, but I wanted to tell you.
So, I'm telling you. Here's the sapped-up, misty-eyed post I wrote three weeks ago.
The Future Shining Before Us
Nathan and I turned away... and saw the future shining before us.
The future we faced was no more than the old Cuthbert place, but it
shone before us. After all that had happened, I was almost
surprised to see that I was still a young woman. I was twenty-six.
Nathan was twenty-four. We were young and strong and full of
desire. When I looked with Nathan at his place, soon to be ours, we
saw it as it was and as it might be. We knew what we would ask of it.
We were ready for what it would ask of us.
~Wendell Berry, from Hannah Coulter
It must be said: we are buying a house. We went two weekends ago and walked around it, upstairs and down, inside and out, and there it was, that future shining before us. At least that's how I saw it. Patrick, who's undoubtedly more logical and less inclined to getting swept up in romance, was doing practical things like checking the foundation and the attic and the furnace. But me, I was walking around that big, grassy backyard, watching the shimmering visions of fruit trees, vegetable garden, tree house, clothesline and chicken coop: strong and joyous tenets of my future life as wife and mother.
This is what I was talking about a few weeks ago. And, for my Facebook friends, what I was "elated" about on Wednesday. We are one step closer. In reality, we aren't there yet, we aren't ready to shove off confidently in this new direction. We aren't quite ready to leave the friends and community we love. So, rest assured friends and community: we aren't going anyplace just yet. For the time being, the only changes are on paper, and in the bank.
But it's there, waiting for us. When we're ready to uproot ourselves and move someplace sweet and bucolic, to a town of clapboarded houses and calm tree-lined streets, it's there. Like a friendly, floating bulls eye, or an honest-to-goodness pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Those of you who know me well know I am rural at heart. I have lived in small cities for the past eight years of my life, squeezing my tomato plants and dreams of land in where I could, between rose bushes and sidewalks and too-tight city curbs. And I have managed. Not unhappily, either. Binghamton has been very, very good to us.
In my heart I live in a place where fireflies rise out of the fields at dusk, and breakfast comes in warm from the chicken coop. Where there's room for a clothesline, a tree fort, a hammock, a frisbee game, and whomping enormous garden. We have that place, now. A few more arbitrary hoops to jump through, still yet. But the contract is signed, the pot of gold awaits. And now we'll have many more friends keeping their fingers crossed along with us.