23 January 2013

La Belle's Hobby Farm: Moving Back: Was the Sacrifice Too Great?

A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world. 
~ Lois Wyse


oving back to the country was the right decision.  But it came with its share of sacrifices ~ the greatest one being the increase in physical distance from my community of friends and neighbors. 

It took me over ten years to build a strong support system and while my friends are still here for me and I for them, the amount of insane traffic in between us, not to mention our busy schedules, make frequent face to face meetings near impossible.  Some would say this should make the friendships all the more precious.  And it does.  But lately, I find the distance  depressing.

When you only live a few minutes from one another, friendship and community thrives on the little things:

-         The spontaneous phone call or text that says ~ “What are you doing right now?  Wanna grab a cup of coffee and hang out?”
-         The unexpected knock on the door and invitation to walk around the block.
-         The spur of the moment movie night

Don’t get me wrong ~ planned get togethers are great too; it’s just that the spontaneous aspect is completely gone and the planned outings are few and far between.  What good is being out in the country, trying to live a local, peaceful, sustainable lifestyle when your friends aren’t around to pour the Fair Trade tea for?

The Winter Garden 
My garden is a reflection of my heart ~ a sad, little weather-beaten plot, a dull brownish grey, covered in last year’s leaves and yesterday’s leftovers.  The one bright spot: a lone rosemary plant standing brave and tall and lushly green and fragrant. 

Rosemary for remembrance. 

Remembrance that winter doesn’t last forever.  That all that dead and decaying leaves and compost that looks so ugly on the surface has actually enriched the soil, kept the bumblebees warm, and protected last year’s seeds, making this year’s harvest more abundant and sweet. That I can use my garden’s dormant season to plan and buy seeds to plant in the spring.

The heart also has its dormant season ~ a time to rest and contemplate and just be.  I tend to ride the social merry-go-round without ever taking a break, and for my personality type, that’s destructive.  As much as I hate it, I need to hibernate from time to time so I can re-center and remember who I am and what’s important to me.  And what’s important are strong supportive relationships.

So maybe it’s time to start tilling new ground, while not forgetting to weed the old.  Maybe it’s time to grow some new old friends to add to my heart’s garden.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
Do you make your friendships a priority?  If not, why?  And if you do, what are some things you do to keep the path of friendship well-worn?
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