I just spent about an hour tucked in my sleeping bag, on my deck, with my little beagle pup snuggled down by my knees. Tonight there are meteor showers and it's pretty darn chilly out under a star lit sky. The moon is quiet so it's dark other than the little holes of light they punch through the dark sky. I love that. You know what made me even happier? I was lying there, totally content and toasty and the only light was being cast from the christmas lights on the greens draped around the railing of my deck. A friend that I just adore surprised me with it on Friday, and in the 12 years I've spent in this house it's the first time it really looks festive on the outside.
So the first shooting star got me all giggly and excited. I asked my first wish to be granted. And then another. And another. And then I got all teary, which surprised me. That's been happening a lot lately. What the heck? My mom was the one who would cry at the drop of a hat, not me!!!! Oh my god, I'm turning into HER! Which now is ok. If you had told me that at 14 I would have run away. But now I say thank you. Why was I crying? So asked.
I wanted to feel love. I realized I had a puppy lying on my legs snoring. Just a little reminder that I do feel love, every day. I feel it with my son and with my animals. Who knew those little balls of fur could teach you all of that? Yes, I know that I spend most of my time telling people this, but did I think it would ever apply to me? No. Not really. I'm not that kind of mushy animal person. I guess I am now. And she's even wearing a holiday bandana. Wow. What's next? A purse to carry her in? I also feel love from the people supporting me and those who I get to work with. Wish granted. Thank you.
Then I started thinking about what the stars remind me of. I graduated college in 1995 and that summer I moved into a farmhouse in Madbury, NH. there were 5 bedrooms, two pantrys, two fridges, two phones that were connected to the wall by cords (wayyyyyyyyyyyyy back then), two bathrooms (one that was painted like you were sitting between the yellow sun and billowy light blue clouds), a deck that was lined with old wicker furniture and a family room that had two couches, tattered old braided rug covering an old painted wood floor.
My room was awesome. It had what I'd call antique wall paper and looked out over the fields once used for animals. There was a dirt road that ran by the square white house and along the fields edged with old rock walls. Just beyond the house was a little pond we always referred to as the 'cow tank" for some reason. The road ran slightly downhill and when I stood on it I felt as though I had stepped back in time to a place I had been before. The Farm was a fantastic place for me. I grew up, was gently placed in the grown up world and my reality expanded to include hiking, camping, star gazing and fun.
Tonight as I watched the stars slowly tick around the sky I thought of my friend Stephen Prescott. He was on the farm for years before I got there and someone I grew to love. He had super thick glasses, a funny hitch in his step and an honesty that was pure and simple. He wore wool socks year round and he taught me that camping was fun. He also taught me that running away from your problems is not an option that resonates with me. Years later I was sitting at home, reading my UNH alumni newsletter when I read his name in the obituaries. I sobbed. It makes me so sad right now even as I type it. Stevie was dead and I had no idea how or why.... It had been years since I had left the farm but I always just figured we'd meet skiing at Wildcat, the place he had taught me to telemark ski. I learned later that he had pancreatic cancer and had passed quickly after the diagnosis. Back at the farm he'd play his mahogany colored guitar and I'd sing away. We'd cross country ski around the fields at night and drink homebrew and talk in the kitchen. Those days were now sort of sealed as part of a memory after I learned he was gone. Tonight he showed up to say hello, and he even asked me to try to contact someone he knew way back then. How do you contact someone and say, "hey, your friend from a long time ago who is dead showed up when I was watching shooting stars and he wants to tell you something." Yup. Just like that. I'll be looking them up when I'm done here.
Another awesome farm memory is of Mila Paul. She was a blue eyed blonde who laughed from her core and loved from her heart with all that she had. She was the one who introduced me to Reiki when she zapped my migraines. So I owe her a huge thank you and I have tried to find her but have been unsuccessful. If you know Mila, or Oatmila as she was affectionately referred to, can you tell her I'd love to hear from her? She taught me so much and I would love to reconnect!
There are two major highlights of the farm that shined through for me tonight. One is the Hale Bop commet that was in the sky for what seemed like a month. I can't remember how long it was up there, but I remember lying on the hay wagon, under the stars (perhaps with a drink in hand), watching its track across the sky as the hours passed. We spent so many hours out there.....
The second was bowling. Who knew, right? Yup. someone there had a full set of candlepins and a real bowling ball. We lived in a house with 5 of us, so the other tenants across the way didn't really love us on the nights we thought bowling was a good idea. Actually, I'm pretty sure they hated us. I know one of them did. Because when I moved an hour and a half north she was working at the ski area at which I was hired. We joke about it now but lordy was it rough at times! Do you realize out of everyone in the world we lived 100' apart in Madbury and then worked together for a combined total of about 8 years in North Conway? How crazy is that. Thank you universe. She's been a good friend as well!
As I ramble I realize this blog may be more for me than you. I'm sorry but thank you for reading to the end. I love my 20 below sleeping bag that I bought on the farm. I'm grateful that I met people who convinced me that buying such a thing was a good idea, because tonight while lying with my puppy love it kept me warm. I got to speak with the guy who pointed me in a direction that helped me learn to love being outdooors and under the stars. I was reminded that the random living situation turned me on to reiki, which has helped me heal and is the foundation for all that I do. I'm glad that I learned that bowling on a dirt road is a fun thing to do, too.... even at 2am.
So Stevie, I am looking forward to having you join me at Wildcat for a few tele turns this winter. Mila, I hope this somehow finds you and I get to thank you personally. You both helped me become who I am today. And all this formed while lying under the stars at The Farm. My transition place. Thanks Farm. I hope you're still providing those post college kids with similar experiences!!!! I'm still lying under the stars. Creating more memories. I wonder what will show up here in this blog in 15 years.
Lots of love.