Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Change of Pace

I have moved!

My partner and I picked up all of our accoutrements and regalia, stuffed it in a box and drove home. We have been in the North East for about a month and a half- two full weeks in our new home in Western Massachusetts. We are living in a small section of Northampton called Leeds- a little town along the Mill River. The river runs directly in front of the house with small man-made waterfall separating a shallow pool-like pond I like to swim in, or if you prefer you can jump off of the wall into the deep water below (the jump is not far enough to induce screaming.) I have now attained my dream of having fresh water to swim in outside my door.

We have been out here long enough that I am no longer blinded by the greenness of the foliage. Although I still get pitter-pats in my heart walking around the acre the house is on, noticing plants like old friends I haven't seen in a long time. Unfortunately the most common plant around the house is poison ivy- severely diminishing the areas I can walk.

I took a small sojurn into some of the big woods behind the house today tramping around in a linen dress and flip-flops like some sort of city girl gone native. It is as though I am confirming the things I would say in Berkeley- "I know I can drive to the woods, but I prefer it to be in my back yard, so I don't have to think about it." This is one of the main reasons I was never quite comfortable in Berkeley. I could drive to the heat, the snow, the woods, the water- but I prefer nature to be inescapable. A way of life rather than a destination.

There is another peace here- the intention to settle changes the lens through which I see my surroundings. I am seeking to reaffirm the roots I had already in place, to strengthen my ties to a community I loved but was never a fully part of. As a college student I belonged more to Hampshire College than the Pioneer Valley. As an adult I am immersing myself into that geography. Of course for me community is tied up inextricably with food.

In the past two weeks I have done research online to find local producers for my eggs and vegetables - my allegiance to Mapleline Farms milk already in place from college. I found a food co-op that opened last year and was able to do my shopping for the week there easily selecting local, in season fruits and veggies. Hopefully I can soon move out to more direct-from-farmer purchasing. It appears that due to financial constraints I will not be able to buy a CSA share from Hampshire College Farm Center this year. I am hoping that this turns out to be a blessing in disguise- forcing me to meet other farmers and make new food friends.

I found a space for my massage business to start out in- I'm just waiting on a license from the Commonwealth. I'm also in hot pursuit of a part-time job, I hope craigslist doesn't let me down on this one!

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