Before we packed up our life to come here I felt an intensity comparable to waiting in line for my very first rollercoaster ride. There I was, I had made up my mind that I was finally going to do it, but alas, I was 587th in line on the hottest day of the year. I was definitely tall enough to get on the ride, and had spent most of my life, since being tall enough, trying to avoid that very situation. After a handful of hopeless and horrifying ordeals on ordinary fair-spinny-rides I had written off all amusement rides indefinitely. Fear or not, something finally assembled itself within me and brought me to the back of that far-reaching line. Waiting. The heat amplified by the asphalt, rose up from my feet and sweltered around my overwrought brain.
I wanted to run, but I continued to shuffle along in lazy strides. I watched from my remote place in line and felt every loop the rollercoaster made in the profoundness of my presence. I scanned the faces in the crowd, did anyone feel like me? I desperately tried to read their expression after they touched back down. Deep breaths.
What had just resembled endlessness now felt abrupt. It was my turn. The sands of time had passed, and I realized the infinitude of comfort that was at hand while waiting. It was show time.
I could have been lounging effortlessly on an inflatable tube floating down the lazy river, but no, I got in line and hoped it would never come to an end. I allowed the surprisingly pleasant man to double-check my seatbelt, as I fantasized about my escape and interrupting service to his ride. Suddenly the cars jolted, the tracks squealed and we began to go up, backwards. I had carefully studied every movement in the course to anticipate its ensemble so I could be better prepared for curveballs. I shut my eyes tight, reeling inside with terror. I had survived the first loop with coinciding screams when I decided to open my eyes.
To my bewilderment I liked it. I shut my eyes again, then opened them feeling exhilarated. I let gravity control my arms on the down swings. I did it, I liked it, and when it was over I got back in line.
While coming here wasn’t nearly as dramatic as that sounds, it was a dizzying adventure. We poured all our energy into getting our home ready to sell, packing it up, and when all those loose ends finally got looked after we had nothing to do but wait. Hurry up and wait.
I wasn’t nearly as afraid for our new life as the rollercoaster ride, but uneasiness woke up inside me like a cat sleeping in a room with a mouse. I was managing pages long to-do lists while working full-time, swiftly everything stopped. All we had left to do was get here, and get to work, but that was still weeks away.
I felt powerless, unable to begin any tasks for our new place. I had an indisputable appetite to stay busy, but all I could do was wait, look up to the ride ahead of me and speculate.
The clouds of uncertainty faded. I soon became quite comfortable in the waiting game. Day drinking with friends, out for dinner every night, prolonging our goodbyes. My responsibilities had evaporated, and I was having the best time. All of the sudden I was at the front of the line and it was time to get on the ride.
I’ll never forget the moment we drove away from that house. I held my tears, and took a last fistful of lavender from the garden. We drove out of our neighbourhood, out of our town, and away from everything we knew.
The further we got away, the more excited I became. The day we finally got here I felt fearless. We did what we said we were going to do, and we made it here more alive than ever before.
It’s been nearly five months since that thrilling day, and we are almost in winters embrace. The summer and fall months were jam-packed with agendas, peppered with visitors. It’s starting to feel like waiting time again.
Waiting for our next round of guests, to prune the orchard, to start our seedlings, to build our farm stand, set-up our irrigation lines, the springtime list goes on and on. Certainly there are many projects we’ve saved for winter, but the real excitement doesn’t start again until the spring.
In an attempt not to shelf the short, overcast days of November we had a picnic. Although to some it might not be an ideal time of year to be chilling outside, there are many redeeming qualities found in the November picnic basket, and I’d be happy to name a few.
What you bring on your picnic is up to you, but I firmly believe a picnic should be impulsive and at ease. Small bites of whatever I have on hand is always my go-to. This time I happened to have a great selection of meats and cheeses, but sometimes my fridge is lacking in the pack-it-up-in-a-cinch department. Fruits, veggies, olives, boiled eggs, and nuts are all great additions, throw in a few slices of bread, and you’ll be ready to go.
Because we’re campers we came prepared with blankets, and something to sit on. You can make it as fancy or simple as you like. The point is to work with what you have for an easy, enjoyable afternoon, and remember to make yourself comfortable. You can go as far as you like, or stay close to home. Our November picnic was in our back field, somewhere we had yet to hang out.
We had a little kitty visitor for the festivities. Murray loves snacks! We had a beautiful bottle of rosé on hand, but also packed a thermos of rose hip tea which was a nice touch on a chilly day.
We enjoyed our fleeting little picnic outside, and it was wonderful to do something so simple, but at an unexpected time of year. One of the best parts about it was coming back inside and getting cosy by the fire.
If you find yourself reading this, and maybe feeling a little less than excited for the coming months ahead I urge you to take advantage of a November day to do something you love that fills your heart with joy.