We went for a walk yesterday through the orchard. It’s hard to call it that–it still looks like a motley collection of twigs stuck in the ground. It doesn’t quite have the feel of a real, mature, fruit-bearing orchard; though it will, of course, become that with care and time.
Words really do get stuck. There is something in the act of opening the computer and sitting down to write that makes them absolutely congeal in my brain. What was a coherent string of thoughts becomes a gelatinous mass of random one-line thoughts. What’s for dinner? We should take the library books back. My back hurts. What’s that noise? What will the weather be like tomorrow? I should message so-and-so back. Where’s Anselm? What was I wanting to write about again? What time is it?
It was raining outside that day, but it was warm. I was determined that we should take a walk that day, even in the rain. Rather, I thought we should take a walk because it was raining. Because we never take walks in the rain. Is it different in the rain? How different? What shall we see that we don’t see when it’s dry outdoors? You don’t know unless you begin, do you?
We took a walk in the rain precisely because we don’t usually. I am ever looking out for those things we don’t do that we perhaps should. It’s something of a hobby–perhaps more like an obsession. My avoidance of uncomfortable things is a never-ending mystery and I investigate it with the tenacity of any detective: Why am I avoiding this? What would happen if I didn’t? I wanted to walk outside in the rain because I never do it. I never do it because it’s uncomfortable. I know that those uncomfortable things usually yield the most surprising and satisfying results.
I think that’s also why I push through these stiffening, uncooperative thoughts, and try to put down here what words I can. There is something in the exercise alone that’s worth it. I always feel better for it.
Just as the weather began to turn warm, as the grass grew deep green in patches and flocks of robins began to visit the farm, we ventured out of the house for a good Explore.
It was Mama that needed it most. We moved last Spring, and the Summer and Autumn were lovely and full of the outdoors and the fresh air. And then Winter came, and it was too cold, and too wet, and then too cold and wet to go outside.
My life in Georgia was almost totally indoors. It’s just how things worked out. We wanted up here to be outside; this winter was frustrating. I don’t like cold. I should get over it.
But outside we went, today, for fresh air both literally and figuratively. We put on our boots and jackets and headed East.
It’s been over seven months since we moved up here to the place we affectionately refer to as Janderhil.I made that name up while scrambling letters of our surnames and looking up old place-naming prefixes and suffixes. I ended up with Jan, yahn, a variant of John, which is my dad’s name. Then der-hil, of the hill, a mash-up of sorts, because it sounds like “yonder hill”. And then I felt foolish about the name and how much I liked it, and I sat on it for a year before finally mentioning it to someone. Thankfully they liked it.
I gave a quick tour of the house back in May, and here is a small look into how it looks now.