I've been reluctant to actually write about our journey to our ideal freedom and lesson in simplicity. For quite a few reasons.
I sat on the sofa in our living room last night, fighting against our need to sell some of my most favorite things. Frustrated and nearly in tears, I spoke the words softly...we can sell it...but only if you truly want to.
The 'it' being the table we designed together - a big gathering table. One to come to as a family where we can spread out our work or sit close on one end, the three of us with the animals below for supper.
We gathered pieces of thick and strong hardwood - oak and cherry and others - more than one hundred pieces. We fit them together, spending a warm fall afternoon on the back porch, taking them in and out of a four by six foot frame until they all fit just so. Ellen would cut them to fit and we moved across the frame until finished. We painstakingly glued them all together to create the tabletop. We sanded it. Took it to a professional when our sanders wouldn't cut it. And then Ellen...assembling the frame and legs at the metal shop, cutting, grinding, welding the pieces together. Coming home late at night, covered in black smudges and looking like a coal miner. Dusty, dirty, and worn out. And then the day we brought it home and set it up. Finished it with natural beeswax and oils. Served our first meal on it, complete with candles and wine. This table, our design, perfect for us and our space - this beautiful thing we collaborated on - how can we possibly sell it?
And then Ellen gently - as Ellen does - reminded me the reason we built the table. For gathering, as a family. To celebrate life together daily, to marvel at and bask in the goodness we have in our lives. And then the all too true...we don't have the time to really be together in the life we're living now. We are rushed. Dinner is quick. We have an hour as a family each weeknight. We are taking this journey for many reasons, some which we can only feel but not yet define clearly...but one of the absolutes - we want to be together always. We are each others' very best friends - all three of us. We genuinely love to be with one another. We're happiest in our own company. We love mothering Adelaide and finding that balance between discipline and friendship. We believe freedom will be found in being present with one another, along with ourselves and our surroundings, whatever those may be. Day in, and day out. So selling the table...this thing that represents the love and pull we have...I should be able to let it go. Selling it would give us a good percentage of the cash we'd need to procure our new wheeled home. Yet I sit here at the table, writing this post, my work spread out next to me. I was just gripping it...running my hands across it, feeling the warmth of the wood and the cool of the metal, tears streaming down my face. This labor of love, months of work...going to a stranger? Will they love it as we do?
You know, I'm scared. Plain and simple. We are moving forward but haven't yet reached the tipping point. We haven't listed our house yet, sold our cars, or purchased something to live in on the road. We are still bogged down with stuff, despite many trips to the women's shelter to donate. There are piles of things everywhere, yet I've not organized a way to sell it all off. I'm afraid of losing everything - pieces that I really love for the first time ever, that we purchased together for our home - and then this journey just not...happening. I'm used to that in my life - it's all too familiar for me to pour my heart and soul into something to have it fall apart and never come to fruition.
I'm afraid of my bad luck interfering. I want to think that this time, things will be different. For just once, I'd like to feel confident that I can set my mind to something and make it happen. We are putting our dream out there. We've told friends and family and it's online for anyone to come across and read. What if this is just another thing that people are surely mocking me for? Shaking their heads. Oh that Kate. And what if I'm bringing Ellen down with me? My sensible, practical realist. As much as she wants this...I can't be the one with the bad luck that brings it all crashing down. What if I don't have a choice in the matter? I fail at everything I try. Ellen doesn't. I cannot ruin this too.
So I sit here today at this table, looking around at the strong and sturdy walls of our home, the plants on the windowsill over the sink blowing in the breeze, being misted by rain. The teapot on the stove top. The living room we worked so hard on, finally finished and so perfect. Feeling suffocated by it all but appreciating it all at once. Ready for change, ready to really live life and see something other than these walls and our backyard. Terrified and exhilarated. Pouring out my crazed feelings in this space - sharing honestly, which is something I've stopped doing in the last few years.
This day, I am mindlessly sifting through the internet, reading about others who weren't afraid and are living their lives with the world as their backyard - simplified and experiencing so much. Wishing I wasn't so fearful, wishing I had their courage. Wishing, wishing.