I’m half pre-occupied, with the smells of corn relish coming in from the kitchen. I’m trying something new and hoping that I can put up these jars of grilled corn on the first try. But I also want to go out in the back and work on our fledgling chicken tractor that soon, will house some cluckers and hopefully, one day, eggs. Which means pancakes.
I just returned from a quick trip over to a friend’s house, around the corner and up the hill. They’ve got the right idea. A little homestead of sorts, tucked away in a sweet little neighborhood. They’ve got their brick-red stucco house tucked away amid a forest of ash junipers, spiraling pathways, mulberry trees, winding gardens and chickens galore.
Every time I go over there, I think wow, I wish my little place was like this. I want chickens! And cucumbers!
Once a thriving city girl who biked everywhere, loved GWAR, the boutiques, dive bars and thrift stores of the underbelly of my chosen cities … somehow I’ve … changed over the years.
The desire to be surrounded by people and sound and music and cars has been replaced by a different need.
Now I’m up before dawn, running on the hill country roads in my area, with the yipping of coyotes just out of range, and occasionally, the dart of a golden pair of eyes, just past my path. My fingernails get lined with the dirt from the gardens, a never-ending loop of watering, weeding, thinning and goading. My seven trusty dogs are my closest companions from the first time I trip over them at 6 am until we’re tucking away late at night.
I discovered recently, with a little bout of surprise, how happy I am out here, in my little neck of the woods, out in Hermit-Ville. I don’t have many aspirations to be wildly popular, a social butterfly and present at every art opening. I do like to get out; I do love my vietnamese lettuce wraps with mint and good fish sauce, and I still love combing through the those flea markets and garage sales … but now I feel content.
When I’ve got a wide open afternoon that includes some sort of food preparation, whether its from the nearby farmer’s market or a new recipe I want to create … the prospect of working on a piece from my ongoing kitchen goddess art installation or stretching out under the beautiful big oak trees in the yard … this for me, is happiness.
Home is where the hermit is and I’m perfectly pleased to be here with you.