We are four days shy of the autumnal equinox and I welcome this season with open arms. I have been so filled with questions lately, and a nagging need to plan things I can’t plan. This season, I pray for my worry to fall away. I petition the universe for grace; for calmness in the face of uncertainty; for the strength to loosen my grip.
There are three big questions on my mind:
(1) Where is Lydia going to go to school?
(2) Are we going to have another baby?
(3) What is the plan for my career?
None of these questions can be answered right now. None of them need to be answered right now. They are all legitimate questions, to be sure. They’ve all been discussed at length. Potential answers have been brainstormed, but the decisions just haven’t arrived.
This fall, I seek the capacity to let these questions sit. To stay rapt for their resolutions, yet absent from their anxieties. To take a good long look at my life right now and be grateful. Because, right now, things are good.
We truly love Grant Village. Rafal loves his job and the people he works with. We are by no means rich, but we’re not worried about money.
This November, we will start a wonderful 4-month furlough, and return to our families in Chicago. We will have lots of help with Lydia, and lots of time with people we love.
In March we get to return to Yellowstone via snowmobile. At first I was nervous about this, but now I’m growing increasingly more excited. I’m delighted at the thought of new winter gear, and thrilled by the impending adventure. Most of all, I just can’t wait to experience a pristine winter wonderland that so few people ever see.
Eventually, we will need to move closer to a town, but not yet. Lydia is only one and half, so there is no need for me to worry about her schooling just yet. (By the way, I am not opposed to home schooling, but Lydia needs to be socialized with other kids one way or another.)
Similarly, we don’t need to decide right now whether or not we will have another baby. In this geographical location, with this lifestyle, it’s just not a feasible option. My uterus is plenty healthy. So what’s the rush?
Moving on to thoughts of my career. My show, The Interior, will appear at Villanova University next February (and three other universities are flirting with me about bookings). My weeklong storytelling workshop, Making Work in the Cracks, will be taught at the ZACC in Missoula, MT next spring. I just sold a freelance essay this week, and I’m still chugging away at my ghostwriting gig. In short: my career is actually doing just fine. I don’t need to work at a university to feel like I’m “using my degree.” I am living my degree every single day.
The first snow fell on Grant Village last Monday. Tomorrow, the campground and general store will close. A few more days, and the post office closes. Grant Village goes back to being our private paradise as the visitors move on to lower lands. Another summer in Yellowstone has passed me by.
I am stunned by how many things have changed from last year at this time. I just feel so much more secure: as a mother, as an artist, as a resident of this tiny town. From this vantage point: my worries fade just like my tan.