Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The walls of red wing

This weekend I threw a big party, my first up here. I made fried chicken, coleslaw, and potato salad, all my grandma’s recipes, plus a Greek pasta salad, from the other side. In my ideal life, I imagine myself with a close circle of intelligent, creative, erudite friends, whom I greet on the lawn with a tray full of cocktails and witty repartee. I’m not saying I’m there yet, but Saturday night was the northern Maine equivalent, and it felt fantastic.

There’s something about being in a place, being consistently in the same place, that allows one to build community. Maybe this fact is obvious, goes without saying. It certainly must for most people. But for me the concept is still exotic, alien. I’m not good at staying in one place. I’m still not convinced I’m staying here. But it’s amazing how after a couple of months I can begin to gather around myself like-minded individuals for sangria and bonfires.

And today: writing, yoga, computer games on the evil new/old Sega Genesis, and then a walk through the back of the land, where a butterfly hit me in the face, where the road is still swamped out from rain and ankle-deep in water, where I wrestled a log across the washout and ended up with a slug attached to my nether-parts, but where I feel like I’m doing the business of really living. Then home, for leftover chicken and a view of the beavers in my binoculars, frolicking across the pond. Those are some giant beavers that live over there. Seriously. Giant. They’re like whales with big teeth.

I could complain about the weather. It’s been into the forties again tonight. I could complain about the garden, about how the spinach is already, mysteriously, going to seed, how we haven’t managed to get manure for the second garden, about how frustratingly slow progress on my book is going, but instead I feel the presence of very real joy, filling me up and overflowing. I am choosing to live here. I am choosing to take my own life in my hands and live by faith, and how does it repay me? With real, effervescent happiness.

4 comments:

Sally said...

Uplifting.

Melissa said...

Thanks, Sally--maybe we'll be at your house for coleslaw and potato salad on July 4...

Emily Franklin said...

glad to see you being able to enjoy a sense of community by sharing special recipies with friends, again. thanks!

Melissa said...

Sometimes I think my definition of joy is being able to share food in a vibrant community. I'll have to schedule a Thai dinner for sometime soon--although I hope I don't choke my guests with spiciness this time!