Back before the baby, before pregnancy, when I was oh so young and spontaneous, there was a life I can at times recall that involved a lot of sleep...a lot of going out...a lot of sleep...and making friends in the crazy loft building Matt and I lived in. There were really wonderful people who moved downtown into lofts during the loft boom. One of those friends got pregnant (in the same loft building!) right after me, and also decided she and her man had to move ASAP out of this loft building - I mean, we were living in Skid Row, actually in Skid Row. We woke up each morning to piles of human feces and rivers of pee on our sidewalk. This is true. Seriously. Things had to change with a baby on the way. Matt and I moved towards the beach, and Eryn and Jeff moved... to Paradise.
We went to visit them this weekend. Our dog had spent all summer with them in Willits so we went to fetch her.
There was an orchard, a garden, barns with things like a drum kit set up inside...
I mean, they couldn't even get internet where they lived. They didn't even live in a TOWN at all- it was 7 acres of rolling hillside outside of Willits. There were no radio waves, cell phone waves, smog, cyber bullying, over chlorinated water, over contaminated air, lurking pedophiles- (but maybe a meth lab down the dirt road?). We had to stop and do a Trader Joe's run on the way up there for chrissakes. I think they missed the charm of exchanging money for food, since they have a huge garden with a vineyard- Akiva and their son Lars picked bunches of grapes right off the vine if their tummies rumbled.
There were mountains of zucchini and tomatoes. Tomatillos and pumpkins and apples and watermelons and corn and sage and lemon cucumbers and lettuce and blueberries and pears and basil and cilantro and parsley and on and on all on the way or ready for picking.
It was parenthood paradise. Matt and I have been doing RIE classes with Akiva since he was a baby and part of this philosophy encourages babies and toddlers to spend time exploring their world without interference from the parents. Lars had a whole huge fenced in garden he would toddle around in, accompanied by two kittens and our dog, while Eryn plucked ripe organic home grown tomatoes for his snack. She would find him under a grape vine hugging the dog or something, the kitties watching perched from an apple tree. I mean it wasn't even real or something. We had no words to tell Eryn and Jeff how beautiful it was, except some lame comments about how quiet it was to sleep, how great to have 5 kinds of swings in your backyard, how lovely and juicy the lemon cucumbers were, how great the blackberry crisp (I could go on)etc. It was more than beautiful and nice and delicious. There was a solid connection to life, to our planet that they had given themselves and their child. And time and room to breathe. A child could really experience a sense of freedom. (But not necessarily bodily safety- I mean, snakes and poison oak...)
Of course I am romanticizing and glorifying the pastoral. But I think in this day and age it is very deserving of that.
And by the way our dog didn't want to leave.