It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.? Ernest Hemingway
Also awake are the hummingbirds dancing like high-ware acrobats trained as dive bombers and my dad’s elderly dog Caruso who slept next to my bed last night – thunderstorms, you see.
The windows are fogged over with dew and humidity, and the sky is just turning that golden yellow of promises and heat.
Today, my friends H, E, and H are coming to the farm to help me clean. This is the mark of true friendship, I feel – the willingness to dive into the dirtiest parts of a dream with you and to show excitement at the prospect.
We will be vacuuming up stink bugs and ripping up carpet. Wiping down walls and cleaning the clawfoot tub. Can you see why I woke up so early?
It’s easy to think for me past all the steps that lead to the dream place – to just imagine myself in a timberframe with friends in the farmhouse and the cabin I’ve built down the mountain, to see alpacas, and goats and babydoll sheep milling in the pasture, a basset hound at my feet. I WILL get there.
But first, I have stink bugs to suck up and carpet to toss out windows. I have acres to mow and trees to take down so that the view is perfect. I have fencing to put up and barns to build, trails to lay and landscape to shape. So very much work. So very much work.
Here’s the thing, though, it’s my work, the thing I have chosen. For the same reason I don’t mind revising a syllabus during the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games, I don’t mind the work for this place. I have chosen the writing life and this farm. I am the master of my . . . . oh, sorry, I was going a little Invictus there.
Will there be long days? Of course. Will I wish for sleep and rest and arms that don’t ache? I expect so. Will I persevere? Oh yes, 1,000 times yes.
Something has happened to me now that I refuse to be locked into choices or possibilities because of fear. I truly believe that I can do anything I set my mind, too. Lest that sound like pride, I also believe I cannot do it alone. There’s that Voice, that Whisper, that says, “Yes, Andi, oh yes.” That’s really all I need.
What is that Voice telling you to try? What would you do if you were not afraid to try?
If you have two minutes more to spare, give yourself the gift of this moment from the film Invictus. I have never heard of the man who wrote this poem, William Earnest Henley, in any literature class I’ve ever taken, but writers, take heart – this one poem, well, it is remembered and beloved.