I wonder even now, as I’m living it, how I will think about it when it’s over – this summer I will remember, like so many things, as a swift chorus, a collection of sounds at once. But the most blessed part about it is that right now there are only notes, tiny chords, the precious, lovely things that later I doubt I’ll be able to recall: The size of the stars. Portia chewing her grain when I start to milk her, the stomp of her back leg when she’s done eating and I’m still going. The sound of the water pouring into the bucket, the smell of bleach, the cold rag I wipe her udders with. Later, my knife spreading my very first goat cheese onto a slice of toast, and how proud I was even though it really wasn’t very good.
And all the others, the forgettable others (and how badly I want to preserve them) – the swarm of dragonflies over the garden, the heat from the dirt road where I walked to pick blackberries, the gold of the hills and the green lines of grape vines, Susie and Tim saying goodnight before I walk to my trailer. The three (!) times the chickens got out and I had to herd them back in with a rake. The clink of the wine glasses when we toast, piecing together their family tree (both biological and chosen), the sound of my boots trying to keep up with Susie on hikes. Nate’s smile and Jennifer’s and even Buster’s, their sweet Australian Shepherd. Juliette, the one baby goat at Avant Gardens this year, and how she doesn’t smile but looks impossibly content when she takes hold of the bottle – I want to keep it, I want to remember it.
I feel like so much of my life has been forgotten; maybe that’s how it must be to make room for everything that is happening, all that is to come. I’ve felt this ridiculous desire to cling to everything so tightly before. But I don’t know if I will ever do something like this again, so it’s stronger, more forceful, more dramatic. It’s like Montpellier, but I am happier and open in a deeper way than I was there (and I think than I ever could be abroad). And it’s also happening because it’s time: because I leave here in a week or less.
So let the cymbals clang and the violins crescendo as I prepare to leave, my hands wrapped impossibly tightly around these tiny things I hope to carry with me. And then let it become one long, sweet sound so I can hear the next tiny notes. I am thankful.