Friday, April 30, 2010

The Nearings

Credited as the "great-grandparents" of the back-to-the-land movement, the Nearings left NYC in 1932 for rural Vermont with "three objectives in mind: The first was economic" They didn't want to participate in "the commodity and labor markets". "[Their] second aim was hygienic." i.e. healthy living. "[Their] third objective was social and ethical. [They] desired to liberate ourselves and dissociate [them]selves, as much as possible, from the cruder forms of exploitation: the plunder of the planet; the slavery of man and beast; the slaughter of men in war, and of animals for food."

Reading their book "The Good Life" I feel so 21st century. Even as I'm amused by some of their dated language and ardent idealism, I yearn for a nobler, less cynical time. I certainly hope we find a nobler, less cynical life up in Maine. But maybe we'll just find we've signed on for too much discomfort, too much work, and too much uncertainty. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blueberry plants

Getting ready for 12 weeks in Maine with a 2-year-old and an 9-week-old has been going about as slowly as expected. With only two weeks left before we leave, it is getting down to the wire for preparations. (The only time I have to write this is while I nurse.) We have to clear the apartment for our subletters and pack the essentials for life in a virtually empty log cabin.

The blueberry plants on our kitchen window sill are proving very helpful. My husband and older son planted them from cuttings sent from Washington state. Unlike several batches of seedlings, the blueberry plants are flourishing. Some are even blooming. But it remains hard to imagine them in soil, let alone bush-sized. In fact, most of this future life is hard for me to imagine. I've lived in New York City since I came here to go to college in 1987. Before that I lived in Cambridge, MA. Apart from two months spent au pairing in Vermont back in 1989, I've never lived in the country. Thank god we are starting with an initial 12-week stint and coming back to Brooklyn before our final move next summer. Otherwise, I think my brain would be melting right now. And when I'm in my ADD pinball-style mode of sorting and packing, four or more projects going at once, I look at the blueberry plants and get excited all over again about our move.