So I took my advice and chilled out. I really needed it. The house did kind of fall apart. My grocery list was once again limited to milk and chocolate. We ate beans all week. We swung in the hammock and I didn’t even try to identify the birds singing overhead in the apple tree. That blurry picture up there? That’s one of Maida asking, “If I grow hair, do you promise to never brush it, either?”
And then this cool thing happened: equilibrium.
I cleaned the house, slowly but very surely. Made the menu plan and re-stocked the pantry. But I was still on the chill track. I took a nap with the girls, read a book in the middle of the day. Left the diapers overnight in the washing machine.
Balance finding its way to the center again. For a moment, at least, on it’s way from here to there and back again.
When I began studying Fertility Awareness, the first thing my mentor taught me was about cycles. You may have noticed that women operate in a wholly cyclical way. There is the really big cycle of our fertility across the lifespan: first infertile as girls, then the fertile, childbearing years, then the post-menopausal infertile years. Then within the childbearing years we have cycles of infertility then fertility and again infertility each month (or so).
In other words, fertile phases follow fallow phases.
Our creativity waxes and wanes, too. We need the quiet, inert times to rest, all the while gestating ideas that will in their turn be manifested by our hands. The seasons guide us in this, as well–candles on the table in winter, flowers in summer. Inward, outward. Doing, resting.
And so it is with all our extreme eco ways, our plastic-free times, our hanging-laundry-on-the-line times, our never-going-to-drive-again times, our never-buy-anything-new times. Have you noticed? They come in fits and starts, forward and back, forward and back. All the while there is momentum. However small or large, whatever direction it is going, each step brings us farther down the road from where we started.
We go through phases of inspiration where we DO and exhaustion where we DON’T. And they are neither triumph nor failure. This is simply life, unfolding in the rhythm it was meant to.
Now, for men, fertility is a different game. They hit puberty and Boom! producing 2,000 sperm a second pretty much till death, at which time the rate declines a bit. And it’s that incessant model of fertility that drives our culture. We are taught to be productive pretty much all the time. Write a book? Quick, write another. But you know, other cultures don’t buy into this. They do things like take siestas.
Which is just what I did today after a marathon round of de-cluttering. As I napped I fantasized about putting all my scrawled pages of journal entries and too-big-to-be-a-blog-post ramblings into a free e-book called Manifesto of an Extreme Eco Housewife.
But fortunately I don’t have even a clue what an e-book is, or how to make one. So I went back to sleep.
Keep on keeping on, friends. We’re doing fine.