Monday, 8 February 2016

In The Swamp

Our protest at Old City Hall Feb 4, 2016
I cried at the breakfast table this morning, in front of my kids. I don’t do this often, if ever, but today I did. My three year-old daughter looked at me with such concern and sweetness, and quickly put her arms around my neck. I buried my face deep into her little body, her purest of innocence.
All the while, thinking – I want this to be a better world for you.
I have entrenched myself in the current trial of Jian Ghomeshi. I am sorry I just had to write his name, because his name feels like a mosquito in a swamp. It’s this swamp we’re all in, stuck in the glue of its shit, trying desperately to get out.

Last November, when the story broke, it sent a huge shockwave through me, and seemed to affect everyone I know – specifically all the women I know – in a deep, sickening way. We were all deeply disturbed, and we were sad. It was hard for me to put my finger on why exactly, why was I that affected, seeing as I wasn’t really a fan or a listener or a follower of him in any way.  But there I was, disturbed and anxious, reading everything I could, talking to everyone I could, trying to alleviate some of my emotion, and trying to understand.

His trial started last Monday, and again – here I am – a mess. My sleep is disturbed, and there is a general undercurrent of anger and sadness inside of me.
I think we reach a place where we can’t take anymore, and sometimes we don’t even know what that anymore is, until it bubbles up and screams in our faces.
This is screaming in my face, this is pounding away at my heart, this is chipping away at my gut.
I can’t take the violence.
I can’t take the silencing of women.
I can’t take the culture of rape.
I can’t take the way the world is.
 I just can’t take it anymore.

I can’t accept that all of this happens, and this is what we are supposed to accept, and this is what is normal.

Is this normal?

But again, I ask myself why – why am I so upset? Because this story is about what we allow, and all the allowances I have made. All the ways I have lost my power, and have used my body to get some power and acknowledgement. All the times I have smiled uncomfortably when I should have been yelling NO.
It’s all there, in my body. It’s a swamp.
It’s a dark green sludge of a slimy swamp, and it has coated my cells. But now – now it is coming up. And in my view, it is what is coming up in everyone. It is coming up because of this story, because of this man, because of these women that are speaking up, and sharing their imperfect truths, and because of our backwards system, that is exemplifying its lack of protection for women. Because everywhere you go, people are talking about this, and the news is plastering it on its paper and soundwaves and screens.

It wants to change.

I am a 38 year-old woman. In my lifetime, I have:
- had my legs rubbed in a weird way by a 60+ year old man when I was nine.
- been mugged in an alleyway while walking alone, my jaw fractured, when I was 15.
- been stalked by a stranger when travelling alone in Mexico, when I was 25.
- said yes countless times when I actually wanted to say no.
- been groped, had my butt slapped, been subject to countless comments about my appearance, been catcalled and whistled at, been propositioned on the street countless times.
- given away my power more times than I could ever possibly count.

Maybe you’ll look at that and think – well, that’s not too bad, that’s kind of normal.
Is it? Is that normal?
Because I can tell you, that if any one of those things – any one – were to happen to my daughter, I would be cracking skulls. Cracking them.
So where is the barometer here? Is it that we are to expect at least some of this behaviour in our lifetime, and if we don’t get too much of it, then we consider ourselves lucky?
Why have so many women that I know been raped? Is this normal?

I need to tell you that it’s not.

I need to tell you that I can’t take it anymore.

I need to tell you that it wants to change.

And I need to tell you that all of us are in this swamp, and we need to get out.

My mom at the protest.
Me at the protest.
I don’t know how to get out exactly, but I can tell you this: I will no longer be staying silent during any uncomfortable moments. I will no longer try to “get what I want” by using my looks, my body, my sex. I am going to call it out, from now on. I will stand as a defender and protector to anyone who is mistreated.

I urge you to do the same.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Easy Peach Galette

I had my first peach of the summer the other day. I took the first bite, pulled it away from my mouth and stopped to look at it, while thinking: this is the best f*^king thing I have ever eaten. Peaches are everything that summer is about: sweet and ripe and messy and full of juice, and just don't stick around long enough. This is why people can the crap out of peaches: to catch summer at its peak and enjoy them in February, when things are just plain bleak. A bad peach is a horrible disappointment. I can eat a mediocre strawberry, but I just can't eat a less-than peach.

I've been battling an annoying addiction to the internet and all of its many rabbit-holes, one of them being looking at beautiful food. Do men do this? Look at pictures of food on the internet? My husband thinks it is downright strange that I do this, but I think his scrolling for guitars and music gear is just as weird. We obsess... And then - I notice myself at the fruit market buying a basket of peaches and I realize that I have seen about 537 beautiful pictures of galettes this summer. Galettes. A quick, throw-together, rustic, messy pie of a thing. I finally had a mission and purpose in life: to make a peach galette.

Here is what I did:

Spelt and Cornmeal Pate Brisee:
1 3/4 cups organic light spelt flour
1/2 cup organic yellow cornmeal
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp raw sugar
2 sticks of ice cold unsalted butter, cut into small squares
1/4 c ice water

Place the flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until blended. Next add butter, and pulse again until the butter looks like tiny peas in the flour. Then with the food processor on, add the ice water in a stream and stop as soon as the dough begins to clump, but is still crumbly looking. Shape the dough into a disk with your hands, without handling it very much. Wrap it in saran wrap and put it in your fridge for at least one hour.
When you are ready to make the galette, take the dough out of the fridge, and preheat your oven to 425F.

Peach Filling:
6 medium-ripe peaches (not too ripe), cut into 1/2" wedges
2 tbsp organic light spelt flour
2 tbsp raw sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter, cut into chunks

Place all these ingredients - except the butter - in a bowl, and toss everything together lightly to coat the peaches.
Roll out your galette by dividing the chilled dough in half, and placing one mound on a rectangle of parchment that matches your cookie tray (mine is 9" x 13"). Sprinkle some cornmeal on the top to ease the rolling. Roll it out to a circle approximately 10" in diameter. Either throw your peaches on there in a big heap, or do it nicely by making neat rows starting 2" in from the edge. Once the fruit is placed, fold the edges over. Try to seal the cracks if any of the dough breaks while folding. Scatter those butter chunks on the top, then transfer the parchment to your cookie tray, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges of the crust look golden-brown.

We served ours with coconut whipped cream. I can't give you that recipe right now because I'm really hot and tired, but I'm sure you can easily find it on the highly-addictive internet.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Colour of Grief

My father died eight years ago today. I didn't realize this until I was at the coffee shop with Cedar and Brian this morning, and wrote the date into my journal. I wrote about my dad while Bri and Cedar drew funny pictures of aliens.  I cried, wrote, answered to Cedar a few times, drank my coffee, and kissed the top of my boy's head more than usual. 
I made a pact with myself, that even when I am with my kids, I will still find the time to write, even if it's a messy sentence or two minutes of a poem, or just an idea to paper. 
I also made a pact with myself to share more of my writing. Here is what I wrote this morning. 

The Colour of Grief

Death - it's a shaken box. Everything in it, rattling. A snowglobe scene of life, upside down. The car, the heatwave, the blueberry hand pie and strong espresso, my stomach, his long limbs - bare now. No fat. No momentum. Like a tree whose leaves did not take. Skinny poplar branches.

He was sleeping in my brother's bed, the bed I'd slept in the night before; listening, listening for any sound he might make. A part of me awake all night. A vigil. The TV channel was set to a nature sounds station. Birds chirping all night, a monotonous stream, sometimes crickets and wind. My father’s snore, for the first and last time, the greatest comfort to me.

Love. Love in my chest. A weeping love. A nervous love. Love holding on tight, making stamps of everything, everything, to keep as memories.
The heat wave, the fan, the back and forth, the up and down of stairs.
Death. Making its slow, definite way toward us.
You don’t, you can’t say goodbye. Who and what are you saying that to? People slip through dimensions, their bodies left like laundry on the floor.
I did not say goodbye.

My body was so heavy with love; love’s new face, love’s new sadness, love’s loss.
My father’s eyes were blue as Lake Louise that morning, as he slipped away, through that building of his body, clean as a canoe cutting through water.

And me, us, here like remnants. The rattled box now still. The sweeping through complete. Now there is just debris. Now there is just grief.
The sunset that day was the kind that makes you breathe more deeply, makes you stop, makes everything feel held in beauty. It was pink and orange and even purple in places. It was every colour my heart was; a bruise so beautiful I could not look away. 

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Go for Goodness

See that picture down there? That's my family. If you're anything like me, you might look at that photo and feel a twinge of envy, mainly because you'll assume that one photo tells a story of our lives, as opposed to the one moment we captured. That was a really, really happy moment. That's why I snapped a shot. I can tell you, so very honestly, that those moments don't happen all the time when raising small kids. I just don't snap pictures of myself screaming into pillows or punching walls, or scowling at my spouse for not doing the laundry *right*.
But this, this was a great moment:
Before I had kids, one of my teachers told me that the greatest spiritual growth I would find would be in having and raising kids. It sure sounded glossy to me when she said it, and I know my heart swelled, but flash forward four years from that shared wisdom to me wiping the kitchen floor for the third time today or getting kicked in the eye, or picking up a turd from the carpet that my toddler left behind. There is nothing glossy about it. But she was right - this has been,  and is,  the greatest edge I've ever encountered in my life, and I have grown more as a person than I could have imagined.

I have often wondered about the Creator's Master Plan. It's ironic you know, that one of the main objectives of raising a human is to foster independence. We live a good portion of our lives being independent and full of ego, and doing what we want, when we want, and then BOOM we have kids and all the stuff the ego thrives on gets completely destroyed.
It's not about you anymore. It's not even about them, really. It's about being willing to give to other humans wholeheartedly, and to jump into the abyss of service.

My two biggest parenting challenges have been:
1) Controlling my temper. 
This means that I blow sometimes. I get full to the brim from sensory overload and frustration and I blow. After I blow I feel like the world's worst mother and I beat myself up for days and days. It's a shitty cycle and it sucks. So I work on it daily: cultivating patience.

2) Knowing what to do with my kids. 
I know that sounds weird, but I have a lot of anxiety around my time alone with them: finding things to do, keeping them occupied, trying new things, getting creative. I realized that I am not confident with my ability to play and be on the spot. So what happens? I get angry (see above) and the cycle continues.
I have told myself that I'm just not good at it. I look at other parents playing with their kids and I compare myself. I zone out when with them, or avoid moments of playtime by doing housework or making busy. Meanwhile, I miss out on all the moments of connection that I long for. 

My older child is almost 4, and it was just a few days ago that I decided to ditch this story of me being a shitty parent and get down on the floor with him and play. What was the hang-up? I've been afraid to fail. Afraid to try things I don't feel good at. Afraid to let go and jump into the moment.

Someone said to me today, "You know what? I think I'm really afraid of failure" to which I replied, "Who isn't?"
I know it's only been a few days, but in deciding to be open to trying new things, to committing to being present and playful with my kids, I feel like someone new. I feel my heart opening. I feel my vulnerability and humanness. I feel like it's okay to suck at this for awhile because then I'll get good at it.

I had a breakthrough.

And here's the wisdom I want to share:
My fear of failure and insecurity showed up in the form of a bad attitude. You know, "I hate playing with them. Playing is so boring. This sucks. I'd rather be doing anything else..."
A bad attitude is like being stuck in stone.
In shifting my attitude, I discovered that the voice of intuition kicks in. This is the voice that knows how to play with my kids, knows what they need, knows how to be present.  It's all there, I just have to keep kicking the shitty voices away.

And hey, look, this is us playing:

I hope I've inspired you to go for some goodness. Seriously, there is awful stuff happening in the world these days. Every act of love matters.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

My Friend, The Undertow

When I was nine years old, my mom took my sister and I to Mexico for a vacation. I remember it as one of the strangest and most chaotic experiences of my life; we were almost electrocuted in a swimming pool, our hotel was broken into one night, my sister and I had a Sibling Fight Club moment that resulted in my head falling into, and breaking, a glass table by the pool, plus I had a bad case of Montezuma's revenge. 
It was also the first time I went into the ocean since being a very small kid accompanied by a parent. I was enthralled and excited by the waves. For most of the trip, I played just on the lip of the shore, going waist-high, and staying close enough to where my mother was.

One day I must have been feeling more bold, or perhaps the tides were stronger, but I got pulled into the undertow. I can still see, so clearly, what the underbelly of the ocean looks like: bubbles and froth and particles of sand and debris. I was whipped around into a perfect circle, my neck scraping the rough floor.
I emerged gasping and shaking. Terrified. It was the first time I felt the force of nature as something big and scary, with the power to hurt me.
Since then, I have never been bold with the ocean. I am timid and usually afraid, and even the smallest waves unnerve me.
I watch surfers and swimmers in awe; jealous of their ease and confidence. They were probably pulled into the undertow a hundred times, but just kept trying.

What does this have to do with anything?
Let me tell you.
My life is in chaos mode. It has been for months and months. I keep telling myself that I'm rounding a corner, or that things are about to get easier, but BOOM - something else comes up that puts me right back into the underbelly.
I'm probably managing what most mothers manage: two small kids, a busy business, a house, getting dinner on the table, picking shit off the floor all day, sleep deprivation. It does not escape me that I am not an exception to the rule. I know a lot of people in a similar predicament - mostly those of us who have demanding jobs and are also raising our families.
It's just too much. I'm sorry to crush the Superwoman Myth, but there - I crushed it.

For a very long time, I have considered chaos to be something I have to defeat or rise above, something that is unnatural, something that I am creating.
I don't believe that anymore. Chaos, a lot of it, is just nature. Small kids are chaos. There is no way to change that. And often there is just too much on the plate to not feel drained, tired, and angry.

The question is this: how do I operate with chaos?
I think of that undertow in Mexico. I remember how unhinged and afraid it made me feel. It was not an unfamiliar feeling, but it was one I never wanted to repeat. This is the stuff of control freaks.
When I am faced with chaos, I try to control it. It never, ever works. Never.

Those swimmers, the ones I told you about before, they do this thing when they go into the water and a wave comes: they dive into the wave before it crashes. Right as it is swelling, they dive in. And then they come out the other side and keep moving deeper into the water.

This is how I would like to move with chaos and change - not conquer it or control it, but go right into it. With grace. Let's face it, the undertow gets all of us sometimes. It doesn't mean you stop swimming. Another good idea, a really good idea, is to sit on the shore every once in a while. The waves can't reach you there.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Right Here

So this is it.

I used to think I'd be a lot of things. I pictured myself zooming around in a fast-moving, important car, meeting important people and being very important myself. I thought that would be my success story. That I'd be famous or highly influential. That I'd be a millionaire or something stupid by the time I reached 40. I thought I would write books that would change people's lives. I used to think I'd be a lot of things.

And then came you.
Then came me.
Then came the truth of everything.

I became a mother.

What does that mean anyway? We get brainwashed into thinking it means we become docile, sweet martyrs who experience divine love when changing a diaper. Images, since we're little girls, show us that we'll be beautiful and calm and perfect all the time - that this is motherhood. I used to think that what's motherhood was.

But no.
Then came you.
Then came me.
And now I know a little bit more...

Becoming a mother is this: you crack open just like the earth does. You storm and shriek and soothe just like the earth does. You bend and fold and fall. You get a real heart: the kind that hurts and feels and loves so much that you think you can't do this, you can't bear this, but shit - how could you ever go back?

This is it.
Right here.
This is what life is all about.

I used to seek a lot. I was never home. I was never planted. I was always out looking for this thing - this thing - and now I know what it is:

it is the perfect imperfection of life
it is the messiness of love
it is the bare, sheer work of raising a human being
it is the rage
the unbridled joy
it is their tiny hands and faces sticky with the day
it is my baby girl's head on my shoulder as I sing her to sleep
thinking this:
I cannot wait to die and be reborn just so I can become a mother again
just so I can crack open again

It is humbling to be here
to let go of the fast car fantasy,
and the oh-how-important-I-want-to-be dream
and just be with these beautiful children
as they grow into themselves
and know that the earth is pleased with my work
that I can sit here now, as important as anyone else who is alive
who gives or receives love
who is born, grows, and dies here

This is it. 

Friday, 7 March 2014

Happy Frankie Day

One year ago, in the very early hours of the morning,  I gave birth to a beautiful girl named Frankie Rose. 
She came into the world as fast as an earthquake, at least it felt like an earthquake...
I woke sometime after one a.m. that night, with the slow ache of contractions in my belly. I waited for some time until waking Brian, and we waited together until after three a.m. with contractions that never picked up too much speed or intensity - I thought it would be the same deal as my first birth, in which there were about twelve hours like that, so I figured I should try to go back to sleep, and stood up to go to the bathroom.
That was when the the earthquake started; it was bigger than me, bigger than my body, bigger than my mind. I couldn't contain the intensity so I let go into it. I've never felt as much like an animal as I did that night.
It was less than thirty minutes like that; back to back contractions as I stood over my father's antique roll-top desk in the den. I couldn't sit or think or stop, I just had to move my hips and breathe and allow for the earthquake to happen.
And then, there she was. The midwife barely caught her. She slipped from her hands and landed on a towel on the floor. I looked down and saw her face for the first time: my daughter. Her cheekbone looked like the moon, like a little crescent moon.
And so it began - I birthed a girl, on the powerful occasion that is International Women's Day.

There is something that happens to me when I look at my daughter. I don't just see a baby, I see a woman in the making.I see the body that will shift and change so dramatically in her lifetime. I see my own dreams - the ones I haven't fulfilled yet, and I see a girl who I hope will not go through a lot of the things I went through in order to find her place on this earth. I finally understand why things between mothers and daughters can be so hard, and so charged, and so full of emotion.  While she is, of course, her own little person, Frankie is also the greatest reminder I have to reach for my potential, birth my dreams, and honour myself. It is easy to look at her and want all those things for her, but if I don't fulfill those desires for myself, I may resent her later on, or grow jealous of her, or compete with her - all the things that run rampant between mothers and daughters.
I don't want those things between us, so that is then my work to do.

Often when I look at her I think of what I want for her, what I really want for her, and it is this: self-worth. Sure I want her to follow her dreams and her truth and have fun and grow and be true to herself, but mostly I want her to feel the value of her being. In feeling and knowing the value of her being, she will not have to go seeking a false sense of womanhood from shady places.

My dear Frankie girl - happy birthday. Happy International Women's Day. Welcome to the sisterhood.  We've got your back.

Monday, 13 January 2014

How to Actually Change Your Life

There is something I've been saying to myself just enough these days that it has become worrisome. It goes something like this, "I hate my life."
Writing that feels bold and scary and so much bigger than the real feeling I've been experiencing, but regardless, these are the thoughts I've been thinking. It seems somewhat crazy to me because, on the surface, I am sure everything looks great. I seem to have it all, right? Two amazing, healthy kids, my own business, a wonderful husband, a great house, a place in the country. All of that. But here's the truth: I have never felt as tired, rundown, or pissy as I do these days. Why? Because maintaining all of the above is more than I feel I can handle - well. At the end of the day I am frazzled and have barely a shred of energy for myself.

This past year one of my beloved teachers, Harley Swift Deer Reagan, passed away. The impact of his death has been, and is, like a ripple on the water inside of me. I keep catching waves of it, and each wave brings with it an awareness of what he taught me. This man was a Shaman, healer, medicine man, Vietnam vet, Martial Arts master, magician, shooter, and probably the most authentic, bold human I have ever met. He said, "your life experiences are not your life. Your attitude and approach are your life."
I keep repeating that to myself these days, in hopes that it will finally click and I can find a way to say something more along the lines of, "I love my life."

Swift Deer's formula went something like this: change your thoughts, you change your attitude. Change your attitude, you change your reality. Change your reality, you change your life. 
The root to change starts with the thoughts that I think. And in changing what and how I think, I can make space for beauty to be seen and felt.
 I am someone who, when faced with an uncomfortable situation, will take measures to change it. I am a doer and a fixer. If you want an image, picture me climbing atop a pile of mess, sticking my hand in the air and saying, "this is unacceptable, let's try it this way instead." My solutions are action-based. They usually involve doing something differently. My husband calls them "eden's systems." I am relentless with them, and sometimes one just has to give in to the pile of mess, knowing that there are more important things to give energy to, like these rascals:

 But let's take stock of my current situation: a ton of shit on the plate, none of which can be eliminated. So what does a fixer do? What do you do when you can't control the mess you're in and there's nothing you can cut out?
There is only one thing to do, my friends. Change the way you think about it. 
I had this realization a few days ago, but it only sank in today while I was at work, doing about 32 tasks that I am not the fondest of. Normally I complain all day about doing these tasks. Today I said, "what if I just accepted that I have to do these things?"
So I shut up and did them and as I was walking home, I actually smiled. I felt really happy.

2014 is not about acquiring more. It's not about achieving and doing. It's not about invoking the agents of chaos and change. No. My 2014 is about changing the way I think, feel, and react to my life experience. This includes shitty diapers, teething babies, aggressive toddlers who hit their sisters (I am not mentioning any names), cheques lost in the mail, delivery vans that won't start, and cookies that get burnt. It's about accepting this version of myself, no matter how rundown, tired, and grumpy I feel.

This is what surrender is all about.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Get a Job

It happens to the best of us. The Us I am speaking of are entrepreneurs. That said, I think this story applies to most people, not just the crazy business owners of the world.
So here's how it goes...
I realized this week that I don't like my job anymore. Gasp.
No, I am not putting the cookie biz up for sale. I love my business, love my cookies, love my staff, love everything - except my job.

On my way up to work this week I realized that I have an office job now. I sit at my desk. I send and answer emails, make phone calls, send faxes, order cardboard boxes and chocolate chips, and swear at my printer. It has been a slow progression to this point, but was solidified after I lost ALL MY STAFF at the end of August. No, I am not a slave driver, and yes, it is a whole other story that I will share very soon.
When I had the crazy staff turnover this summer, I lost both my office manager and production manager. These were the two roles that held down the fort of the business and allowed me to have the freedom to do what I wanted (mostly) within my position of New Moon's Chief. Funnily enough, I remember there being a lot of desk and computer time back then too where I was just wasting time and puttering and stressing about sales and growth and how the heck was I going to take next steps, and what were they anyway? But back then I had people taking care of all of my daily operations so I didn't think too much about things. I thought I was coasting.
Then all those people quit in one fell swoop within a month period, and there I was starting from scratch again. I had to cover all the tasks that both those managers were doing, plus train a whole new staff, plus I had a five month-old baby. It was an act of magic, and now that I'm through it I can honestly say it was one of the best things that has ever happened for my business.
But - I am still sitting at that desk.
That desk.
My desk.
Stationary, except for when one of the bakers needs my guidance, or I have to taste test something, or point out a dust bunny.

This was never the career that I wanted. I made a distinct choice to commit to my business so that it could be a vehicle for my creativity and self-growth.

There is a small story in this beautiful book called The Book of Embraces by Eduardo Galeano about a hamster that is caged its whole life and when the cage is finally opened, it huddles in the back for fear of freedom.
That is why I sit at my desk. That is why I have elaborate and stubborn ideas in my mind about how "no one could possibly do this task" because only I could decode the magic of filling a box with cookies, or pasting UPS stickers properly, or taking an order from that finnicky customer.
These are lies. Tricks. Things I convince myself of instead of pushing the envelopes within myself that have been glued shut for way too long.

If you are an entrepreneur and happen to be reading this, I highly recommend reading a book called The E-Myth which is all about this conundrum that we get ourselves into: the brave and fearless entrepreneur who ends up being a technician in their business.
I don't want to be a technician anymore. No, I want to feel the blood flowing again, the creative juice in my veins, and my heart pumping with excitement. That is what being an entrepreneur is all about.

Would you like to know what career I want?
I want to be the Ambassador for my business. I want to travel with it, make connections, and keep building a network with other inspiring entrepreneurs.

I want to write books: a cookbook, a book about starting and running your own business, and a memoir about postpartum depression and my cracking open into motherhood.

I want to pick up my guitar again and sing.

I want to keep growing my business and creating great jobs for people. Did you hear Canada Post is cutting 8000 jobs? It is a privilege to own a business and to be an employer, and I will keep on doing it.

So no, I am not a baker. Not a cookie packer. Not an order picker or a delivery person. I am not the office manager or the production manager. I'm also not the graphic designer (yeah, my designer should ban me from Illustrator). I'm not the lady behind the scenes.

I'm the face of my business and the leader of my life.
How's that epiphany for a Wednesday night?

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Welcome to the County

Listen. I want to tell you a story.
A crazy thing happened this summer: I fell in love. Now before you get excited about this married mother of two falling in love, let me tell you that I fell in love with a place.
Sometime in June, probably when it started to get hot in the city and that all-too-familiar feeling of concrete claustrophobia creeped in, I reached out to friends of ours that live in Prince Edward County and crossed my fingers that inviting my family of four to their farmhouse would be accepted. It was. And we went.
When we first arrived to their place, looking all hungover I'm sure from our chaotic life here, the first thing I said to our hostess was, "so what do you guys DO around here?" she shrugged, somewhat dismissive, and said "I don't know, lots of stuff."
We spent three days at their beautiful home, swam in their pond out back, ate elk burgers, had a fish fry on the beach, reveled at our toddlers and how well they got along, ran into James Taylor's son in town, made up a crazy song or two, and laughed more than I had in a long time. On the Sunday morning before we were leaving, I strapped the baby in the carrier and went on a walk down a country road by myself. I saw two houses for sale. Before we left we went into both of those houses, and the next night, when we were back in Toronto, we put an offer in on the one across the road from our friends.
I thought we were just going to hang with our friends for the weekend and escape city life. There hadn't been any discussion of buying a property in the country. But we fell in love. And love makes you do crazy things.
We didn't get that house we put the offer on. It was heartbreaking but like all things that fall through, something better came along and we jumped on it during the most chaotic week of the summer, when I was sure my life was falling off its hinges. In a dramatic sweep of change with bank loan denials and all my staff quitting (yeah, that's a whole other story) and the money falling through and time almost running out but the whole thing coming together in the end, we bought a piece of land in Prince Edward County. Land. A sweet little house. A funky old barn. A stretch of green that my little boy and girl can run in. A perfect escape. A home that lights my heart with warmth and contentedness.

Do you want to know what I learned? Here it is...
Brian and I hadn't been talking about buying a property in the country, but we had been deeply questioning our lifestyle and our reasons for working hard and the madness of the daily grind. We'd been living next door to a now year-and-a-half-in demolition reno that has upset our home life tremendously (newborns and renos do not go together well) and hadn't had a sense of comfort or peace in a long time. I knew our dissatisfaction would make us hunt for peace of mind, whether we liked it or not.
This is how intention works. Intention is like sending a telegram to the Universe - one day it arrives and you get dialed in. On that magical weekend, we were dialed in. We were woken up by our own dream and it was time to act.
When dreams come calling, it's a beautiful thing. It's also messy and chaotic and usually has me flying by the seat of my pants. But I now firmly believe that we are meant to live on the edge of our seats. That's when the telegrams to the universe get a direct flight.

We took possession of our land on September 30th. We are just a month in and already everything feels it has changed, or at the very least has a new purpose.
As we were driving home today on the Loyalist Parkway (which is a drive that soothes my soul) I realized it would be tempting to say that purchasing our land is the last piece of a puzzle, but it's not that; the puzzle is ongoing and will keep me guessing and growing for the rest of my life. However, we found the piece that fits with a bunch of the ones that were lying disconnected and turned over. The County is the piece that connected all those other pieces, and now I am starting to see a picture forming.