Sometimes I look around this place and all I see are imperfections, the way this tiny cabin of ours is exploding at the seams thanks to an ever growing family. I get frustrated with doing the laundry on our dining room table, the way the piles of toys have snuck their way into every room, the way we whisper and tiptoe after Birdie falls asleep because hey it's just three rooms! The memories of this brutal winter will forever be seared into my mind as will the piles of ruined sheets and towels thanks to filters that never quite seem to work right. I get tired of the bumpy dirt road up to our house (it's extra fun when you're pregnant... NOT). And I suppose a lot of times that's what makes packing easier. As I apply line after line of tape to yet another box I daydream of walk-in closets and the pantry and the paved driveway. I fantasize about what it must feel like to have things delivered to your door as opposed to making a special trip to the post office to pick up any package that doesn't fit in the mailbox.
And yet... I'll come upon a moment like last night when the sun was just beginning to dip below the tree tops and ground smelled of rain and mushrooms and the neighbor's horses are out frolicking in the wet grass and my heart will break a little. I don't know that we'll ever get to experience this kind of life again, this quiet country life. Everyone thought we were crazy three years ago when we decided to move into an uninhabited cabin in the middle of nowhere. And perhaps we were crazy but it turned out to be one of the best things we've ever done.
I will always consider this cabin the place where we became a family, where we grew up. Life tested us here like never before - physically, mentally, spiritually and in every other possible way. We've never worked so hard to make a place our own. We've never worked so hard to find ourselves and our place in this world between dreams and reality. We became parents in this home, we grew into each other in a way like we never had before, we became handier, more patient and relaxed, stronger and wiser. We shared so much love, laughter, tears, prayers, fears, joys, disappointments and trials here.
I'll never forget pulling into our driveway from the hospital and being greeted by a gaggle of pink balloons my parents had tied to a tree to welcome Birdie home. I'll never forget all the times we walked down this mountain through snow to get to our car, baby in tow. I'll never forget the meals we cooked together over this stove with food grown just minutes from our house. I'll never forget our late night talks and early morning strategizing sessions, planning for our future. I'll never forget the first time Birdie ran to the front door to greet papa bear. I'll never forget sitting on the sofa with four positive pregnancy tests this past February, giggling like children over our excitement of adding another little person to our family. I'll never forget the crackle of the fire, the sound of crickets late at night and warblers early in the morning, the way a good snowfall would fill our entire home with a bright white light, the cascade of autumn leaves upon our deck and the way the sun darts through the treetops at sunrise.
I came here as a lost and somewhat broken twenty-five year old and I will leave here in just a week as a twenty-eight year old mother of two. The cabin and our life here gave me so much, so many valuable lessons and so many insights into life but the biggest gift will always be my two children, the apples of my eyes.