Wild Winter


Sura playing in the first big snow.

The farm has always been my refuge.  This I know.  2013 was an exciting year–full of adventures–which always made them bittersweet because as fun and exciting as they were, they took me away from the farm.  A lot.  I finally got home around Christmastime, and I couldn’t wait to relish in the quiet and solitude of the farm, the cozy barn, and just be among the animals.  But I found that after months and months of working in warmer climates, my body betrayed my excitement to be home, and it was painfully slow to adjust to the cold.  Looking back, maybe I was just tired.  To my delight, there was a big snow right before Christmas, and no matter what my body said, I knew the zebra needed out.  I guess I needed out, too.  One last time.

Now, I have mono.  I only get to enjoy outside from a window in a house that is not on the farm, and I sleep more than I am awake.  My only friends are my dog, Gabriel, faithfully at my side, though the culture shock of living in a suburban house with my parents is starting to wear on him, and a falcon, that sweeps past my window, perhaps all day, but he seems to know when I’m awake, and he comes to say hi.

I never expected to spend the first few weeks of the New Year in bed.  Since November in Kenya, I’ve learned that hot water and electricity is not to be taken for granted, but on January 1st, I couldn’t even walk.  Hot water means nothing if you can’t stand.  A whole new wave of humility has washed over me, and yes, I’m supposed to be resting….I’m not even supposed to be in school, but I am.  I’ve started this new website to promote my book and the school, and I’m working on another.  I’ve pulled up my novel (which has been sitting unfinished for longer than I care to admit), and I’ve get a new exciting project in the works.

Simultaneously fantastic and terrible is that I’ve managed to do all of this from a couch.  I am stuck on a couch.  A couch has never been my style.  Indoors is not my style.  Looking out a window, instead of just being out, is not my style.  I feel so out of my element.  I miss the farm.  But I am thankful 2014 is already full of change, as that is what life is meant to do…change.  I look forward to one day soon, when I’ll be back with the animals, and can soak in the familiar scent of the horses, who smell just like home, and can breathe in the wild, vibrant energy of the zebra, which tastes just like freedom, adventure, and mystery.  I long for the unknown.  I long for the wilds of the farm.  Normally, I’d long for Kenya, too, except, as I mentioned, I sleep for longer than I am awake, and so, my dreams carry me to Kenya, and that is where I’ve been suspended, spending most of my time thinking, planning, worrying in my sleep.  Waking up, then, even off the farm, isn’t so hard, because at least I can actually do something about it…Kenya, if only from a couch.