Sunday, December 06, 2020

Making It Up As We Go

Welcome to Singing Whale Farm
“Kid, the next time I say, ‘Let's go someplace like Bolivia’, let's *go* someplace like Bolivia.”

—Paul Newman, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Change is coming.

Lots of change.

[Ed. Note: That's in addition to the incalculable *everything* that will never be the same thanks to Shitshow 2020.]

In no particular order:

Our daughter, who's been living with us since March, is moving out soon. She's transferring to the University of Washington from San Diego State, after realizing there's no point continuing to pay out-of-state tuition for online classes.

The first week of January she'll move into her own on-campus apartment...where she'll still be taking all her classes online. But at least she'll be getting back a measure of independence.

In return, we'll get back a breach in our hearts, heads full of worry, and more quiet than we ever wanted. Because that's what we bargained for, lo these many years ago, when we said, "Have kids? Sure, why not!"

Our son, also endlessly taking virtual classes, has had a similar epiphany. But he'll be *leaving* his apartment in Ellensburg, WA, by the end of December. And since he can take classes literally anywhere there's an internet connection...he's moving to Hawaii.

There, in addition to finishing a degree in Natural Resource Management, he'll be caretaking a little farm on the Big Island.

Our farm.

And by that I mean, "the farm my wife and I are *thisclose* to buying." 

We sign the paperwork tomorrow, and close on Wednesday. See the photo up top? That's the one. 

At seven acres it's not a big operation—but it is aspirational. It wants to be a place where we can work hard and have some modest success. A place where honeybees thrive, hens never know what a cage is, and rescue animals feel safe and loved. 

This view, right here.
Pre-COVID we thought we had a pretty good idea what our business model would look like. Honey, eggs, goat milk products, a small event space (with photo-worthy water views), a farm-to-table agritourism experience, and maybe even a little running company.

That plan assumed a healthy economy and people able to travel and gather together without fearing for their lives. Until those things are true again, our business model is, uh, in flux.

Doesn't matter. We're going.

What we don't know is *when* we're going.

For an assortment of reasons, the plan for actually relocating is also in flux. There are logistics to work out, variables to account for, and a deadly virus to evade. 

We think it'll take up to a year for us to get from mainland to island, and longer still to transition from urban to agrarian.

But you know what? It's time. Time to start creating a future that's more compatible with life. While we're able.

We feel that with more urgency every day. COVID has a lot to do with it, reminding us that anything can happen to anyone at any time—so if not now, when? What are we waiting for?

In the meantime, there is still much to be done here. Among many other responsibilities, we have three rescue dogs, two rescue cats, a dozen hens, and a bunch of bees to keep us busy.

Will we miss our friends and this community and the emotional structures we've built around them over the course of 17 years? Like crazy. But Hawaii is a nice place to visit—and we hope a free place to stay on the Big Island will convince folks to come have a look around, soak up some vitamin D, and listen to the quiet for a while.

If you've read this far, you're invited.

You'll have to buy the beer, though.
And I pray
When we meet again
That the world has changed
Into the world that we are imaging now together
And I pray that the world has become
The world that we’re planting inside of ourselves
For each other
For our ancestors
And for our kids 

I don’t know I don’t know
We are making this up as we go
We have to make this up as we go

The Bengsons—Keep Going Song


Unknown said...

Wow. Best of luck to you, Michael. Looking forward to running with you someday on the Big Island!

spaceneedl said...

Thanks! There are some amazing places to run not too far from where we'll be. Looking forward to sharing some of those trail miles with you!

Pete Wung said...

When can I make reservations?

spaceneedl said...

No worries, Pete, I can get you in. I know a guy.