Saturday, April 17, 2021

Checks and Balances

It's finally warm enough, the past couple days, to throw open our doors and windows.

The dogs wander out to sun themselves on the deck, and occasionally I'm drawn out as well by the sound of happy chickens, chattering about whatever chickens chat about.

Looking out over newly leafed and flowering trees, I'm suddenly reminded that this is likely the last time we will watch a Pacific Northwest winter slowly give way to spring. It makes me—not sad, exactly, but...wistful?—in much the same way I feel near the end of a really good book. 

I want to finish it, but I don't want it to end.
The planning for our Hawaii move has kicked up several notches. We have an actual timeline now, and are several steps closer to putting our belongings on a ship headed for Hilo.

The to-do list is daunting, but green check marks have appeared by the first few tasks.
  • Get estimates for two 20-foot containers? Check.
  • Schedule dogs and cats for vaccinations and boosters? Check.
  • Assemble reams of veterinary paperwork as required by the state of Hawaii? Uh, half-a-check.
  • Find homes for our much-loved hens? Half-a-check and a full broken-heart emoji.
The list goes on.
  • First Pfizer vaccination. Check.
  • Google "used pickup trucks". Dozens of checks.
  • Research portable generators. Check.
  • Learn about installing solar panels. Half-a-check.
The further down the list we go, the more complex the tasks become. Each has its own sub-tasks, dependencies, and critical timing. Even so...
  • Learn project management software? Hahaha! No check, ever.
Our little family has up and moved so many times—Phoenix to Seattle to San Francisco to St. Paul to Raleigh—and back to Seattle. Often chasing jobs in lieu of peace of mind. In retrospect, that may have been misguided.

There were multiple sub-moves associated with each of those stops, a dizzying array of apartments and townhomes and houses. We're up to 14 of those, by my count, but there's a real possibility I'm forgetting one or two.

So, either we really enjoy putting our things on moving trucks...or, like our ancestors, we felt the ancient drive to migrate with the change of the seasons.

It's fitting, then, that we're heading to a place that has one season, more or less, year round. And that we're no longer chasing jobs, but meaningful, gratifying work and...quietude.
Wherever we've gone, there's always been an undercurrent of anticipation and adventure. To see new places, and meet people whose lives and experiences were different than ours. To learn from them and adapt ourselves accordingly.

That's true this time, and then some.

Singing Whale Farm is far enough from tourist hubs to be considered "country." Friending the neighbors will be less about social media and more about being kind to their cows.

Where once we took every convenience for granted, we'll now be a lot more mindful about where those conveniences come from, how far they traveled to get to us, and whether we can still feel good about choosing them.

Our little adventure in agriculture will embrace agritourism and hands-on education for local teachers and students. We'll talk about things like sustainable farming; biodiversity; and creating inclusive spaces for people and animals alike.

We're not silly enough to think we'll be changing the world. But we are silly enough to dream we might inspire someone who will.
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."
—Leonard Bernstein