Jill of many trades, master of none.

This is how I’ve been feeling for a few weeks. I know this comes from what has changed in my life, health-wise, career-wise, and personally, over the last three years. Three years ago, a hard diagnosis. Two years ago, a marriage imploding, suddenly to me, long-planned by ex. Finishing the research and dissertation-writing phase of my PhD. Losing one job that I had felt helped define me. Wondering if and how my health would improve. Wondering if I could sustain my family with what was at hand. Things have really changed. Not only has my family been sustained but they understand how to help sustain one another. I’m still adapting. I may be beginning to thrive.

Years ago a friend of mine said the exact same thing to me after a crisis in his professional life. He was a little bit older than me. (He said “jack” not “jill” in case that’s important to you). I didn’t understand exactly. I looked at him and told him “You can do so many things and do them well. You have a amazing story, a big heart, and you are good at the things you do.” I meant it, truly, but it wasn’t what he needed. What he needed was to move half-way across the country and resume his work in whole new surroundings. I saw him and his wife back here in California, visiting relatives, a few years ago. They were both so happy with the huge change they made. That was nice. I was glad for them. Meanwhile, now I think I may get what he was going through. Our situations are different but some of those crisis-enhanced feelings are the same.

I’ve gone through certain levels of insanity for the last two years. The insanity is rolling away, like storm clouds that come over the eastern San Gabriels, drop their rain or snow, sound their thunder, and roll away across this high desert valley. Echoes, water in the desert, sometimes snow, luminous sky are their traces.

I began Rainshadow Farm by sitting quietly with the land nearly every day. Listening to its voice. Listening to the ravens. When my first farm was foreclosed, years back, I heard the desert’s voice, telling me in very clear terms I would be back. Here I am. My particular and hard storm (Storm of the Saturn Return, if you will) is passed. The sky is clearing. The sun is warm. The land is calling. What I need to do now is to sit and listen. Really listen.

Storm over the high desert.

Storm over the high desert.

Raven at RSF.

Raven at RSF.

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About rainshadowfarm

I teach anthropology, am an archaeologist, a drylands agroecologist, community educator, and a single mother of eight grown kids. I currently own and operate an educational and research farm in the southern Mojave Desert, Rainshadow Farm. I'm 100% West Virginia hillbilly. Not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Adjuncting, Anthropology, gratitude, gray divorce, Life changes, Nature, resilience and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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