Do you know how life goes along pretty well, you are accomplishing things and feeling fairly content about most things and then one day life seems to have become a muddle? That is what I have been feeling lately. But I have been pondering why this is so and this is what came to me.

Most every area of our lives has needed extra tending in the past days and weeks. Our colds have meant lots of dosing with herbs and remedies…..whenever we connect to the Internet, we have to unplug and plug our airport to get a connection….before we fall into bed at night, we have to jiggle the boxspring just so, or else we will be tormented by a dreadful squeak all night long….the lovely Spring has turned into hot summer with the wire grass and ilanthus trees on the march….I am planning a rare vacation for the end of summer with lots of travel and accomodation details….I never got to Spring cleaning and now it is humid and the clutter is impossible to ignore…..and so many other quirky and tedious problems. These are our little, special challenges and yet there are always the larger, more universal ones of aging parents, educating our growing children, living lightly on the earth, etc.

It just feels so overwhelming at times.

Then I put on my favorite album for the past few months…..which I haven’t played for the past few weeks ( Why is that? When I need it most, I often overlook listening to precious and amazing music! ) and all felt right with the world.

But all the overwhelm is still there and I keep meeting it in my friends lately, as well. We hear it all the time, how fast/busy/complicated modern life is. And I have to agree. Even when we consciously try to live more simply and quietly, it is tricky. I trace some of my dilemma to the books I read as a girl and a young woman. Starting with Laura Ingalls Wilder in the second grade, through all of the Anne books, and Louisa May Alcott, and untold numbers of English country stories. Think of Laura’s various homes and the books they contained-Pa’s big book of animals, a few schoolbooks and much later on, a collection of Tennyson’s poems. In our home, we have shelves and stacks and cupboards full of books…and magazines and cds and dvds and old vhs tapes and video camera tapes and old albums and cassette tapes. Oh my! The dear badgers and hedgehogs, and even the humans in my lovely old stories didn’t have to deal with this. They seemed to be able to keep a shining cottage with a besom broom and soap and water and have plenty of time to make scones for a picnic with their friends. Have my books led me astray?

I shall keep pondering this through the summer and shall no doubt revisit it many times in the years to come, as I have in years past. There will always be much to tend to, if we are blessed enough to be alive and well on this planet. I think what I would like to do in the months to come is take the time to find out what gives me no pleasure in the tending and see if I can move those things on out of my life. I realize as I write that I can gladly pass on all the tapes I have of old HG shows, finally, for goodness sake! And that will be a beginning. And perhaps we will get broadband our here in the countryside one day….and the squeak in the boxspring will disappear….and I will find a place to put all our books.

“Oh, it’s delightful to have ambitions! And there never seems to be any end to them….that’s the best of it.”

-Lucy Maud Montgomery