It is very tempting to make this my last post. It has been a year. I’ve blogged for a whole year! At the same time, I feel like life is changing for me. A period is ending and another beginning. Seasons are literal things.
This week Betsy, with the Appalachian Cultural Project, spent Sunday through Wednesday with us off and on. It made me a little nervous being as private and backward as I am – often socially inept. Honestly, I’m a bit exhausted just from thinking about the whole experience. I’m sure Betsy is as well. I talked her leg off. I tried to explain everything thoroughly. I feared portrayal through a lens that didn’t understand our reasons. Betsy was respectful, and always asked if a subject matter might be questionable. Really, what was there to fear? Judgment comes whether we ask for it or not, and those who get their kicks from judging will do so despite our efforts to help them see beyond limitations.
It is hard sometimes being Appalachian. It is hard being Appalachian and then still not fitting into any of the neat compartments within that term. My whole life, when in contact with outsiders I’ve dealt with my speaking being corrected, asked if we have electricity, indoor toilets, and if we wear shoes at home. I’ve heard people within our own home state say to others… “We’re from ______, the civilized part of the state.” I’ve seen people’s perception of me change as soon as I open my mouth. I’m a student of English literature. In fact, I hold two degrees in that area, one of them being a graduate degree. I don’t need correcting. I know the proper pronunciation of the speech I choose. If I did not, I would ask, admit to not knowing, or not use the word. I also am not ashamed of where I am from. I make no apologies to that extent.
Then, there is my identity within the identity. We live in our tiny cabin. Right now, the plan is to homeschool. We don’t have cable or satelite TV. I don’t have a cell phone, though I could use one. We try to avoid fast food. We play banjos, fiddles, and flat foot in the mornings. We love our families, and weave our ideas in and out amongst theirs. Gardening is a huge goal. We want goats, and by cracky, those hens better start laying eggs soon, or they could end up on the plate. None of these choices are to set ourselves apart from others,or to judge other choices. It is only listening to our heart. What is right for me is right for me, and if it isn’t I’ll change.
I can no longer call our homeschool choice Waldorf. We are surely Waldorf inspired, but we are eclectic. Come fall, Deladis will be learning her letters and simple numbers, along with long hours outside, art projects, her dance, and lots of music. Delaying academics for her isn’t fitting in the flow of things. She’s ready and asking. I won’t try any more to fit a mold.
I won’t try to have a perfect yoga practice, or a perfect devotional period everyday. I will have my practice and devotional everyday possible, listening to my needs and the urgings of my Creator.
I will continue to work hard at my new callings. I will continue to learn and be taught. I will try my best to listen to Truth and my intuition instead of ignoring it and second guessing. I will do my personal best in all my pursuits. I will love the people of my region and do all I can to offer myself as they/we need. I will love those outside of my region and listen to their issues and share ours with them.
So, as I explained to Betsy why we have a busted fridge on our patio, and why there is a pile of scrap in the side yard. As I exhausted myself making apologies for my lack of home organization and the sulfur orange stains in our tub, toilet, and sinks from tainted well water, I learned something. It doesn’t matter. There is a story behind us all. All of us. My job is to protect and love my family, the integrity of the services I am now offering to pregnant mamas and their families, and to understand as best I can that “the sun shines on everyone. It doesn’t make choices.” (Snatam Kaur) This won’t be my last post.
The picture CD I got from Betsy didn’t work in my PC. 😦 Hopefully, I will be able to share some of them with you soon. It also looks like that as of now, none of our pictures have made it to the ACP website. You should look at the gorgeous pictures that are there though. Betsy does have two up on her blog if you would like to see them.