If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

21 December 2006

The chameleon mouse

UBlend mused about 'his' version of the witch on the forest path (which sounded suspiciously something like a character in the Devil Wears Prada ... a black leather-clad gorgeous platinum blonde sipping a martini... wait, UBlend, you have me confused with Virgin Blogger!!!)

But, yes, that reminded me that there IS this crazy dichotomy in my life:

I am equal parts urban chic, globetrotting, corporate, martini-sipping professional, and bluejean-and-bandanna-wearing, firewood stacking, simple-pasta-making, local-wine-sipping, hiking in the hills, wilderness girl. Part country mouse, part city mouse, as the fable goes.

18 months ago this city mouse moved to the country, a hilltop in the middle of nowhere - where I neither spoke the language nor knew another person - not at all certain what I would find. And I was as shocked-to-my-socks as much as anyone that what I found was a part of my soul, one that had been missing for a long time. And with that piece in place, my spirit is truly at peace; perhaps for the first time in my adult life. Sometimes, you don't know exactly what's not right until a missing piece arrives and nestles in, making itself quite at home in your heart: Stealthy, how life sneaks up on you while you're making other plans.

And as my giant Tuscan fireplace crackles behind me, and my neighbor's delicious 1.80-a-liter 'table wine' Chianti sloshes in my glass, I know without a doubt that the country life suits me quite well, better than I myself could have ever even expected. I did 'come to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,' and that, I am. There is an inexplicable comfort that I have found here in the deliberateness and purposefulness of life, as both a stranger and a local simultaneously on this hilltop. And it has changed me, forever. This "pioneerwoman" side of me shocks the hell out of my DC corporate friends, I imagine, who wouldn't recognize me in my old barn coat, workboots, and leather gloves.

No, I haven't lost my taste for swanky martinis and sassy high-heeled shoes, and I do still love a fabulous day at the spa... or being waited on hand-and-foot at a 5-star resort. Except, well... that was usually someone else's money and influence, never my own. And I have to admit, it all seemed a little hollow, even then.

Here, in the countryside, it's just me. My own sweat and tears. My own kindness and energies. My own generosity of spirit, my own honesty with myself. My own cleverness or fortitude or stupidity. My own fear and anger. My own planning - or failure to do so, self-reliance is equal parts frustrating and rewarding. My own ability to learn to ask for help, to know where resources can be found and use them wisely. The life lessons here are astounding, when you can be still enough to listen to them. Once I 'got over myself' and stripped away the years of well-hardened veneers that prevent connection; opening myself to lessons and possibility.

It's amazing what you can hear when there's no background noise of chaos.

I find now that I am a chameleon of sorts - a little bit country mouse, and a little bit city mouse. I know it is in-between where my "disagio" (imbalance) arises: I am NOT, by any measure, a suburbanite mouse (not that there's anything WRONG with that!)

And so I stare down the path into the unknown: the daunting annual page-turning on the calendar, and I can't help but wonder ...

Where will our heroine mouse's next adventure lead?
(And more importantly, what will she be wearing?!?!)
Can she find a life that will balance the two?
Is she brave enough to try??
Is there a trap ahead?
Does she find another like-minded mouse?

The crystal ball is foggy ... (or maybe that's the wine talking?)

Tune in next week - (same bat-time, same bat-channel,) for more Adventures of the Chameleon Mouse!

Yes, 2007 should be veeeeeery interesting. There's a vicious wind whipping the hilltop tonight. I suspect it's the wind of change.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

V..truth be told, I thought the same thing when reading UBlend's musings about his 'witch'.

Merry Christmas.
Virgin Blogger

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh honey, it doesn't have to be Prada...you can be the "devil" in anything black/brown...as long as they are natural fibers. I don't want you to think that I am tooooooooooo much of a label guy.


3:55 PM  

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