SingingOwl over at RevGalBlogPals suggests that we offer our personal "bucket lists" for the traditional Friday Five. I never saw the Bucket List movie, so the words brought something different to my scattered mind:
"There's a hole in the bucket, Dear Liza, Dear Liza..."
I loved that song when I was a child. It seemed endlessly funny, the way each problem on the ol' homestead sent Liza and Henry farther into the Slough of Despond...all 'cause there was a dad-blamed hole in the gosh-darn bucket.
Now that I live on a homestead myself, the song ain't so funny--just achingly familiar. In my life, a "bucket list" is likely to involve an actual bucket, and if'n it don't have a hole, well, the side may be split or the handle near to coming off.
Och, but enough whinging and whining. The sun's come out to warm the weary earth, and I shall plant peas in the garden today. This morning I said goodbye to The Piper's Son, who is headed off across the country to a new job and the unfettered freedom of young adult life. I'm thankful, today, for the extraordinary gift of his help this past year as we turned our old woodshop into a genuinely lovely little house. I'm also excited for him, fresh-faced and ready to discover his place in the world. Oh, and this morning, after he left? After wiping away a few sentimental tears, I got out the utility knife and the drill and put up the last piece of drywall in our bathroom, bringing the house that much closer to being done.
Now, about that bucket list:
1) Restore this old farm and open a Bed & Breakfast with a Celtic theme. I'd cook sumptuous Celtic breakfasts, all ingredients homegrown and/or fresh from other local farms. The Bagpiper would provide evening entertainment and, for those who request it, an unforgettable wake-up call! Instead of being isolated and exhausted by the hard work of farming, we'll be constantly invigorated by the stream of vibrant visitors who come to appreciate this farm's unique blessings and gifts. We'll hold Celtic Spirituality retreats for church groups, Farm Discovery weekends for armchair homesteaders, Writers & Artists retreats for weary professional women (BTW, I count caregiving of any kind as a profession, so just about all women would be qualified)...
2) Become fluent--or at least comfortably conversant--in Scottish Gaelic. (I started learning this beautiful, soulful language several years ago, but had to end my classes when I left for seminary.) Of course, to continue my studies, I'd need to spend a fair amount of time in, well, SCOTLAND! Ah, home of my ancestors and my Spirit's Other Home... Tir Mo Ghraidh! There I would sing with the seals, wander the moors, caper at the ceilidhs, wrap myself with the mountain mists and eerie, ancient peace of the isles...and the Bagpiper would travel along, sometimes choosing a different path for her own musical pursuits, but always joining me to bless moonrise and sunrise, to share our stories at the start and end of each day.
3) In keeping with #2: Make music such a central & powerful part of our shared life that it continues to heal & energize us. Ideally, it should also open opportunities for us to travel and make music in the places--and with the people--we most love. (Also, ideally, we would develop a corps of sturdy & steadfast farmhands, available to mind the farm when we depart on occasional musical jaunts!)
4) One other journey: to travel and explore some spiritual, as well as cultural roots. I'd like to see some of the Continental Celtic strongholds and archeological sites in Brittany, Austria, and Galicia. I also want to take a side trip to Ravenna, Italy, to see the church mosaics there--especially the one where there's a lifesize procession of the Church Mothers. I've been intrigued ever since I heard of these mosaics. In one, there's supposedly a woman with the title "bishop" above her head!
5) I've been a caregiver--to siblings and other people's children--much of my life. There has always been a bittersweet element of release in this work. The children always return to their parents at the end of the day, and my guidance and gifts have always been secondary. That can be a good thing--to leave the "hard part" to others--but still I'd dearly love the chance to "have a wee bairn or twa" all my own. There is so much joy and mystery that I'd love to share, as well as the shared work and earthly delights of this beloved farm. I'd like to raise up a child who sings freely, works earnestly, laughs readily, and lives fruitfully.
Speaking of being fruitful, ain't nobody gonna be fruitful around here if'n I don't get out to the garden and plant those peas!