When I think about this space, I see wet leaves sticking to a tractor, more rusty than red. I left it out in the rain, uncovered, unvarnished. If I'm not going to put it to use, I should at least cover it. But when I see it outside my window on my way to doing something else, I only sigh. I'll take care of it tomorrow, I think. And now it seems only an eyesore, something I should clear from the yard.

I began telling stories here before she was a year old, before he was potty trained, before big girl beds and little boy bikes, before I felt like something other than an overtired mother, before I remembered who I was.

I used to write my way to calm and connection. I found both here, tilling stubborn soil until it became ground from which I could grow. This weekend I spent the better part of the day with a local friend I first met through blogging. Our whole families were together for nearly six hours, and it felt like fifteen minutes. If this was the only fruit that grew from this space, it would've been enough.

But there was so much more.
I found mythic moments in the mundane.
I found ways to laugh and smile when I wanted to cry and hide.
I found my voice.
I found I wasn't alone.

My children are eight and nearly six now. Unfathomable to me, but true. I started telling their stories five years ago, and out of their stories, found the courage to tell my own. But it's not that I've run out of stories. It's just that so very few of them feel like they are mine to tell anymore. I feel an increasing urge to shield my children from overexposure.

As for my own stories, I'm struggling to find time to tell them, so engrossed I've become in living them. Maybe that's a sorry excuse on my part. Maybe I'm just not brave or diligent or dogged enough to keep tilling the soil. Maybe. But whether my reason is one of wisdom or cowardice, this seems like it might be the season to let the earth lie fallow.

I won't shut this place down, not yet anyway. I'll continue to write as I feel the urge, when I find the time. I just came here today because, well, because I felt like I ought to explain why there's a rusty old tractor in the yard.

Just writing today, with Heather.

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