It was good to be away. It is good to be home. Normally vacations leave me mildly depressed about returning to life as usual. This time I am buoyant with new inspiration for the present, and hope for the future.
First thing, I checked to see how the vegetable garden and worm chalet were coming along. The long-range forecast called for plenty of rain in May, so I made a regrettable decision to leave the garden in nature’s hands while we were away for 10 days. Apparently the weather here was instead warm and dry. Many of the seedlings have taken a hit. All the radishes and most of the peas have vanished. The groundhog might be to blame, but most of the survivors have a look of drought about them. Fortunately, the potatoes (see photo) and shallot sets are thriving. A friend, Brian, looked after the flats of tomato and herb seedlings, so now I just have to harden off and plant them.
Thriving, too, are the red wrigglers in the worm chalet. I dug around for the first time since adding the second level two weeks ago. The top layer of bedding was covered with these pinhead-sized brown blobs (click to enlarge the photo and they are visible at centre). I had seen them in the chalet once before and believed they were some kind of mould. A little research suggests they are in fact earthworm eggs. Several new wrigglers may emerge from each one. So I was careful not to disturb them too much in moving the bedding. Underneath, the two-week old food scraps were already full of earthworm castings, so I added some more. Compost in the bottom level had settled again, so I built it up with fresh straw bedding to reach the underside of the second tray. This allows the worms to move more easily between levels.
On the subject of little eggs, I have returned from vacation with some fertile seeds of inspiration:
- During the trip I conducted several interviews for a journalism piece; the next step is to find a market for the article.
- One day on the road I received a rare visitation: a richly-textured idea for a novel. I need to begin researching and writing while the scent is still fresh.
- I learned to spin and need to practice 15 minutes a day.
- I have a good supply of fibre for weaving. Now the plan is to weave for a couple hours a day toward the purpose of launching an Etsy store.
- At the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat, I forged a new friendship with John Wise, and we plan to research warp-weighted weaving so we can teach a workshop together at next spring’s retreated; I am delighted.
Such a fertile experience challenges my essay about whether To Travel or Stay. The simple, stationary life can be deeply nurturing and rewarding. However, without question this trip elevated my consciousness, provoked ideas, expanded my social network and provided insight for the path ahead. New experiences close to home could spark inspiration, too, but I need to keep my travel options open.
How do you feel upon returning home from a vacation? How do you readjust to the shape of daily life?