There are some things that I don't talk much about over here. Some subjects are too private, others are too sensitive, and still others are simply too fragile. I talk a lot about my life, but obviously there is plenty that I don't discuss.
As it turns out, the dominant story in our life for the past four months is one I have chosen to keep mostly to myself. No, it's nothing dramatic and life-or-death-y. But it's something that has been dear to our hearts for these past many weeks. I've hinted at it but I haven't discussed really what we were working on. I was waiting for the right time to share it with you, in all of its magic and wonder.
It turns out today is that day, though this isn't the post I was expecting to write.
In the past few years I've often shared our desire to move back to the country. I've expounded on our dream several times, and even given your quiet glimpses into the three places that we seriously considered through my photos and words in several posts. We've looked at countless parcels in the past seven years. Only these three have stolen our hearts.
We never offered on the first two. The third, however, we did. And much to our joy, our offer was accepted. Everything was coming together.
But sometimes things don't shake out the way you imagined. And while I believe that anything that doesn't work out (in the moment) will work out (eventually, in a different way) and you will someday find yourself in an even better place, on days like this I tell that positive-thinking-Abraham-manifesting part of myself to stuff it and let me grieve.
And that's where I'm at today. I am grieving the death of a story we were writing in our hearts.
You see, we fell in love with this piece of land. There is this list that we've kept for the past seven years of our "dream property". (What can I say. I'm one of those dorky "list" people.) And every item on our list (of more than a dozen "non-negotiables") without exception was met – plus two we had removed because we thought we were asking too much. This place looked like everything we'd always wanted.
We even fell in love with the family who owns it and loves it too. The family who has lived on it for decades. Everything was lining up. So we gathered a small community of like-minded people to share it with us. We found three families who shared our vision and our love of this land and we set to work. Our amazing team worked tirelessly to determine property boundaries, write covenants, and offer on the land as a group.
And to everyone's delight, our offers were accepted. We were creating community! Something that Pete and I have talked about for more than a decade. A new "family" of sorts – good neighbors and friends – each of us owning our own parcel but sharing access and sharing the work and sharing the dream. Four families, four parcels, four houses. One cow, one orchard, one sauna. The support of an intentional community ("Will someone please feed our chickens and stoke the woodstove while we're away?") plus the freedom of owning your own land ("I think I'll cut this tree for firewood."). The best of both worlds.
We put our house up for sale. We bought a kitchen stove and a woodstove for our cabin. We even started packing. (Remember that simplicity kick? Yeah. There was a reason I was in such a hurry this time.) We were moving. In July. Our long wait was over!
But then something happened that we never expected. After the offers were accepted and we were all moving forward on getting things in order to complete this journey, everything fell through. (I don't want to go into details out of respect to everyone involved. Sometimes things fall apart. We'll leave it at that.) And we stood in shock watching our dream turn to liquid and run through our fingers. Our offers voided. Our vision – at least for this land – dissolved. Done. Over. Back to the beginning.
To say we are heartbroken is accurate. (At least for me. Pete has a tendency to take things in with a little less heart-felt drama.) Emotionally I feel drained and defeated. Quite simply, I'm sad.
The sentence I keep saying when I talk to friends that chokes me up every time is: "We were so ready." All of us. We were so ready. When we told the children this morning I held Sage in my lap while he wept for what seemed like an eternity. I cried with him. We all mourn the loss of this dream.
Yes, yes. I know. Everything happens for a reason.
I know beyond doubt that there is something better waiting for us and when we find it we'll smile and say, "Oh! This is why that happened. I'm so glad!" But right now I'm not. Right now I'm just feeling disappointed, heartbroken, and yes, sad.
It was so close. And we were so ready.