Children playing and gardening - Grattan School mural

Children playing and gardening – Grattan School mural

6:00 am

Home again, with much to tell. I seldom travel so far.

Cheyenne, Merilee, Cathy and Mitre, and I drove to the small regional airport in one of the three electric mini-buses the village maintains.

It was one of those incredibly hot late-August days. We were constantly rolling the windows up and down, first craving fresh air, the scents of the countryside, then needing a spate of cool air conditioning and the quiet of windows-up to talk.

Thankfully, Cheyenne is as interested in the landscape and wildlife as any of us and never pushes past 35 or 40 miles per hour on our little-used gravel roads. Long lost, the youthful desire for speed. Now we enjoy the opportunity to watch the changing scenery unroll before us.

We counted two foxes, fourteen deer, three bald eagles, an osprey over the wetlands, and I am absolutely certain, though others disputed it, that I saw a mountain lion standing on the bluff overlooking the roadway as it curved into the valley beyond the Village of Adriene.

I feel a special affinity for the big cats, as you know, and can smell them long before I see them. Her silhouette against the shimmering air was unmistakable. One moment she was there, and then she was gone, leaping into the underbrush.

Along the way, Mitre regaled us with stories of his youth, growing up far to the north where the summer days are so long darkness barely falls an hour or two, and temperatures rarely as hot as this.

In no time at all the three hour drive had passed and we were climbing aboard the small, sleek jet that would take us not so far north as Mitre’s country, but far enough, to the Village of Jasper, where our daughter Balboa and her beloved Packer live and had planned their wedding and built their home.

Balboa and her sister Jasmine grew up with Ruby, Cheyenne, and me in Ordinary. For many years, their fathers, Beryl and Ronnie, remained in the village as well, and were active in their daughters’ lives.

All four of us choosing to parent, Cheyenne and I took turns, one pregnancy each, three years apart, through artificial insemination. Beryl and Ronnie, wanting to feel each was the father of both children, combined their sperm before donating, and none of us have bothered to have the girls tested to see who is the biological father of either.

When Beryl’s parents, who lived all their lives in the high mountain village of Jasper, yearned for their son to live near them, he and Ronnie moved back to his childhood home. A few years later, missing her dads, Balboa chose to do her first year of community service in her father’s home village.*

Balboa stayed in Jasper one extra year, then two, then three. Along the way, she came to love Packer. They have been together five years and decided last year to wed.

Living so far from her, I miss Balboa terribly, like an ache in my body, and long to see her face, feel her long, smooth fingers in my big, calloused, gardening hand, far more often than is practical at this distance. Still, she is happy and well loved. For that I am ever grateful.

I’ll tell more about our trip and the wedding, which was small, joyful and blessed with the weather of the gods beside the bluest lake I’ve ever seen, tomorrow perhaps, if I can tear myself from the weeds and the burgeoning harvest.

◊ ◊ ◊

*A note to the reader:
All young people do community service in villages far from their birthplace. Most try out several villages over a period of years, usually in regions remote from one another, to learn the ways of others, to enrich their vocabulary and experience, and to share the knowledge and culture of their home villages.


  1. You always write of peacefulness, which is why I keep reading. This is an exciting post, with several new characters and two new villages. I can hardly wait to buy the book!


  2. Anonymous · · Reply

    I can’t wait to hear more about the wedding, and how many animals were sighted on the trip home. I think the animals that came on the way there came for purpose, came to bless the wedding in their way. I’m interested in knowing more about air travel in and around Ordinary, and more about the new villages Adriene and Jasper. Do you have the Cast of Characters available yet? I’m losing track of who’s who, though not to any detriment of enjoyment. I love the new characters, how you weave them into Ordinary life easily, as though I’ve known this village a long, long while.Please write more often, if you can. You may not know how much Ordinary has impacted me, and perhaps others. I go to Ordinary when I need a peaceful moment, and am always blessed.


  3. graceonline · · Reply

    I apologize if I have been unclear that Rose and the Village of Ordinary are fictional. They are my vision of a peaceful world in which all beings live in harmony and love.To learn more about the background of the dream, or to participate in vision-creative dialogue, visit Realizing Ordinary.


  4. graceonline · · Reply

    I too tend to fall asleep in peaceful settings, until I’ve had enough sleep that my mind and body are refreshed and can be present.Thank you, Wanda, for sharing this lovely place and moment.


  5. Wanda Tucker · · Reply

    Yesterday we took a retreat to a nearby monastery. They are silent most of the time. After sitting in silence in the chapel for a while, we sat by the pond. I couldn’t stay awake. I put a wool blanket on the ground and lay on it, very quickly falling asleep. Getting away from all the noise of everyday life is to refreshing. Lying on Mother Earth to feel her rhythms and be entrained is restorative. I don’t know that I would like to live in silence all the time, but the significant reduction in noise was truly an improvement.


  6. My mum and I are in the exact same situation as you and your daughter; I live very far away from her and we only ever see each other once a year. It’s very hard being away from the people we love. On another note, how fantastic it must have been for you to see all those animals on your way. I would not have gone any faster either if I were you.


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