An off the farm interlude

My life has come full circle, lately. I started teaching ballet this week at Richmond Ballet- one of the schools I trained at as a young girl. Twice a week my parents would drive me into ballet class…a fifty-five minute trek through the rural countryside…and here I am, making a very similar trek twice a week to teach.

I have missed ballet, lately. It is a world so familiar to me- full of order and organization, beauty, music, movement, large spaces full of eager students. I finally am able to speak a language that I know and communicate something of the world I come from. And people understand and listen…not that people on the farm don’t listen, but, frankly, knowing how to do a pirouette isn’t really going to help pick tomatoes. Unless you have to pivot quickly to avoid some sort of stinging/biting insect.

I knew I would enjoy being in the studio again. The surprise for me, though, is how much I look forward to being back on the farm tomorrow. Yes, there are days I want to run away screaming in search of a microwave oven and electric hot dog cooker (I don’t eat hot dogs, but a hot dog cooker is honestly one of the most useless, trivial appliances I can think of), but part of the fun of being on the farm is having to figure out how to do things- how to make things work without the resources I am used to. Whereas I might have complained about the many steps needed to boil a pot of water, I enjoy being able to chop the wood and build the fire needed to boil that pot of water. I have actually started to feel as if I am capable of some useful farm skills. All of this is a long-winded way of saying that I am learning new things.

So, for the time being, I have an interesting balance on my life. One aspect is firmly grounded (no pun intended- well, ok maybe a little) on the farm- growing food, taking care of the land, raising my children. The other aspect floats in a world of fairy queens and princesses, helping students pursue their dreams of ballerina-dom. These two aspects of my life would seem to be at odds with each other, and yet I sense a connection. Maybe this balance is what I have needed all along.


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