Hours have gone by with my shins and knees grinding into the rocky soil, and I still have carrots to release from their struggles with neighboring weeds. There is a faint breeze, scented with the lemon basil from two rows over. Beds that have to be seeded stretch out to a horizon of trees along the creek. I am alone most days with my clipboard, a strange solitude that verges on isolation. Later, my son wakes from his nap and his stirring reminds me that in the field, time disappears in a way that scares me. As the weeks go on, I struggle to remember what this whole endeavor is supposed to mean. It starts to feel like an Italian vacation postcard that has been tacked to the bulletin board for over 10 years. It has simply become something to stare at.

There can come a time when major life choices are made in the service of passionately held ideals. Sometimes those beliefs are the only things that can propel you forward in the face of what is a daunting reality.

I am not idealistic. I do however believe that out of sheer will I can make unbelievable things happen, and for the most part, this has proven to be true. I can say with no shame that I am failing in my current endeavors. It torments me to know that the most important thing I have ever set out to do has proven to be unsustainable on so many levels. Sometimes I think I may have ruined my life.

The studio, which has always been a remedy, a space for escape into what ifs, has devolved into a small, spare room where I fixate on if onlys.