my emotional acre

“Anne Lamott says we each get an emotional acre at birth where we get to do whatever we want. Grow trees. Collect junk. Dig holes. Have parties. Whatever you want.”

Clearly I need to be brushing up on my Anne Lamott. Because I have never heard this quote until I saw the prompt (several days late, but that is another story). So I have no context. But I’m going for it.

At first though my emotional acre looks an awful lot like my brother’s ranch in Emmett Idaho. The equipment and buildings are old. Some are broken. Most of it needs mending in one way or another. But there is a big beautiful picture window at the front of the house and people are welcome, even though my brother is quiet. And there are sprinklers going tsk tsk tsk way off in the fields around the clock. There is so much comfort in the tsk tsk tsk of sprinklers. I don’t know why. And there is sky for days.

Somewhere on that acre (which I’m now realizing I made 10 acres just like that, but that’s ok because that is what I do–any time I have a little bit of something–time, money, love in my heart–before I know it I’ve spent it and I’ve spent it and I’ve spent it over again. Because there are more ideas in my head and desires in my heart than all the little bits of time and money and acres and love in my heart) there is also a deep grey green earthy mint field. The kind that makes me cry when I drive past it and inhale deeply of the scent of my childhood.

Which means there is also some sagebrush. And, sadly, mosquitos. So I have reason to include the unmistakeable scent of DEET.

Oddly and impossibly but wonderfully there is also the tangible comfort of rugged deep mountains whose presence is an omnipresence, even when shrouded by dark grey misty clouds and stormy skies.

There must be stormy skies.

Today a friend captioned her shadowy grey Instagram post of corner windows looking out over stormy skies “My favorite color is rain.” And I knew that even I barely knew her when we worked together briefly years ago, we are kindred spirits.

And along the back 40 of that acre-twenty-acres are trees. An ancient green forest thick with ferns and wildflowers and wild blackberries. The kind of trees you can’t see for the forest and that’s ok because it was meant to be.

And somewhere there is water. Cool, clear, running water. I’d ask for the crashing waves of the ocean, but one can’t have it all.

Because where would you put it?

Especially on just–ahem–one emotional acre.

My emotions are too big for just one.

[Day 186 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]