This weekend has been full and interesting, as parents and family of guests have been around. That brings a lot of energy and a different complexity to guests’ lives / farm life.

The stages of dealing with mental illness are strikingly similar to the stages of grief, both for family and for the people dealing with the illness: shock, denial, anger, guilt, despair, acceptance. It seems to be this way because coping with mental illness involves, at least in part, a redefinition of self; grieving for the “past self” and defining a “new self” is a difficult but natural part of the illness. Thus, it has been really enriching this week to see parents in the various stages of that grief process. Also, guests here struggle, as do many adults, it seems, with finding a good adult child relationship to their parents.

The new energy and conversation that the parents and family bring are great to have on the farm. It seems we get used to our routines and patterns of interacting, and having new folks here is a good reminder to continue to examine our interactions with each other.

In other news, the first day of fall brought chilly weather, making the broken windows in my room more than just a “thing to fix eventually”. Cate, the top executive here, offered to arrange a tuner for the piano at Fairview (my house)!! (at this point, it’s so badly out of tune that I can’t handle playing it)

Time for me to go to church… Take care of yourselves and each other.