So I maybe rant about this too much to my friends, but I really believe that if you put out what you want to the universe, or God, or the Jedi force or whatever or whomever you think is sort of in charge of things, it comes to you, and this keeps happening as long as you are able to be open and grateful.
I have a lot of examples of how this has worked out in my life. Some big ones: Jam Guy (Hey, Universe? My faith in the fact that I can have be romantically involved with someone who loves me just the way I am has been deeply shaken. Please don't let me lose it entirely); Chinese medicine (Hey, Universe? I know it's hard to find a career that lets you be fulfilled and paid at the same time. Could you help me with that?); and Meimei, my amazing cat (Hey, Universe? I think it would be cool to have a cat, but I like dogs and I worry I won't be able to bond with a cat. Could I have a cat that is as affectionate and happy to hang out with me as a dog?). I am deeply grateful for all of these absolutely elemental pillars of my happiness. And they have all involved being open--I didn't expect the universe's answer to my romance request to live three thousand miles away; I really thought the universe's answer to my career question would involve the performing arts; and I didn't expect that the sandpaper-tongue kisses lavished by my puppy-sweet, wildly lovey-dovey kitty would cause me to break out in hives. But rolling with those particular, unexpected punches--moving across the country, launching myself into a Master's of Science degree while the people that remember how I felt about chemistry class in high school blink and look polite, and taking megadoses of vitamin C for its purported antihistamine effect--has opened up a sweeter life for me than I even dare believe most days.
I do have a point here: So on my Facebook account sometime last week, I posted a status update that read something along the lines of, "Sidewalk Monkey wants to live in a house with enough room to have a vegetable garden and chickens and goats, but that is also within walking distance to cafes, bars, and boutiques. Is that possible?" Maybe in my head, I'd prefaced that with, "Hey, Universe?"
It is one of those things that's sort of impossible around the area in in the price range that Jam Guy and I have been looking for a house, given Santa Rosa prices and the way that its communities are laid out. I was trying to resign myself to a one-or-the-other kind of deal--we can have the big plot of land but be far from town, or we can be in town and have a bitty backyard. But since in my experience it never hurts to put the hope out there, give thanks for everything you already have, and spread your hands in a gesture that might be surrender or expectancy or both, out there went the hope, right up there on the Internet.
So then a couple of days later Jam Guy and I are looking at houses online, and we see this house with no pictures that had gone on the market less than 24 hours before. The info on the site described a teensy little cottage, 103 years old (Jam Guy and I have always said we wanted an old house, one with good bones and strong character). It also described a HUGE backyard, bordered all along its back edge with a creek, with a fig tree, an apple tree, a pear tree, raspberry bushes, a greenhouse, an artichoke plot and plenty of room for gardening, for a chicken coop and for running Toby. It mapped an address that is a few moments' walk from downtown Santa Rosa, which has a whole bunch of bars, cafes, and boutiques. It also listed a price well within our range. It is the house I put out the hope for, and then some. (Thank you, Universe.)
At the open house the next afternoon, Jam Guy, being his usual sincere and charming self, made friends with the owner and the real estate agent. We had some Serious Talks. I danced around a lot, out of nerves and excitement. We wrote an offer letter together, explaining how much we loved the house, the visions we had for the garden, the desire to have a wedding in the backyard with the grand fig tree standing witness. Jam Guy included a jar of his marmalade with the offer, to rather literally sweeten the deal.
Last night Jam Guy called me to let me know that the offer has been accepted. He signed stuff. At this stage, things look pretty good, and we should feel celebratory, I believe, but I always hear that you just don't know for sure until closing. There are some little things that might turn up that would not result in our having our wedding under the fig tree. So for a little while, I was afraid to tell anyone and be excited about it because I didn't want to jinx anything, because I am so hopeful that this gift from the universe is really the gift it looks like right now.
But then I remembered how very helpful all your good vibes were for helping get to rounds yesterday morning and this morning, and how much more wonderful the experience of rounds was than I expected (no doubt due to your fantastic good vibes). I also remembered that I don't know that I believe in jinxing, except when I'm feeling fearful--but I do know that I always believe that the universe is conspiring in our favor. So, while we are still technically unsure about whether our beautiful new home is indeed our beautiful new home, I am asking my lovely friends to please, please, please keep sending those good vibes! And in return, we will send you some lovely fig preserves next year.
(Again: How did I get here from where I was two years ago? I can't be anything but absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude.)