The news was not what I had expected. Another delay, this time caused by the inefficiencies of Homeland Securities themselves. It took me several days of quiet contemplation to fully absorb the news and for a little while kidded myself that a definitive no would have been easier to deal with. Of course that isn’t true all, I would be off in an instant, just give me the news that my visa is ready and I’ll collect in record quick time.
Anyway, I found out from Cynthia, thought I should give her a call to see how she was and if she had had any news. That was back in November when I had figured that the 16 months suggested waiting time was well and truly up and I still hadn’t heard anything. There was plenty of news, mostly good and very exciting, though unfortunately the one bit that I really didn’t want to hear was another delay. Cynthia had been following the progress of the visa online, something that I had been unable to do, and explained that after initial submission, the authorities has taken over four months to pass my paperwork to the relevant department for processing.
The sixteen months that I had been counting down were in fact twenty, and there were still another four months to go. February 2011 is now the crunch date, the time when the next, hopefully, three years, of my life will be decided. A YES means that I head to California and Love Apple Farm as quickly as humanly possible and a NO opens a selection of attractive alternatives that I have yet to put in order or become too enthusiastic about, I may share these with you if I don’t get bored of writing just now.
Good news is that Cynthia and the farm crew are all well and enjoying the most exciting time imaginable, transferring day to day business to a new and much larger location. The new farm sounds like an amazing venture, allowing for huge diversification into fruits, herbs, possibly livestock and other produce. It has a collection of buildings that are being converted into classrooms and learning facilities to expand the educational side of the venture and so much more. We had a wonderful chat about the goings on and I grasped the enthusiasm and excitement even through a painfully disjointed transatlantic phone call. I get the occasional glimpse of the farm through images on the lovely Facebook along with snippits of information, although am cautious of getting too excited about the venture myself, lest the chance of becoming involved in person never materialises. I ache to find out more, to be there and to hurl myself into the project wholeheartedly yet continue to find myself kept at a distance.
Hairbrain suggestions and devious plans have been concocted and banded about to see if I can get to the farm under false pretenses, perhaps I could visit the US east coast for a holiday, then travel on to the west coast, extend my stay for a couple of months and get stuck in. These plans are always highly tempting on the first read, questionable on the second and then reality sets in. Why jepordise the right and legal route? What if it didn’t work, the whole process would be wasted and I would never go. There are only a few more months to go now. How could I get involved again with the possibility that I don’t get to return long term, I just don’t think I could do that again, it stirs up too much passion and energy, I need to keep it under wraps until the time is right or contain it until I have another project to release it onto in its own right. I can fill the waiting with exciting and memorable challenges, learn new skills and enjoy the rich tapestry that lies before me,I can help out, encourage and participate in the lives of others, but until I know for certain the results of my visa application, the life that I want to follow remains illusive.
The not knowing sometimes becomes a challenge. This morning I had much less of a plan than I do right now. I was feeling quite purposeless and unrequired by the world until I realised why, I could not see enough of my immediate future apart from knowing that I still had to wait, my immediate train journey takes me from Nottingham where I have just had a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable Christmas and start to 2011 with my dear brother Windy, his partner Michael family of dogs, lodgers and friends to London, then a week later in the direction of Salisbury to visit my parents, thereafter I had no idea where I was going to be and it was beginning to get me down somewhat. A little research and a few discussions on line and I have extended my known journey through to the end of the month and beyond. An exciting train journey from London to Toulouse for little more than the cost of a cheap flight and without any of that airport security nonsense, the prospect of visiting friends in the mountains, skiing, discovering an area that have come to love during the summer in the depths of winter, I have just opened the door to another adventure and it feels marvelous.
We then spent the afternoon earnestly discussing the prospect of buying a cheap house, perhaps at auction or a bank repossession, this spring, to work on, improve and then sell at a profit. It could be a good plan B, it may never get talked about again but the spark is alight again and that is all that matters.