Some days are not for writing in blogs.
Today was such a day. It included visiting an elderly friend, biodynamic potatoes and tomatoes, honey, and massaging my pregnant daughter’s feet.
The photo above was a view of my yard looking west on a day in the past.
Right now, it is raining and very over cast.
Some days are not for writing in blogs.
The party on Redlands Mesa was excellent. Our friends Paul and Pat share a fine fair with neighbors and friends and a host of people who farm and/or play music. My husband Ed and Paul play music together so this gathering is important to us for many reasons. Pat practices the fine art of biodynamic farming and teaches nursing at the local community college. This “get together” at the height of the summer season is a tribute to a way of life many people are finding and embracing as we shift from survival mode to THRIVING methods. As we learn together, we grow together and find our place within this new system even while we are creating it under our feet and above our heads. It’s exciting when it isn’t scaring the hell out of me.
Today was a great day. I managed to get a lot done this morning. The fruit trees are happy except for some of the younger cherrie trees on the west side. I’ll get to them in the morning.
It’s cooling off at night. Down into the 50’s. More to my liking. Now that summer is expiring toward fall, I feel invigorated and ready for the days of canning and drying. The cherrie harvest was not as plentiful as 2011. A frost nipped a good portion on the north side. It was hot WAY early this year, and then a sudden cold spell. If you grow anything you need a relationship with the weather.
Most people think the weather happens to them, is something they have no say over. I feel differently and have an unusual way of being with weather. I have had strange experiences in my yard under the cottonwood trees, and have been weird this way since early childhood. I am convinced the land has an awareness. You can scoff all you like. I scoff at my self sometimes. But I’m not the only one, you see. There are plenty of people working the land that know there is a dynamic between “heaven” and “earth”. This force can be petitioned and the farmer works in concert, a full partnership, a marriage even in the holiest of possible ways! You have to marry the land to work the land.
So, here I am under the trees in the dark of a new moon. My little porch light is puny under the grand mass of 4 old and gnarled Cottonwood trees. They are nearly as large as the Ute Council Tree down in Delta near the Gunnison River. They appear as one tree in the dark with a wide spread of heavy branches reaching high above the yard. If you climb the hillside above us you can look the trees sort of eye to eye. It’s pretty incredible. And you see, I believe they are aware.
I lived in Hotchkiss Colorado for 22 years in the same house while I raised my daughter. Along side the house there were two big cottonwood trees that the neighbor maintained as the trees were his according to the lot boundary. He had had them topped and trimmed, thinking he was doing himself and the trees a favor, but they were a bit dangerous for a few years because the new growth after the first topping had become large and unstable. A big branch could easily separate from the main trunk in a high wind and come crashing down into my daughter’s bedroom window. I had conversations with the trees, like a prayer, if you want to call it that. Sort of like “I wish you a long and unbroken life, Big Old Cottonwood Trees, and if you do have to break, please fall along the house and not ON the house. I hold you in awe and I am grateful for you.” I said this prayer for years while I listened to the wind outside, bending and whipping the branches across the sky above me.
In the summer the trees were beautiful and full of large broad and shiny leaves. ” Wow! You are so beautiful!”, I would say, my rake in my hand as I used the old leaves for mulch. Trees are so generous. They give and give and give. Did you ever read The Giving Tree? A fine book. Remind me of the author’s name. I’m drawing a blank. But I can see the pictures in the book, and feel what I felt while reading the story. We need trees to exist.
After my nest was empty and my daughter was out on her own, I decided at last to begin a new life elsewhere, and we were actively looking for a new home, so one morning I took a break from packing and went outside. I leaned my head against one of the trees and said, “Help me find some more like you.” Three days later, my fiance called me and told me about a place west of Eckert that I should go see. I drove there and as I was nearing the place I could see a lot of Cottonwood trees, and as I pulled down into the drive way I was beside myself in awe of the 14 large trees scattered along the hillside. I was immediately in love with the 4 grand trees nestled together in the front yard. I was afraid to call the realtor because it might be too much money for us. But we called, found it was within our ability to purchase, AND she said, “You are the first to inquire about the place. It’s only been on the market FOR THREE DAYS!” So, the very day that I leaned my head onto the tree in Hotchkiss and asked “for more like you” the realtor had placed the sign on the place in Eckert.
You can think that is mere coincidence if you like. I say the trees helped me find my new home.
There’s more to the story, but I will share that another day.
Yesterday was a New Moon. I could feel the stillness as I went about my day. I gathered a few eggs and wandered around a lot, watching, observing, listening. People may argue with me, but it feels like Fall to me. The doggie days of summer are tipping over into the sigh of relief I feel at the peak of the season. It’s a full harvest, and now the work of putting it up for later.
During the New Moon I usually gaze ahead a couple of weeks, into the immediate future and what I wish to accomplish. This is a long list. Canning, starting fall plantings for next year, and all the steps in between. It’s exciting to tick a few things off the list each day. Then, there are days when other things interfere with my plans. I might stall out a few days here and there. I still see clients and teach a few select students. Some need bodywork, others a conversation that helps them navigate a strong current in their life. Most days I get to make something with my hands. That is particularly satisfying now that I see the importance of this offering to the spirits of the land and river and even the great beings of the air that steer the air toward the trees. The Creator at work in Its multiple forms. I like a multitasking God Being. The feminine aspect of The Creator, busy sweeping out the canyons, carving a new ledge in stone for some traveler to marvel at later down the ages. Now and then I’ll hide a pot I made in a crevice, or bury in in adobe dirt. Messages for curious minds of the future. Perhaps they will wonder at the chicken statue I made and surmise a strange religion. There will be a lot of chicken bones to dig up in local landfills all wrapped in sacred plastic bags. “They worshipped dinosaurs with feathers!”
The broody hen has just a few days to go before hatching her little family. She seems to be listening to them, and gets pretty fluffy and bothered when you peek in on her. She arranges them tenderly as she spreads her body around them again. I am a proud grannie already!
As my daughter’s body changes and she feels her own broodiness, we spend our time together differently than before. Today we spoke again about her desire to home birth the baby. I admire my daughter and her ideas and especially her courage and need to keep her child from becoming part of “the machine”. I’m preparing to do all I can to support her vision. I am a proud mother, too.
May all Beings be well. May all Beings be satisfied.
A lone goat crying in the wilderness, wild dreams, and smoke from countless wild fires across the West.
I awoke this morning to the frantic bleating of a lone goat. Somehow this sound fit into the dream I was having. This, and the smell of smoke from the multiple wildfires burning through out the western states. I confess I am weary of praying for relief. I am anxious and fretful and no matter what needful activity I focus on, underlying it is the fact that forests are going up in smoke. Conversations mention ” hundreds of square miles” of burns. 14,000 fires this year alone. I don’t know if this is a fact or not. My mind tries to wrap around this and calculate the amount of trees. I have a sudden urge to plant trees. And hemp. We need to plant hemp while we wait for trees to return. Thoughts swing to the current election dog and pony show that I truly wish was actually about dogs and ponies instead of arrogant, boastful “swinging dicks” with PAC money flowing from who knows where.
What would Ed Abbey do?
A sip of coffee. My coffee is good this morning. I can change the topic…move on to something sweet and light, but the angle of the sun through the smoke makes me feel like jumping and running, much like that poor goat tethered somewhere down at the ranch below us. In my dark memories tethered goats mean a slaughter is about to occur. Impending goat roasts under the smoke and haze of apocalyptic summer skies. People dishing up potato salads and talking about everything…anything…but what we really need to be doing. We will content ourselves with harvests and preserving as acts of preservation, but the causative factor, the fossil fuel that runs the tractors and rototillers and every other damn thing is killing off life as we’ve known it. And yes, I am harping on this issue again because it hasn’t been resolved and isn’t going to be until the WE of us finds a way to deal with it in mass.
I have a friend who believes that an alien race is coming here to save some of us. That would be cool, but I don’t want another planet. I want this one. I’ve grown very fond of what life has created here. I’m not too keen on what mankind has done. Yes, we are impressive in many ways, but stupid, too. Plain stupid. I count myself in this category, as well. I am in the last big chapter of my life, I figure. The first few chapters are about crazy parents, afraid and poor, and angry, and how I tried to overcome my upbringing, and then I gave birth and tried my hand at parenting. It was tough to be different and not give my daughter the grief bestowed on me and my various siblings. She says I did a good job, but I’m not so sure. Now, she is carrying a child, and the rumblings of parenthood are hanging heavy on her. What ought to be joyful time of life is instead a rigorous grind of hard work for little pay in her current profession, and the knowledge that the world is not the legacy she had hoped for as a child.
So, if it comes down to what actions to take today that would lead to the world I want for my grandchild, here are a few of my options for today. I can pick peaches, or can pickles, or move the chicken pen and make new nest boxes. I can tear up the old carpet in the master bath, or go to my daughter’s house and start on HER floor. I could cut out the willows that are trying to overtake the garden spot down by the mail box, or I can find another rototiller to wear out. I could go feed the broody chicken again. (I am hand feeding her because she was sitting on one lonely un-fertile egg for a week before I realized what she was doing and then gave her 6 fertile eggs to take care of. I don’t want her to be disappointed.) What I would really like to do is take preemptive strikes of anti-inflammatory and hike down Chukar Trail to admire the smooth eon polished stones along the Gunnison River Gorge. But that would involve driving the truck and using fossil fuel. Sigh.
I look up through the smoke to the blue sky beyond. The sky is still blue in spite of the smoke. Perhaps, just for today, I will focus on the blue of the sky rather than the haze, and count myself fortunate and blessed to be living in this time of dire and magnificent beauty. From that place, I can begin again, to create the world I am hoping to leave to the generations coming along behind me.
Wow! So many emotions well up around this event! I was giving my daughter a massage and came time to address her belly and baby bump. It became a sacred act somehow. Life coming into the world, through the life that sprang from my body not so very long ago. A portal of sorts is opening. I am giving sacred attention to my daughter and her unborn and THERE! she leaps her little foot up into my hand! I feel the quickening in my own body and blood. Blood of my blood, she is…little Rosie. Yes, we know her name already. I sort of balked at knowing as I had waited to know my daughter’s sex and knew the second she pressed through my pelvis. A girl! I am glad to know, and plan.
I want to celebrate this important passage for my daughter. She is leaving the maiden behind and becoming the mother. I’ve celebrated my own croning already, a long slow letting go of the past and what I have built and done in the world. Saying goodbye has been difficult. I started late in my years, at age 36 to create a career for myself. I put my whole self into what I loved, into massage and energy healing, into my development as a real human being. It’s not easy to decide what to put myself toward now, except the next generations coming along behind me a few steps. The years fly by, as you can see in your own life. Let’s bless one another every moment. Hold one another with respect and awe. And not just our friends, either, but those we would call enemy. Let our thoughts turn to them. Peace doesn’t come through occupation, or from becoming the very thing you abhor. It comes by letting our heart decide, not the mind that divides and judges. “Try doing something with your heart today!”, I tell myself. Somehow it works, until I slide back into proving something.
The chickens are fed and the water is set, now with tea steeping at my side, I’ll begin another day. Dreams are still fluttering around in my head, but I’ll shake them off soon enough. Nightmares I can handle. It’s the day time reality that has me frazzled. Climate change and the fact that we can do something about it. The clouds are changing again, and the heat, the heat, the heat is beating down on my bare shoulders, driving me to shade again and again.
Yesterday I left my car parked all day, despite needing a few things. I can need them awhile longer. I limit the use of the swamp cooler so I can tolerate being inside. Sweating is good, I tell myself, but wilting isn’t getting much done in the afternoons. I plod along, my feet and ankles adjusting to the sprains of July…both ankles, different days….going too fast to get something finished or turned off. Conserve. Slow down, I tell myself, but too late. My feet feel new in a bruised sort of way. New and bruised.
Today is my daughter’s day off. I’m planning for her to be here, but haven’t heard confirmation. Mind searches for a dinner plan. Something nutritious and good for the growing baby waiting to develop and be born into this legacy of heat, and change. Let it be a sturdy child, adept, and creative, and determined. A little hope starts to spring up, an acknowledgement that there are many humans focussed on being the change they wish to see. Giving birth to a new species of human is hard work. Communication is key.
We have two phone systems here. My husband and I each have a cell phone, and limited understanding of all the bells and whistles of the antiquated “Beam me up, Scotty!” flip style phone that was once used by another family member,who has upgraded countless times since. And we have the land line, which is generally the most useful as it has the best reception and reliability. Until recently. The battery began dying some time ago. It requires a rather “expensive” battery. And for the sake of time,
I will spare you the details of why the battery hasn’t quite made it all the way to the phone.
So, this is a tale of how modern technology doesn’t always make your life easier, and has a price that is often too high. My husband says he is unwilling to keep paying for both phone systems. A reasonable request. I say I need the landline and internet, as I am home most often. I am willing to give up the space age phone. He needs the space age phone because he is gone more than me, either working or playing out in the big world. For a long while we keep on paying for both and adjusting, until we address it again. This time, dear husband calls the cell phone company and reduces the service to bare minimum and I begin paying husband for my cell phone to lift his burden. I tried going without it all together, but it’s the family plan on it that makes it possible to have conversations with my husband and daughter and nieces that keep me hooked into it. (What if we all lived in the same area and could walk to talk to each other?) That would save about $1200 dollars a year. Pay your family the money you save from not having a damn cell phone. Hmmm. Maybe I’m on to something.
The cell phones have crappy reception. “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!” is a frequent refrain around our house. There’s Ed leaning against the front window, holding his body just right for a signal. My friends give up and call me on the landline. There. That’s better. We yack until the battery dies. Again. A sign I need to get more stuff done. An omen that the Planet is tired of all the signals bouncing around along it’s surface. The tickle of technology. Let me tickle you to death with my chatter. sigh.
Which is what this blog entry is at this point. Mindless chatter, aimless wandering. I’ll think I’ll get back out in the sun for awhile. Burn this crap off my mind.
Oh, My! What dread runs through my veins with the bits of news I see today!
Before I continue I would like to share that my family was predominately Republican, but with common sense in the overall scheme of the day. I tend to run middle of the road most times, but for the last 20 years lean heavily toward the seeming unelectable Green Party. I’m for the Planet. Maybe I’m a Planetarian. We need a new party, so there’s my idea.
Regarding the news of Paul Ryan, I must say my skin is crawling. He would benefit from a bitch slap and a few days in the hot sun with no food or water.
In light of using Ayn Rand as a model to aspire to, I loved her writing because it helped me see another side of the human condition, and yet one could not help seeing she was a cold and bitter shrew with a wound to her heart as large as her vocabulary. Her stoic and unemotional face tells me she worked hard at creating an unfeeling male version of herself in order to be accepted and validated. She suffered and her bitterness bled through in her writing. I can relate to her, but can’t see her as heroic. This is my opinion of course, an uneducated one, if you discount the half century I’ve spent studying human behavior. I can see myself having a drink with her, and engaging her in lively debate but no way could I applaud her cold heart or philosophy. Anyone who claims her as an icon to aspire to is suspect, in my view.
But this is NOW, and the Paul Ryans and Ayn Rands are dead dinosaurs still walking about. The fact that Romney and Ryan have so much money behind them tells me the Koch’s and friends are feeling pretty desperate to top of this age with as much profit as they can before the game is over. And the only way they will LOSE the game is if we are more clever than their money. We are charged with changing our own individual lives to the degree that we make their philosophies and their products obsolete. My question for you, my “fellow Americans”, is what are you doing in your life TODAY that lends power to the New Vision for the world? This is a WE time…yes, it IS about the “individuals” and the “collective”. Individuals CREATE the collective, and the fact that all our groovy ways have bounded our population beyond what the Earth can sustain, it’s time to recognize our collective addictions and sober up! WE have to stop trying to sustain the old ways of fossil fuels and convenience. WE must create the new way of cooperation, symbiosis, and engage in behaviors that heal the very ground we are sprung from. We cannot wait for “the government” to sort this out for us. They have ridden on our backs for long enough! Take back your power and heal your own earth…your body, your mind, your soul…and work at creating an environment you would offer a new born baby, and the next 7 generations. THIS is our legacy! Not fiscal conservation. Not aspiring to be another John Galt, or an unfeeling psychopathic Ayn Rand.
So, for today, and tomorrow, I will leave my vehicle parked in the drive way. I will eat the local food and what I have gleaned from the week behind me. I will sweat and move my body through the day, relishing what is wonderful about the land, the water, and the air I breathe. I will conserve in the true spirit of the word and I will call to the next generation and assure them I am holding the vision of a healing Earth. When it is time, I will step out of my old worldly suit for the realm beyond the veil, and hope my body will help grow some nice tomatoes. My grand daughter will not have to ask me what I did to transcend the woes of the world. She will feel it in her body, and know it in her soul.