First of all…wishing all of the moms an Awesomely Blessed Happy Mother’s Day!
I had a wonderful, but painful week! It’s incredible how I not only am a grandma, but “feel like a grandma”! This week was a killer for me! I woke up Thursday morning wondering if I could actually make it through this program! 😰 EVERYTHING literally hurt! I stayed in bed all day, not being able to move.
Friday, I think everyone felt sorry for me, so my job was to “simply observe”. I felt useless. Thank God someone suggested that I could water, so I felt as if I was contributing. LOL!
Hopefully, I’ll be able to survive the next few weeks so my subsequent entries will be of more substance.
Have a great week everyone! 👍😀
It occurred to me on Friday that I have long, elaborate conversations with the chickens on the farm…only these dialogues are all in my head. I’m usually the first one in the morning to use the bathroom and I find myself enjoying the walk because I get to pass and chat with the chickens. They cackle and I smile. They plead to let me out of their coop and as I pass by I laugh out loud hearing their disgruntled commentary. I haven’t been trained on working with the chickens yet, but I look forward to kickin’ up some dirt with them.
This weekend, I remembered Rishi saying that hens, like female homo sapiens, grow…well, eggs, and hens lay unfertilized eggs everyday. Essentially, he said, hens have their period everyday. That got me to thinking. That’s like a time warp of one day equalling one month. That’s quite a lot of activity happening in those feather brained bodies! What if humans experienced this fast forwarding existance? Would our life span be as long (or as short) as a chicken? Would we do everything we were meant to do in that time? Then again, there are much fewer expectations of a chicken. I mean, really…wake up, cluck, eat, poop and lay eggs, repeat. But it got me thinking about what our human purpose really is. Weather it’s learning about how we are part of a larger circle of life, or providing nourishment for a community, or just being willing to experience all the ups and downs with complete acceptance of life’s imperfection, there’s a lot going on in this humanness.
But I feel a sense of relief that one day does NOT equal one month. That we have more drive and purpose that to just eat, cluck and lay eggs. And that we can make a difference with every seed we plant, every conversation we enjoy, with every moment that passes. And that’s nothing to cluck about.
A few days before Holly’s early demise…
Sabi had gathered up sow bugs aka rollie pollies and was feeding them to her.
Mom: Is it hard to feed them to her, because you really like them? (knowing that he loves rollie pollies, calls them his friends, and likes to play with them alot)
Sabi: Yes…but well…I want to give her something that she loves.. (said with a sigh and a sense of wide understanding)
Though very sad, he accepted her being eaten by a predator, in much the same way.
Sunday, for Spring Equinox, we went to the local trail. It was so cool to see all the plants in full bloom. We harvested chickweed, mallow, wild radish and nettle. And took them home to eat. All these things are also growing everywhere at the farm.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that the definition of a weed is just ‘a plant that is unwanted somewhere.’ In our family, we eat the edible wild plants (what others call weeds). They are actually very nutritious. And if you prepare them the right way, they can be tasty too. For instance, we took the nettle (that we harvested with gloves on) and sauteed it in coconut oil. It develops this crispy, buttery flavor that is very tasty!
I was surprised when we started at the farm how uncomfortable it was for me to squat and plant seedlings in the fields. So honestly, when I moved to the field team I was worried…but also ready for a challenge. Recently, I have been very inspired by John Robbins’ book “Healthy at 100” which challenges our limited views of aging and explores features of centenarian culture, including; plant centered (but not vegan) eating, exercise through lifestyle (i.e .farming and walking), community, rest, balance. Before this, I was starting to consider myself ‘old’ at 42 and settle for limited physical ability. After reading the book, I am embracing an attitude of youthfulness and seeking every opportunity to incorporate exercise in my life.
So with that in mind, when Katie asked me to plant this entire seed tray of cilantro, although I freaked out a bit internally, I breathed into it. I should mention, I have an injured muscle behind my right knee that makes it even harder to squat/kneel. So I paced myself. Usually, when we plant a bed, it is with a few of us and the many hands make light work. But this time, it was just me. Though it really was a challenge, I felt proud of myself when I was finished, and relished another opportunity to grow out of patterns of ease and inactivity into purposeful, wholesome action.
You can’t get me to walk a treadmill or go for a run…but I will gladly rake, garden, shovel mulch…and now ‘plant seedlings.’ All of these forms of exercise that are connected to the earth, and include the sensual experience of the earth…hands in soil, woodsy scent of mulch, beauty of all plant and insect life, satisfaction of being part of the earth’s innate processes….are fun and therapeutic forms of exercise; my kind of bootcamp.
I’m hoping in time, to be able to squat like Manju and Chika 😉
Sabriel has not been wanting to be interviewed lately and we are respecting his wishes.
He continues to enjoy the farm, asking excitedly every day, “Is it a farm day?” and when it is, hopping out of bed, eager and purposeful.
He bounces around from team to team throughout the day, and likes to help wherever he can. He also assumes his own activities. Here he is washing the oranges he has foraged from the fruit to be composted. He washes the oranges then shares them with all interns. (The other day he even brought an orange from home for Melissa because she had admired an orange he brought the day previous. )
He tends to prefer the chicken team and spends alot of time with them!
He has been watching the Romanesco grow nearly as tall as him! We are looking forward to watching it burst into seed production.
Its been awhile.
The hardest part about creativity is keeping it over time. Even as I think about what genuine creativity is, I realize that some of the most creative parts of life aren’t recognized as such. Truly, the most creativity any person can have starts with that person being themselves. I’m confident that I am not alone in this – I have and will spent a majority of my life not being fully true to myself. Perhaps it is impossible for somebody to be fully true to themselves, yet we have every opportunity to try our best. And so I reach this conclusion – glory comes not always in the achievement, though it can still be had in our attempts (Anyways, I’ll stop getting off topic now). Lately, I’ve put so much focus on letting the unimportant things go. I’ve spent so much time reconsidering who I am in the midst of my surroundings. Ultimately, I’ve just decided to smile more. All of that said, I am getting better at capturing the fullness of my days, and taking joy in my efforts.
Creativity actually has very little to do with paintbrushes and poems and pictures. Creativity is about living in the right frame of mind, which starts by making every moment joyful. I understand that some times are harder than others, but if you can find something to be thankful for, something to look forward to, and simply something to laugh about, you’ve truly found creative genius.
On the farm, creativity is watering seeds, patiently waiting for them to germinate, wrestling the slivers of doubt as you wonder if you even put seeds in your plug tray, and bursting with excitement as the first leaves burst through the ground.
Creativity is chasing the chicken through their run, excited to hold one in your arms, and entertaining yourself over what the chicken might be thinking as you meet them eye to eye.
Creativity is living – every single day.
This week at the farm we demolished a mulch pile! We put mulch everywhere. We put some in the back where the chickens are, in the chicken run and behind it. We also added to the path that was being made on the left side of the farm.
Oh this week we let the chickens out! It’s been fun figuring out their personalities. I’ve already named six chickens including two of the black ones. There are Holly, Jackie, Falla…those are ones that Laurette helped me name. Then there is Sweetie, she’s the small bantam hen. Then there are Crowna and Calli, two black hens, Australorps.
On Friday, we had a feast and a book discussion with Elinor. I really liked the vegan tamale casserole!
I look forward to next week:)