“I think what we owe each other is the celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.” –Vandana Shiva
For a while, I’ve been struggling with the concept of stability. It’s never really been my style but as I grow closer to yet another birthday I do get concerned about balanced health and financial stability and things like: will I be able to take care of my parents and aunt/uncle (they don’t have any children) when they are much older? Suburban lifestyles seem to center on stability as the thing I should be doing and what I should be aiming for.
However, I came to the realization that maybe my ups and downs in intellectual thought, emotional health, physical well-being, and spiritual reflection isn’t such a bad thing. They oscillate back and forth like a sine or cosine curve and so maybe there’s a sense of stability in the oscillation; it just keeps flowing. The joy and fulfillment I feel at the farm intertwines with the struggle of how do I come up with the $$ to buy land and make farming a viable livelihood for myself and help take care of my family + future family. Or at work, there is this contrast I feel between the struggle of feeling beat down with tiredness as a minimum wage laborer + dealing with passive aggressive co-workers + the high influx of orders and the learning I’m taking in as I think about how to build a cooperative restaurant enterprise that can still be financially solvent when the success rate of most restaurants is like less than 30%.
Even though thinking about all of this can turn into a headache, I’ve been trying to take the approach of stepping away from the word “should” and moving into a place of “be.” I’ve been super grateful to my teammates at the farm: Laurette, Melissa, Maya, and honorary member Sabriel.
The amount of laughter and chuckling over just the smallest things creates so much joy. We’ve created a whole other world for ourselves at the farm. We’ve slowly been establishing our underground radio network WHOO 37.1 centered on whoo.. is coming to the farm or is already at the farm. We got a special segment called ooo D2 we listen to you… So much beauty that comes from imagination and the plethora of streams, tributaries, and side segments it gives birth to. Just the other day we had a little circle gathering where Sabi prepped us some daikon we found in the pasture as we shared our taste buds and experiences.
I’ve never really engaged in that kind of fun on a farm. It makes me regret some moments I’ve had on the previous farm I was working at where I was much more focused on the work that had to be done or felt overwhelmed with how much had to be done. However there’s also a kind of “productivity” that also happens with just having fun and enJOYing each other and the farm. What a sanctuary and sacred place Sarvodaya Farm is. Thank you to all who have contributed to its magic. Joy and the celebration of life are active pieces in the future I am working to bring to reality. The more I stay my course and engage and leverage resources from what is around me, I’m confident I will slowly keep building towards a future that hopefully will benefit generations beyond me.
(there was also a video but the file size was too big… sorry!)
Happy International Women’s Day. I chuckled at this Vandana Shiva quote: “Patriarchy is based on appropriating rights and leaving responsibility to others”- I think she’s being too polite here when really it tends to lean towards appropriating rights and taking credit while leaving the responsibility and burden/work to women; or it’s something I’ve definitely experienced in many settings including work and home.