Yesterday I celebrated my forty-third birthday. As my family sat around the kitchen table, eating pizza, talking and laughing about mishaps in the barn, or challenges at work, I could feel the richness of the moments unfolding. All of us taking time to come together and listen to each other, laugh at each others stories, and honor who each of us are.
The day had been full of those moments, like opening the gift of a painting of the WelcomeTree, or the bee that was carved for me because she knows that’s what I am into, or the card that was full of words like thoughtful, balanced, fun and stand up for goodness, or the bird house that was built for me because I had mentioned it would be nice to see the birds outside my kitchen window, or the calls and messages that made me smile simply because I was thought of.
I am reminded by all of the kinds acts of yesterday that they really do matter, and little by little they lift us up to get a better view of who we are. Sincere words, actions and gifts somehow reflect to ourselves a clearer picture of who we are and what is possible.
The painting of the WelcomeTree, or the little wooden bee, or the written and spoken words of the day stirred love and compassion in my soul and made me want to be a better person. That is what we do for each other when we come from love and really see, accept, and cherish who people are. It puts in perspective the power of love without an agenda.
This is what I want at the core of WelcomeTree Farm. A place to share that powerful love, joy, art, and healing while connecting, collaborating and creating with the abundance of the earth.
Thank you for all of the love that inspires me to keep adventuring, thinking, reflecting and being who I am.
“The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and airExercise and diet.These six will gladly you attend If only you are willingYour mind they’ll easeYour will they’ll mendAnd charge you not a shilling.”— Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990” ― Wayne Fields
“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.”
― Abraham Lincoln
Gardens invite me to think, process, heal, and discover.
Even before the ground has ever been turned and tended, the open untamed spaces tell me things about myself and what I believe. I remember pulling up to our land in Wisconsin shortly after signing the papers to call her our new home and experiencing a feeling I can only describe as awe. When we stepped out of the car, looked around and took that deep breath, I now know I experienced my first garden. A garden full of trees, squirrels, flowers, sunshine, hooting owls, darkness and undeniably powerful possibilities. This was a place to weed through life’s questions, remember what really is, and ponder my place in the world.
Planning a garden also sends me the great invitation to higher thought. The garden is in my mind, as I weave my way through onions and potatoes, into my heart and happiness, pain and suffering, past the scratching chickens and under the trellis of blooming Morning Glories. A chronic illness last summer left me feeling like the tiny seeds in the dark of the soil, madly trying to find their way to the sun or the spindly little cherry tomato plant that we were ready to put out of its misery, barely able to hold itself up. But again, the garden teaches me. Those tiny seeds hold within them a brilliance that should make us weep, and the spindly tomato plant just needed time, love and a little support to find it’s abundance.
Each of the five gardens we have planted have painted a picture of that present moment. There is the one of me squatting down, breaking off my first purple bean or me triumphantly pulling a giant Canadian Thistle or me sitting at the entrance of the abundant garden sipping tea with my husband or the one where I am gone and the garden is left alone. They all have a single word written below them that describes the main lesson of that year. My first year was courage. The second was persistence. The third was grief. The fourth was weary. The fifth was anxious. If I could predict the sixth, I think I would choose the word restored.
Thoughts of this year’s garden inspire me to honor the greatness within all of us. To transcend the trappings of culture, think boldly, live mindfully, love fully and connect with Universe. We are all like the tiny seeds and the once spindly tomato plant, full of brilliance and our own unique greatness.
“. . . every society that grows extensive lawns could produce all its food on the same area, using the same resources, and . . . world famine could be totally relieved if we devoted the same resources of lawn culture to food culture in poor areas. These facts are before us. Thus, we can look at lawns, like double garages and large guard dogs, [and Humvees and SUVs] as a badge of willful waste, conspicuous consumption, and lack of care for the earth or its people.
Most lawns are purely cosmetic in function. Thus, affluent societies have, all unnoticed, developed an agriculture which produces a polluted waste product, in the presence of famine and erosion elsewhere, and the threat of water shortages at home.
The lawn has become the curse of modern town landscapes as sugar cane is the curse of the lowland coastal tropics, and cattle the curse of the semi-arid and arid rangelands.
It is past time to tax lawns (or any wasteful consumption), and to devote that tax to third world relief. I would suggest a tax of $5 per square meter for both public and private lawns, updated annually, until all but useful lawns are eliminated.”
― Bill Mollison
How can we help reduce hunger? Follow this link to learn more: http://www.worldhunger.org/reduce.htm.
A place to begin…
1) Contact a local church or community center and find out if there are any families struggling with food insecurity.
2) Bake the bread and share. Collect the eggs and share. Grow a ginormous organic garden and share. Share, share, share, share, share, share, share.
3) Be grateful for all we have even if it seems like we always need more, more , more.
“Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.”
― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
Here is an inspiring video of Parker Palmer, a man who set me on the path towards vocation over 7 years ago. I read his book Let Your Life Speak many times a year to re-inspire me on the journey to listen instead of tell.
“Not a single bee has ever sent you an invoice. And that is part of the problem – because most of what comes to us from nature is free, because it is not invoiced, because it is not priced, because it is not traded in markets, we tend to ignore it.”
– Pavan Sukhdev, United Nations report, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity.
Love this post…
If you’ve ever watched the bees on a Poached Egg Meadowfoam (Limnanthes Douglasii), you will want to grow some for your bees. Last year I bought 12 plants from my friendly nursery (101 Plants). The bees were on them everyday. Unfortunately, the deer discovered them, and mowed them down. This year I’m happy to say I found a source for seeds. I’m buying 1000seeds for under $5.00 from Outside Pride in Oregon. With that many seeds, I can scatter them in quite a few areas (fenced in, this time). The bees will love them and so will I.
I was under the mistaken impression that Meadowfoam was grown mostly in Oregon and Northern California, but I see…
View original post 181 more words