Recognition and Resilience

 

I was barefoot chillin’ in the garden, crushing fragile eggshells left over from our breakfast onto the wet soil housing la verduras (the vegetables) that I had so lovingly sown and protected from seed. I had planted pole runners with the hopes of finding something to let them train up, but had not. The plants were weaving and twining around themselves, so heavy, they had fallen over, but grew on and I learned something valuable. I often do in the garden.

Resilience is doing what one must and noticing the journey along the way.

It is telling stories (true though they may be) to yourself and your family and the divine that you have purpose and hope. It’s embracing the pain and the beauty and the fragility. I’m not breathing easy, by any stretch, but I am peaceful and I am grateful.

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A long time coming

I’m not quite ready to return to the writing-sphere, though I am itching to get back into it, specifically in regards to my permaculture/gardening blog Concrete Connection. Jae has been an awesome helpmate in getting the garden pushed further and further along. I’d lost a lot of motivation there, for a few months.

The one year anniversary of my mother’s death has recently passed, and we’re healing but it’s still fresh. The pumpkin is right on track, developmentally, to be a raging threenager. Ooh! Toddlers are a lot of work! And now we’re expecting a kiddo 2.0 for late January. I’m pretty sure if one kid is hard, two is insane, but we’re thrilled to open our hearts and our arms to another little life.
I’ve got some prioritizing and organizing to do. I’m working closely with my o.b. to keep my health and poppy’s in good shape. (I’m calling kiddo 1.4 “poppy” until we know more about his or her sex – (s)he was the size of a poppy seed when we found out I was pregnant.) But, I don’t have enough energy or hours in the day to tackle every project that sounds like an amazing idea, even with the beautiful and tireless wife’s help. I’m grateful for the harvest season and praying we can get a late harvest out of the garden and sow the seeds for an early start next year.

Frothing at the Soul

If you’re ever in a snit, go shovel a mound of something heavy. After an hour, re-assess how you feel. It certainly turned my day around.
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You can see the “watermark” on the bottom photograph. I’ve made a perceptible difference in the wild area, but it’s going to take many long hours to fully excavate and build it up. I’m grateful for the help of my friend’s kids when we can get together.  They recently (last week) signed up. They want to help and it’s a good arrangement. There’s 3 of them! and they’re each excellent children. I’m helping them prepare a portfolio of this endeavor as if it were a professional project.

I’m reading a book called “Beautiful You” by Rosie Molinary. It’s a day by day guide to ‘radical self acceptance’. I was introduced to it by my friend. I’m not going to share the exercises here but it seems like a pretty amazing way to positively rebuild your psyche in a year.  Hopefully you’ll see that change in my writing as much as any review I may give it.

I’m also reading a story called “I Will Survive: My Fight with the Big C” By Bernice Swann. She’s an excellent writer. I’ll review it when I’m finished reading it.

I also stumbled across Map My Tracks Google app. It’s ramped up my anxiety terribly to be so nakedly and consciously exposed to a corporate entity. I take comfort in the fact that I’m not that interesting and the geeky pleasure of having a visual guide to my treks which is encouraging me to go further and faster and more often.

A study in January

Today has been a red letter day – The sun is shining, the skies are brilliant, the temperature is mild AND the pumpkin was interested in going outside to play. We bundled up and headed into the wild area to begin our excavation. We studied worms and chased potato bugs. we shoveled and shoveled and shifted dirt and made a nearly perceptible dent. 2 years old is proving to be super awesome, despite having to carefully navigate the big feelings.

As our time wound down we stripped our feet bare and plunged our toes deep into the freshly turned earth. “COLD!” cried my pumpkin with excitement and distaste – as only a toddler can.
I agreed and as he ran away to amuse himself yelling at worms I felt my toes go instantly numb against the wet heavy clay dirt. I registered the freezing wet travel up my pant leg as the heat of the sun licked along my back. I felt the insects scurry out from under my weight and the fungus and bacteria breath the barest hint of heat against my self in acknowledgement of kin.  I tasted salt and change shifting in alternating currents on the wind, ushered in with bird songs. Crow, Robin, Chickadee and Seagull each attended in loud abandon. I breathed a deep breath of release and soaked in the precious few moments of zen.

“All done, backyard, Mummy!”

Plan interruptions

What the hell has been going on?

I’ve been weening myself away from social media because I’m processing a lot of less pleasant emotions. Transitioning. Nothing beats painful personal growth to temper the sweetness of life. I have been keeping myself busy by devoting myself to counting my breathing, crocheting gifts and decorations, teaching the kiddo about the season changes.

There is some intense sweetness in parenting. The kiddo and I are starting to really get to know each other. We’ve been listening to bird calls and examining itty mushrooms that seem to have blossomed everywhere. His remarks on all of the things he is observing around him are brilliant and kind. I love to hear his voice.

To bring it back on topic, the idea is that, lately every act I engage in has become a sort of meditation. A way to not be trumpeted and buffeted into feeling any particular way unless I choose to experience it. It’s a good place for the time being as I stew over my long term goals.

Lastly, what a blessing my yarden has been. There is no geekier pleasure than to physically reap the visual and nutritional gifts from outside. Now my vines are all filling with fruit. Squashlettes, full squash, pumpkins and re-growth on my cabbage stalks. I’m waiting for the opportunity to get out there and work on cleaning it up and turning over the compost, adding some fertilizer via local chickens and livestock.

Have a delightful Samhain, friends.

Abundance

This is my favorite transition period. Especially here in the PNW. The days are crisper, shorter and if you sit still for just a moment you can smell the earth settling. I harvested my cabbages, a cuke, the last of the beans, tomatoes and lots of kale/collard greens. I’m out of jars but pumpkin season is coming! I’m hoping to get one good glean in a pumpkin field to make enough puree for chilli, pies, lasagna, for the entire winter and spring…I heart pumpkins.

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This is part of my backyard landscape – Wild roses. It’s nearly time to collect hips for jamming and drying.

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You know what they say: No proof means it never happened….I have been gifted with a TON of delicious Italian plums. Ready to eat right NOW plums. So! I made fruit leather for the first time. I welded it to the aluminum foil and now I’ll try again with parchment paper. However, It was easy, time consuming and delicious. Here’s the welded first attempt. (I was able to salvage a lot of it)

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But, word to the wise? It takes a lot more fruit than it says.

I’ve been geeking out over vegan kitchen witchery. I’m not saying we’re switching to 100% vegan, only that it’s expanding our diet significantly and allowing us to cook sapid, inexpensive meals.

It’s been a long week and I’ve run out of steam to get too involved here yet. I hope to share some Northern Lights photographs tomorrow…we’ll see if I can stay up that late.