Here is my best attempt to break-down what these here ramblings are for me. For my heart.
I recently fought against my own better judgement (or maybe my own insecurities) and decided to share what I have been fleshing out for many years now: this intimate blog that I have had brewing both in my head and quietly on paper, waiting to ripen. Waiting for me to ripen and be ready to claim my voice and write, even when that also means completely getting over myself. It’s time. I have been fortunate enough to have been gifted with many opportunities for deep practice on standing up in the face of fear and being authentically and unabashedly me, on speaking my voice, even when I’m shaking and trembling. I have learned too that it can be specifically those times when I am shaking that there is simply no turning back, not even and not especially in the face of that fear. So here I am, it’s time.
As a piece of this, I am wanting to fill it up with links to my dear ones; to friends and loves and inspiration because building community and connections and supporting one another is so big in my mind and heart right now. I’d like to ask you to take a look, and feel it out (leave comment if so inspired, I’d be THRILLED as this is seriously nerve-wracking for this here girl- I do NOT like to be the center of attention, even online, apparently). Then, if you have a site or blog and after reading through mine feel like they could be complimentary, send me a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s swap links to our sites. As you can see, I started with my girl Brooke and her lovely meal planning at Balance Within Nutrition, and will go from there. I have a ridiculously entrepreneurial brain and loads of inspiration with sometimes (lots of times) a little (MAJOR) lack of follow through. (*ahem* Oh hello six planets in libra + tons in sagittarius + an aries moon. But also, I’m a mama.)
Pioneer Babe is a (slightly adapted) nickname coined by my dad years ago when he came to visit Isa and I at our cabin in the mountain town of Jamestown (outside of Boulder). I was soaking beans, and making kale chips and doing all the sorts of domestic + nutritional bits that were a common and necessary part of my day, and that I loved so dearly. But, as the dad of a single mama (me) struggling with supporting myself and having enough time for… anything and everything, he teased me, calling me ‘Pioneer Woman’ and begging me (gently) to be willing to take some shortcuts to simplify my life.
Pioneer Babe grew out of that visit of his, a camping trip we all took together, and my reflection on why exactly it was that these important aspects of my life that indeed can be time consuming (and require planning) WERE in fact essential to who I was then and who I am now. This is essentially my effort to tie together all the wayward and untameable parts of me as I explore and attempt to define all these aspects of myself. I want to do it ALL and this is a space for me to make peace with that as I am redefining to myself how I can do what it is that truly inspires me AND not only support myself and my little one, but also to deeply thrive.
“You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation… and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else.” ~ Herman Hesse
I got into Boulder after dark last night. The little one and I flew from Northern California to Denver yesterday morning. We met up with her papa (whom she suddenly, for the first time started calling Daddy instead of the always-used Papa, and whom she hasn’t seen for exactly one year*,) her two uncles, her ‘new baby cousin’, Wolfy, and Wolfy’s mama, as well as her dear Meena (the papa’s mama). We all had a delicious dinner, though I failed to photograph her eating a rare steak like a little wolf cub, bare hands and all. After dinner we said our goodbyes (my little one not being big on goodbyes it was more me hugging and her attempting to wriggle out of my arms) and her Meena and I headed to Boulder. It was wonderful to catch up with my ex-mother-outlaw (I know, I know) as it has been equally as long since we last saw her, if not longer.
It was sweet to the feel the ease that time brings to the dynamic that at one point was THE single most challenging of my life. It was tender to see my little one so so excited and eager to connect with her papa, and feel so much peace in sending them off to enjoy their week together, with his family and their untold adventures (though I have heard promise of not only The Butterfly Museum and The Aquarium, but also The Zoo, a movie and The Botanical Gardens). Their week will be full and busy, making sweet memories and catching up on shared love.
For me, I am taking this time to be still. To have moments to myself and get lost in thought. And nothingness. And inspiration. I am taking this week to catch up, on both work and sleep, thankyouverymuch. I woke up in Boulder this morning to this beautiful garden/yard/acreage and have yet been able to convince myself to wander anywhere else. It is magical. And I am grateful.
Here’s to catching up, and to inspiration. I am excited too for our return home, where we will finally be moving into our new home. And all that I can think of is fermenting, and cooking, and the GAPS diet bone broths I’ll start. And here’s to my coming post on my recent workshop/lecture at the Food Craft Institute in Oakland with Sandor Katz of Wild Fermentation (and more recently The Art of Fermentation). And remembering (how) to write, even when I don’t know the whats or hows, but simply for the sake of it.
*Unless you count the virtual papa sightings, which are regularly at least twice a week.
This morning, right before I spoke with a dear inspired woman in my life, I was waiting for my computer to charge so I could connect on Skype, and I stumbled onto the website for the Guerilla Grafters project. I got giddy. I signed up immediately. And posted it to my facebook page, and implored people: “Who wants to do this?! Let’s do this!” so… Who wants to do this?! Let’s do this!
To me this project ties in so sweetly with the Found Fruit groups happening throughout the Bay and beyond, where people organize a map (often times in their minds) of all the local trees (both public and private) that are either offered (in the case of private land) or left to rot (in the case of public land) and then groups of people who are wanting to forage and harvest fruit and other edible plants head out one or two times a week to the various spots that have been chosen and harvest together. Then the food is being put to use (canning/fermenting/baking) by people who are able and wanting to do it, and the people who have the food but either not the ability or the will to eat it all before it goes to waste, both come away benefiting from this communal food project.
The Guerrilla Grafters graft fruit bearing branches onto non-fruit bearing, ornamental fruit trees. Over time, delicious, nutritious fruit is made available to urban residents through these grafts. Our web application helps grafters to find graftable trees, to track how grafts are doing, and helps to facilitate gleaning of fruit. It is built by a laterally organized group using all open source code. We aim to prove that a culture of care can be cultivated from the ground up. We aim to turn city streets into food forests, and unravel civilization one branch at a time.
Because I am personally so excited and inspired by ideas like this and how to implement them starting from scratch, and in communities that might not be familiar with food foraging and/or swapping I am thinking about the presentation and wording that would most feel inviting and inspiring. What are your first thoughts when you hear about Guerilla Grafters or Fruit Harvesting groups?
Radix has been Isa’s good buddy for over a year and yesterday for the first time in his dog life, he turned fiercely and snapped at someone. Only this someone happened to be Isa. She has tiny little pink raised spots where his teeth grazed her cheek, but all in all she escaped what could have been a much worse dog bite experience. And yet she feels so betrayed. She loves Radix dearly, and could not wrap her head around why he would bite her, especially because she had just been sitting and talking with me in a relatively mellow manner (for a five-year old) and he has never been known to bite. Anything. She felt sad and he felt quite obviously guilty.
She just kept repeating: “Bad Radix, bad Radix, bad Radix”.
The time is so ripe for this dusty outlet of mine to start shaping and taking a productive form. There have been so many pieces and ideas and creations fermenting and bubbling, waiting for just the right time to be sipped at, tasted, and served to my loved ones. And to myself. I am excited to finally feel ready to write, to put these feelings to paper, and remember the lost art of writing in full sentences (thanks a lot, dear iPhone).
After having recently (six weeks going on forever) moved home to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains where I grew up, I am finding that all these different angles and avenues and paths that my life has taken, are all merging together at my feet and howling loudly, finally ready to be truly integrated. I have lived so many stories and had such a vibrant and full life thus far, and as I prepare and welcome so many new pieces I find myself also reflecting on where I have been, who I have been, and how those fit and meld into who I am now and how they shape the path that I am beginning to walk here today, in this fermented and fresh articulation of myself.
And speaking of fermenting, I am so excited to be venturing down to Oakland tomorrow to finally be attending a fermenting workshop with the master himself, Sandor Katz. When the little one truly was a little one, so many years back, and I spent my days experimenting with water kefir grains and homemade sodas, Sandor Katz was the man on my brain as I always referred back to his book, Wild Fermentation. I have never been at the right place at the right time to be able to attend one of his workshops, and I am utterly thrilled to finally have this opportunity. To have some time with dear friends in the Bay AND a workshop with this deeply inspiring and knowledgeable man? Yes. Yes, please.
I am continually floored by what the world has to offer me. If I simply let it. When I get out of my own way, and let go of my stories and ideas of what this life should look like, the beauty that is there before me never ceases to amaze me.
I find myself saying to friends: ‘ this last week has been challenging.’ And as I say it I realize that this last month has been challenging. And as I acknowledge that, I see that this last year has been. And then I step back and see that it is the last chunk of years, not just the last week, or month, or year, or even few years. Life presents challenges and we are given the opportunity to learn. and grow. What I see highlighted the most, even, and sometimes most especially in those challenges, is the tremendous amount of beauty and grace that is in my life. In these challenges I have been offered an opportunity to dive deeper, continually. to chose, each moment to face what is here and get to know, and in turn love, myself and who I am as a woman, a mother, a lover and a friend. There has been heartache and fear and everything that is to be expected, but there has also been an insane amount of grace, joy and utter bliss. It is as if in fully opening and surrendering to what is offered, I experience life more fully than I could have ever ‘pictured’. I not only feel the deep ache of the sorrow and struggle that has been a part of my life, but the deep ecstasy is that much greater, that much more palpable. I feel it to my bones. All of it. And for that I am eternally grateful. I come through stronger and more clear, I know myself more than I ever have. I have the deep desire to learn more, more, more. Always. About myself, about my friends and loves and child, and also about what is here. I am endlessly inspired. And it feels so damn good.
And at the same time, I feel the true sense of vulnerability as I commit these words to ‘paper’ and put them out to the world.
Here I am.
My mind blanks. Words long to fill this empty space and yet, where will they come from? Where do i begin to slowly and simply paint such a large and intricate picture? There is so much in my heart and so much in my head that could so easily land on this page as a sampling of who i am and the winding path my life has taken me on. But here in this moment, as mama, my little one needs me. So instead, we will jump on our bikes and ride down to the farmer’s market. Today is the beginning, and so will tomorrow be.