"O Pioneers" (after the Walt Whitman poem) was written last year while we were living in our much loved, micro-farm, row-house in the city. I was exploring my relationship with my surroundings, my connection with farming, animals and my desire to experience a hands on connection with our food and wild spaces. I realized the experiences I treasured from my childhood couldn't be recreated at nature camps or parks. If I wanted that for our family I had to honor my own values; I had to stick with it even if it seemed far-fetched... or nearly impossible.
Well, here we are on a farmette at the foot hills of the mountains. There are challenges every day and monetary quick fixes are not in the cards, but instead of making a list of all the things I want and need I'm here to shove them to the side and say, "I did it!" Time is tricky - it can twist our perception and impatience drains our gratitude, but I was there and now I'm here and thankful's what I am.
Pioneers! O Pioneers!
When I was little I loved wandering away from the house and making a little home in the woods out of branches, blankets, and whatever I could haul along in a backpack or pillow case - these are some of my favorite memories. I learned a little about the trees and plants from my parents and would gather anything I knew I could eat - bunches of dandelion, sassafras, and mulberries. I loved the feeling of having my life in my own hands - it was a thrill to imagine I had to survive on the meager offerings of the forest.