Sunday, January 30, 2011

acknowledging success

It seems that along with the benefits of challenging myself to grow and explore, I sometimes suffer the undesired result of missing out on my own success. I'm re-posting a piece from last year just to remind myself what has been accomplished. I'm taking a moment to breathe it in and give thanks. I hope you'll take stock and enjoy a little reveling in the bantam victories today.

"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.

Watching my daughter make a fort with her friend the other day, I started to think about how so many of the things that bring me happiness now are not that different. I want freedom like I felt when I wandered until I found a spot that was just right and made the most of what I could find. I welcome the challenge of figuring out how much nutrition I can get from the little plot behind my house, I like the the challenge of making a small home special and brilliant and I can actually say I enjoyed all the moves to new cities, standing in an empty flat and figuring out how it could feel like home in less than eight hours. I know this connection with freedom, survival, and challenge has sculpted my life. I've given up things others have told me were important to hold on to it, and as I understand more fully what's needed from all of us, I doubt myself less everyday.

I remember reading an article with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm He was talking about the challenges of changing farming in America and how he often hears people bragging about their son or daughter who's a lawyer, or investment banker, but has never heard someone say with pride, "My son is a farmer!"

There are people who enjoy a different path to success and what this different perspective brings, we need. Hold onto that desire to be independent you felt a child, just know that real freedom might end up looking different than they told you it would.

1 comment:

  1. Love it...thank u again for sharing your thoughts and experiences.



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