Remind me of your face

Morning, here. Filled with the dreams of the past night. I awake feeling refreshed, excited. A deep excitement stirs within, laced with gratitude.

I feel it pulsing, throbbing like an underground heartbeat. Like a river beneath the surface of the earth bursting up through artesian wells, spouting out of limestone springs. It manifests through the work of my hand as dreams taken flight, birthing foundations.

My gratitude is based on knowing the opposite of this and in the sheer pleasure of being here. Like many things one has waited for, there is often a path building up to the attainment that makes that final meeting of what was once only hoped for, dreamed of simply put, Sweet.

It is sweet to be here, like a piece of dark chocolate turned in the mouth, tasted with all sides of the tongue, the thick black complexity met with quiet delight.

I remember nights on the road close to midnight as i or Ini and I searched for a place to rest our heads, away from the road, from traffic, from the noise, urgency and often violence of a culture set apart from the rhythms of nature. Oh so many nights!!!

And as we returned from a somewhat hectic trip to town yesterday, for a meeting and grocery run, I was greeted by the soft, effervescent illumination of MoonLight filling the forest corridors, making this a new territory for me. Revealing further the nurturance of this place. How it is beginning, more and more, to be Home. A place of rest, joy, sustenance. Yes, of work, too, and of struggle. Yet overwhelmingly a nest, a comfort. My type of woodland comfort.

Cold Spring Bathing

Water purifies water cleanses water makes new

Sometimes life comes through Crystal clear. In some ways I think I may be always hoping for this. Clear sight, the ability to see to the heart of things, to get to the marrow. I have long sought for meaning in life, depth, understanding.

Being here on the land, many of my dreams are starting to unfold. This morning I wanted to bathe. At first I was upset at how that would happen. With so many systems we must make I thought I may have to go to the spring, gather water, carry it up the hill and heat it on the stove. What is usually such a simple task in our modern world would be a many hour ordeal. Yet as the day unfolded and I went down to gather water to take back up for bathing, drinking, cooking, dishes, rinsing seeds, nuts and grains, I realized I must bath in the water near the spring. I also needed to wash my hair, a task I’ve been wondering how people who live close with the earth without modern ammenities have been doing forever. How do other people care for their hair? Oiling? I would like to know some other methods.

But for today, I am blessed with sun. And I was going to take water a ways from the source and wash and rinse my hair.

As I got started I realized that this was actually going to be a powerful baptism. I could feel the voice of the land meeting my conscience pulling out anything I needed to release. Actions I needed to let go of, and thoughts and other ways of being too. A time of forgiveness and preparation was in order. A way of preparing myself to join with the land, with the spirit of this place and all of the ancestors who walked before me.

It was a very beautiful bath. Not cold at all once I adjusted- the body is very remarkable in this way, and it confirmed what I read about on various Ayurvedic and other worldwide systems about cold baying practices being more rejuvenating for the body, mind and spirit, as well as boosting the immune system.

My modern head may take more time to get used to hurdling old patterns to get down to the creek to bathe, but it was one of the most beautiful and best bathing experiences ever.

photojourney A~gust twothousandfifteen *Ozarks


In the Ozarks, there is plenty of water. Springs are especially !Magical! places full of wondrous entities invisible to the eye. And the water is delicious.


There are a plethora of old buildings ready to come down with readily usable materials. Here is an old barn that Ini is salvaging from. It’s quite possible most of the tin roof for our tiny strawbale home will come from this effort.


Aerial view of the property we’re most likely going to make a bid on this week. It’s mostly surrounded by forest (which we love), 100s of acres of which are inhabited by an ancient (70s) lesbian commune called DragonWagon. That’s Beaver Creek winding to the West. We have met the neighbors and while they are a slightly different brand of Crazy than we are (let me tell you my salvation story!), they seem to be generous, kind, and down-to-earth people (like most of the Missourians we’ve met!).


And of course, la araña… weaving her web

everything vibrates out from the center
sacred language prevails

in the midst of our violent economies, going back to the earth, where we take care of ourselves as if we are the earth *which we are


I believe this is the only way.

Day 5: a place of health, ease & rest

There is bright sun. It is morning sun in the summer. I have arrived to the platform just in time. The platform at the nearby nature preserve, the platform that sits in the middle of the wild field. There is a mowed pathway to the wooden platform. The path is full of black eyed susans, lavender bee balm, young poplars, raspberries and, as I make my way, a red tailed hawk soars across the field near the adjoining tree line. I’ve brought my journal, a book, a yoga mat and my hat. I’ve put my sun screen on and I have an extra shirt.

It is very breezy out in the middle of this field above the plants on the platform. The sun shines through the surrounding forest creating the most lovely orange glow. Being in this space allows me to feel easily thankful and I breathe deeply as I do upward & downward dog, bend over and touch my toes and reeeeach! for the sky. I practice yogic breathing exercises and expel all the stagnant air in my body. I remember many things as I do these exercises and I am again amazed at the shifting realities of consciousness – how a change in setting, posture, stretches and deep and slow or shallow and rhythmic breathing can change thoughts, perceptions and feelings- in a term, they can change reality. The air is so fresh and I’m able to deeeeeply take it in after the breathing exercises. I feel renewed, as if I am a new person with new thoughts, a more flexible body, surround and filled by a lightness without and within.

I feel the soft yet hot morning sun glaze over my skin. I adjust my pose so my face isn’t directly in it and I continue breathing and stretching until I lay on my mat for some deep relaxation, to feel how my body has changed after all of the stretches and breathing. As I lay there in silence, the birdsong plays in my ears, along with the rustling of the cottonwood tree’s leaves. The field is a place of much activity and yet, unlike a busy city, it imparts a sense of peace. A playful rejuvenation.  This field is a tonic and I give thanks again that such places exist in the midst of cities and towns, sometimes, as in the case of this one, right off the edge of the highway.

prompt: “Write in different places – for example, in a laundromat, and pick up on the rhythm of the washing machines. Write at bus stops, in cafes. Write what is going on around you.”


Day 4: walking in the green, amid the clapping leaves

“Choose a color- for instance, pink- and take a fifteen minute walk. On your walk notice wherever there is pink. Come back to your notebook and write for fifteen minutes.” from Day 4, prompt by Natalie Goldberg in Writing Down the Bones.

it is summertime and i chose green. can you imagine the amount of my fixation as i walked on the wooded path outside the house? loops and lulls around bends and through thickets, black raspberries, blooms of milkweed, a light blue sky filled with puffball clouds. i walk this path nearly everyday. i remember when they built it. from this patch of wild earth i found some of the first herbs i ever worked with. one was called pearly everlasting or rabbit tobacco. it has a sweet soft smell and a bit like warm butterscotch. i mixed some of that with mugwort and made a dream pillow. mugwort is a magical herb in one of its uses and the pearly everlasting has a calming effect; the two were quite a pair. i loved sleeping with that pillow, except when it kept me up at night because of its dream-stimulating strength. i found that my dreams were brighter, more vivid, detailed and frequent in those times after sleeping with the pillow. it was a great boost to my imagination and forging connection with the dreamtime.

every time i walk by that field, i notice that the rabbit’s tobacco is no longer there. black raspberries fill its place, along with tall grasses, cottonwoods, yellow field clover, to name a few. the rabbit tobacco is gone, but the field and surrounding forests are succeeding. they are moving to the next phase of their ecosystem growth. i’m happy to see many people take walks there.

so the green was everywhere. where was there not green? every shade of green was represented today and i felt acutely the way spending time in nature calms and simultaneously energizes me. as i stepped out of my mind and more into my body, i felt joyous, more joyous with each step. i started to become more present in my surroundings. i ate a berry and felt great thanks and excitement at this wild gift. i walked along amazed at all of the green. maples merging with japanese honeysuckle; mulberry and cottonwood. yet it was the cottonwood, of all the greens of the day, that stood out to me the most. but it wasn’t because of its green, you see. it’s because the cottonwood was clapping at me.

i am not a person to walk the same route over and over again; i make a habit of mixing it up. if i start the path one way, notoriously i must walk back another way, even if that means scrambling through briars or tip toeing around poison ivy. as i started to walk in the other direction, a huge rush of wind came past me and lit up the nearby cotton wood tree. with their fancy oval leaves all banging against one another, it made a sandpapery sound, like when you rub two hands together to make the sound of rain. they clapped and waved at me and made me feel so welcome there. it was truly a lovely experience and i felt thankful and glad.

15 Days of Writing Prompts: Day 4 ~ Color

“Choose a color- for instance, pink- and take a fifteen minute walk. On your walk notice wherever there is pink. Come back to your notebook and write for fifteen minutes.”

Greetings! Today is Day 4 of 15 Days of Writing Prompts from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. Enjoy this one today!

the mood for today: a soft breeze at the back door

If you could paint your current mood onto a canvas, what would that painting look like? What would it depict?

a soft breeze enters through the back door. you’ve been outside all day & the skin of your soles is covered with dirt. it is black and the hairs on your ankles are covered with dirt too after getting sweaty and attracting particulates that’ve gotten stuck. the gentle breeze caresses your chin; you feel its smooth demeanor on your lips. this wind feels like a kiss. and you, with your black-bottomed feet, hairy ankles and wind-kissed lips are a girl who does not shave, you are a person who believes in dirt, you are a person making love with life, a person who lets life have its way with you. you can have this mood any time that you want. you are alive & present to the earth. you are the earth & you know this in your bones, feel it coursing through your veins, celebrate it with your mind & heart. you are a child of the earth and your every cell knows this as true.

post-petulant pilgrims see through the illusion of western civilization

the dance by meganne forbes

the dance by meganne forbes

the early mornings in the jungle. so much life. a back-beat buzz, chirps, noises from who-knows… this energy is recalled this sunny morning, indiana. the crickets’ zipping symphony rings in the morning heat. and it feel as though i am on the edge of a new world.

the sun is a god, burning, and we are the post-petulant journeyers of the light. the world’s game is a facade. industrial buildings still being built while their late ancestors lay stricken across the street. many still believe in the puppet’s predictions on the tele-vision. yet many towns filled with earnest, good-hearted, hard-working folks, have already suffered the collapse of the post-industrial leave-behind. there the people know within in their gnawing tongues that grocery stores- fueled & filled by the petro-industry- are an illusion. that the whole facade of the grand triumph of western civilization is a farce and that, all along, it was a hair away … from total collapse. once the fake-paper-bills leave… and people find that there was really nothing in their bank accounts all along … that is when the gnawing starts.

but this story isn’t focusing on that side of the post-industrial collapse. this story happens way before the mass of the world sees through the facade of the unstable illusion of western civilization’s laughable triumph of personal or collective “security”. this story, as i said, is about the post-petulant pilgrims who heard the call & saw through the illusion before the emergency struck, before the industries totally collapsed, before there was no food in the grocery stores because the petro-industry couldn’t deliver. before the water & air was totally polluted beyond repair.

the crickets’ melodious symphony plays this morning as we set off, in the gaze of the great sun. there is an eerie feeling in the air, similar to the feeling of the jungle, the great-life-chamber of the universe. civilizations may collapse, but the post-petulant pilgrims set off, awakened, present, and skillfully armed with homesteading repertoire.

on the edge of a new civilization. we have drank of the grandmother juice in the jungle and we have seen the galaxies. we are present & aware on this earth. we know the power of beauty, of truth and of love. it is in this and with dreams of greenhouses, straw bales & rainwater barrels that we alight on our journey.