mission statement

what did you come here to do?

i came here to remind them of earth beauty. 

high alpine lake in peru, so high you can drink out of it,lapping like a dog

high alpine lake in peru, so high you can drink out of it,lapping like a dog

cordillera blanca trek, central peru

cordillera blanca trek, central peru

peru 1137

farmed terraces on the island of amantani on lake titicaca, South America

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July 2014 Full Super Moon Release Prayer

Let the things just drip away
Take the things you need to stay
and let the rest all fall today

Like drops of rain from the sky
Let them fall, you will not die
Instead, sweet release you will find

So let go of what you no longer need
Bit by bit they will gain speed
Downward toward the cleaning floor
They will not hold you anymore

For you must live, my dear
You must fly, my darling

You are a free spirit & life is calling!

This Full Moon, Super duper Moon
feel your grand essence take the stage
Let the masks all drop & fade
Let your self arise from within
There’s no better time to begin

Drop drop droplet mask
Of you I ask no other task
Fall fall falling face
Of unclear truth & lies & hate

What’s left is what remains was always there
it’s your own shining soul that you must bare
for yourself to see; for one and all
It’s your own grand soul that will not fall

So release, release and fear no loss!

If all else is released from grasp
All save your soul will fall & fast
Yet the soul remains, the bright lasting thing
When all else falls, it is cleaned

kelp in my stew, ocean memories, too

i smell the kelp as i prepare the big pot of lentils. i love to make dal, the traditional indian dish. i make good dal, people say. to me, it’s better than the stuff i find at indian restaurants. turmeric, cumin, curry, oregano, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and today, kelp, are the spices i add into this hearty nourishing tonic of a meal.

i smell the jar of kelp powder we bought from mountain rose herbs. it smells like the ocean and i am brought back to this time last year, living on the coastal waters of maine a stone’s throw from the penobscot bay. last year i was getting over a fear of the ocean. i have no fear of water; i love to swim & do so buoyantly. but the ocean, that terrifying, powerful, uncertain, unfamiliar world – i have harbored a fear of the ocean since childhood, ever since my dad stepped on a shark when we were in the pacific’s summer beach waters off the coast of california. my dad stepped on a little shark, i was on his back. he grew up in california and laughed it off, but i was terrified. my dad stepped on a shark. there are sharks in these waters. i am going to get bit- my leg will probably get bitten off.

greened summer bay from the shore

greened summer bay from the shore

and so the deep-seated fear set in me, creating an irrational unstoppable bodily-emotional reaction near the ocean. now this hasn’t stopped me from kayaking with sharks, scuba diving with barracudas, rays and sharks, and swimming in the ocean. but i only go so far when i am in the water: at first sign of a large fish or unclear waters, i panic. it takes a concerted effort for me to slow my breathing and remain calm in such instances because my first reaction is to jump out of the water, propelled skyward like a rocket.

with this in mind, i brought my wetsuit to maine. i had my 5 fingers shoes i use for running to wear so i could wade into the waters easily from the pebble-bottomed bay and not get scared at something slimy or moving underfoot that i might encounter on my way out. for days, i walked from my house to the ocean, a mere 100 yards. i circumnavigated the bay. i climbed and sat on rocks, meditating and watching the gorgeous sunsets, dancing in the clear light and amazing ocean air. i collected bladderwrack, a prominent seaweed left in the bay as the waters recede and dried it from the cross-beam in my room. i watched the ocean & waited for spring to pass so i could jump into its cold waters.

water from bay-level

water from bay-level

 

outward bound boat coming into dock in our bay

outward bound boat coming into dock in our bay

the ocean, some say, is our primordial home. i know this as i smell the kelp. i feel warm & held by my mother, my Great Mother, the earth, and her womb, the ocean. I feel a lifetime of creatures surround me and tell me, we’re your kin! the ocean is your home, and i know this is true. i remember this first womb of my ancestors and i feel nourished- nourished down to my cells which mirror this ocean womb in salinity and form.

that summer i jumped in the ocean time after time, mostly alone. i read accounts of the house’s previous inhabitants lying on their backs in the bay, giggling and uproarious, as sea otters do. i made friends with brother seal one afternoon and i felt so especially singled out, as if a great gift had been given to me, that this wild sea creature would take part of his day to look at me and exchange information. and i did “get over” or at least confront my fear of the ocean and its sharks & creatures of the dark who can swim faster than i, are longer in tooth and more skillful in pulling me under than i am of swimming away.

sunset from my window

sunset from my window

i swam four hours one day after running to one section of the bay and swimming the long trek around the bend back to my cove. i had panics at times during the swim, and honestly the way i made peace with them was by making peace with death. rationally i know my fear of sharks may be overstated, so i calm myself by saying, it’s unlikely you’ll get eaten. i convince myself to swim by saying, this swim, if i die in this swim, was was worth it. i can’t hide myself away under a log in order to live forever- i must do the things i want to do, even if i am afraid!

and i felt empowered through this experience and strengthened in this process. for the ocean is a metaphor for life and the womb is the symbolic and literal nest from which this life is birthed. over and over; again and again. it is that primordial stew from which we are all birthed. and, though i may have fears founded & unfounded, i must keep living, exploring & at times keening this great song of balance as long as i live.

hummingbird hope

hummingbird, there is hope in your persistent hum

there is redemption in how you wiggle that tail of yours
(which reminds me of a silverfish flapping in sunlight)

there is healing promise in your long tongue
the way it fits the thin jutting flowers of the bee balm perfectly

there is hope because you exist

real hope that
connection with earth still lives

amid wild clovers

Image

Our first commissioned collection. It feels like such a gift… to me. Claudia, owner of a bulk food/herb/tea shop a town or two away wants us to collect lemon balm & red clover blossoms. Her parents are from Peru & as I am collecting the pink & lavender blossoms into the wicker basket, I am thinking of all of the cholitas (Peruvian women from rural areas still in traditional dress & engaged in indigenous wisdom and custom) who carted various herbs, vegetables, flowers from the campo (rural area). How they would bring their mantas (Andean woven textiles wrapped around the shoulders for carrying things in, like a sack) full of cosas (things), babies, extra clothes & food for the day at market and journey there and back. Many times they would simply unfurl their manta and make mounds of papas (potatoes), medicinal wild roots & leaves, and various other cosas on top of it resting on the earth.

 

How simple, transitory & divine those markets seemed. Those formidable women, sometimes so old it seemed as if they were carved out of the mountainside, sitting by their mounds from early early morning to late in the day – at times nodding off, chuckling with friends, imploring passersby to buy their cosas. And today I am doing the simplest act of pinching the spiked globes from atop wild clover plants.

Wild plants- how different they are in comparison to cultivated ones. The wild plants do not need me in the slightest. They offer a streamline connection straight to the source, our Great Mother Earth. They are feral & resilient &, in the case of clovers, packed with nutrients from deep in the soil.

 

I feel humbled as I pick these complex blossoms thinking of all the energy that went into their flourishing. I feel the abundance of the earth in such beauty, so freely offered streaming through my hand as I wander the mountainside finding patches beneath apple tree, beside blueberry bush, in swale & amid the wilder thickets of aster & ivy, locust & tall grasses. I feel humbled as I explore the land, basket in hand, feeling excitement pulse through me akin to how I felt as a youngin’ on an easter egg hunt.

 

I am here, we are here & I get to take part in the seasonal flowerings of wild plants – their harvest and distribution. I feel so blessed beyond rationale.