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.”
first heat: collecting
second: there’s heat in sawing
lastly, in winter
light of skies, fire flies
evening flame, from near & far
grace our dark evening
stamp on my forehead
beautiful solomon’s seal
dangling wild & free
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.
toward the nectar like
us all, irresistible
pull of beauty calls
me as human is an energy being, a creature with 2 legs & 2 arms. i can only do so much, really. me as a human only has so much capacity, yet through this capacity i can hold the space for something so much greater than myself. this is what i feel called to do.
i want to hold space for a space to flow through me. i want to hold the fort down of a place where the following can be found:
- spaciousness: to feel spirit & breathe deep
- ancient: reflecting deep cyclical forces from which we all originate; not for quick profit, not for quick anything
- mater: deep presence of connection with mama earth
- meeting place: where people can congregate & grow
- home & hearth: feeling of warmth, coziness
- wilderness: large pieces of wild land (undisturbed by humans)
- purity: clean air & protection from pollution
- art: expression, vision, creativity, innovation
- secret nooks
- streams: fresh, clean, flowing water
- mystery room
- abundance: food forests, alignment with earth’s ways, permaculture gardens
this place reflects spirit connection. i am just a human with 4 limbs, a brain, a pumping heart. yet i could hold the space for infinite forces to move through me. may this space have the chance to grow through me and others. give me the courage to be embodied and hold the space for this. amen.
We hold out for the hope of something yet unknown. Or we stumble upon it and remember what is possible. It is like the unexpected surprise of the every-time glory of fire flies in a field. Or the way the sun sets casting light through a window. These are the gifts of life that we cannot originate. We can only put ourselves in the way of them. It is my treatise that homesteading is a similar act filled with similar gifts (and of course challenges, but there are already enough reasons not to do it – it is time to write for the reasons to do it). It is my knowledge that the act of homesteading, apart from being filled with many nameable gifts, will also be filled with many unexpected surprises that can only be known by immersing oneself fully in it.
Listening to an interview with Lynx the re-wilder the other day she says, and I have certainly felt this too, that when taking a wilderness trip you must give yourself a month to get a week of purity. That is, two weeks in the beginning spent immersing and letting go of whatever you carried into the wild, one week actually being present, and the last week spent on the anxiety of return to the past life. From the surface, it looks like a month in the wilderness, yet once lived, how much of it actually feels like time in the wilderness?
All along the way, there is only so much one can plan and know. There is only so much we can envision. Then we must simply put ourselves in the way of it. Then there is the unexpected surprise of life that we put ourselves in the way of. A starry night with shooting stars. Priceless. A home without the buzz of electricity. Deeply soothing. A forest walk finding a myriad of natural treasures. The meat of life.
I just finished watching Man on Wire, a documentary film about a French man who walked across a tight wire between the world trade center towers in 1974. He encourages to live life on the edge, never repeating, never living from the past, but on the edge, as an act of artistic expression in itself in the moment. It takes such a leap to homestead, also.