The No Farm School (what is next?)

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The third era.  The third year.  I have been thinking about this blog.  I started it because I love to write.  I have filled dozens and dozens of notebooks in my life of thoughts, ideas, rants, rejoices, to-do lists, plans, and prayers.  The blog is a more public journal but one I don’t mind sharing.  Farmgirl School was such a fitting name.  I was going through farming 101 in life and as I wrote it I learned so much with the encouragement and ideas from readers.

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A year ago this week we moved to what we thought would be our possible forever farm, but of course it was a detour.  Sometimes life does that, teaches you lessons when you would rather it not.  I walked away from my greatest gift.  I am a good writer.  I am an excellent dancer.  But I AM an herbalist, a medicine keeper, a plant healer.  I possess the knowledge of my ancestors, things I knew that I didn’t know how I knew, passed down and that should be put to use.  More important than dancing or writing even.

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I love growing my own food, but I also love finding wild foods.  I loved having livestock, but the kitties are good too.  I love living simply.  I learned the hard way that one can really never be self sufficient and I spiraled back quickly into total dependence on my community and my friends.  I still continue to learn.

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A couple offered to carry a note on a house for us but then with nary a full text disappeared and we haven’t heard from them since!  Every step leading us back to where we are best suited.  In nature, living simply, with a community apothecary.

I considered not writing anymore since I do not have a farm per se.  But, I decided that even though I don’t have a farm, the real idea behind this blog was to write and record.  So, the name doesn’t fit (perhaps it will again in the future!) but I am still here writing.  Maybe it would be better suited as Grammie School, or Herbal School, or the like.  Who knows!

I suppose I will lose some readers because I am not canning, gardening, milking, or much else but making medicine right now, but I am still alive and following a very interesting journey.  Those of you that are sticking around, I’ll see you in the pages to come!  I think it is going to get interesting.

Listening to Intuition and Dreams

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In one of my favorite travel memoirs, “On Mexican Time” by Tony Cohan he notes that it takes about three weeks to completely relax and decompress.  It has been three weeks since we arrived at our temporary home with good friends.  And the longer we are here the more I begin to feel my tense muscles relax, the tears come less and less, and clarity is ever more present.

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I had a dream after we saw the homestead in Calhan the first time.  I dreamt that the landlords were chasing us and the feeling of dread I felt upon waking trying to escape that house made me decide that we should not move there.  But the low rent and my sweet intern’s prompting made me think I was being ridiculous.  I have a gift of discernment.  I can look in someone’s eyes and know if they are telling the truth or if they mean harm.  The last tenants left in the middle of the day leaving everything behind and never came back.  I knew there was something not right, but I dismissed my own intuition in the name of $700 rent and a possible forever homestead.  And as the tension grew and it got more and more unbearable, Shyanne had a dream that they had set the house on fire and that she saw the cats burning and since that child has the same gifts as I do, we hurried to get out of there a bit faster.  We would hear her screaming into the phone outside our house ranting about my blog.  I had to shut my phone off so I couldn’t receive more stalking texts from her demanding more money.  When we came the last time to clear the rest of our things, half of it was piled in a huge jumble outdoors and the rest had been picked over.  We left for good.  I should have listened to that original dream.  Turns out a friend of ours has a friend who was a dairy farmer in Calhan who had heard of that couple and their con.  They get people in for very low rent, make them feel sorry for them (he is in a wheelchair), the tenants improve the property, pay rent in advance, then get forced out with fake breaches in the contract.  Never, ever doubt your gut feelings.

So, when I had a dream that I should not go work at the restaurant, I listened.  Even though we are down to fifteen dollars, I must not second guess my intuition.  We need to listen.  We have food, and drink, and clothes, and shelter, and our two bills are paid.  We need to listen.

Last night I had a dream that our family were all in boats, canoes sort of, wading through crystal clear waters in a lagoon in the mountains.  The boats peacefully cut through the silent waters.  It was warm and sweet.  A time of respite.

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My work with medicines is a beautiful calling but one that can be draining and sometimes dangerous.  I have much work to do.  We have new places to be, our favorite communities to be a part of, and a future home and people to help.  This is my opportunity for respite.  Something I most definitely fight against.  But there are no mandatory chores to do right now.  No places to be necessarily and no deadlines.  Just time and space and thoughts.  Cups of tea and mountainsides, writing books and dreams to listen to.

The Discombobulated Farmer

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I can’t seem to wake up at dawn anymore.  I hear a rooster crowing from down the street.  I hear my goat, Isabelle, yelling for food at her new home two blocks away.  I try to push the pit out of my stomach.  The heaviness will not lift.  I turn over and fall into listless sleep.  I find myself falling asleep in the car, crying suddenly, and feeling hopeless.  I guess I am experiencing a bit of depression.  Without a to-do list I feel bored and useless.  For the first time in my life I do not have a job that helps people.  I do not have a job at all.  I wonder if I fell off the face of the earth would anyone notice.  I am not feeling suicidal, just struggling with who I am without a purpose, a to-do list, a goal, a dream, a busy life.

We used to dream of these days.  We would read and write and walk and be on a kind of vacation.  However I am struggling with my own identity and fate and rewriting the chapters has proven more difficult than I imagined.  To be fair, it hasn’t been that long.  Perhaps I will fall into a gentle wave of security.  The characters in the novel I am working on introduce themselves and create themselves in times of silence.

We need to finish up at the house that destroyed me.  Giving all of my possessions away has been an interesting venture.  Folks that were in the very same situations as ours gather replacements for things they lost to give homesteading another go.  Our goal with the farm and homesteading school was to encourage folks to be more self reliant and to try homesteading.  And in a twist of fate our final chapter was to give people what they needed to set up shop.

For years Doug and I have given things away.  Given gifts.  Given medicines.  Helped people out.  Helped wherever we were needed but now that the tables are turned, so to speak, I find that it was easier to give then to receive.   To receive a blessing is to be humbled and thankful.

Our friends have opened their home to us and our cats.  As cat people they know that giving away our felines would be the final knife to me.  To lose my cats is unthinkable.  I struggle with feeling awkward in their home, with being in the way, with being a nuisance.  Rodney and Pat took us on a trip.  Monte and Erik took us out to dinner.  Kat and Rod bought us lunch and helped us move.  Sara helped us move the cats.  Kim and her family came and cleaned out the dreaded refrigerator at the near empty house.  Thank you.  It is not easy to be in need.

At a particular low point we pulled into the library and to my surprise my girls happened to be there.  Those three smiles can brighten my day.  Friends out of nowhere showed up and invited us to an event.  We have been visiting.  Grandma broke her knee and is recovering well in a rehab.  Thompson had a heart attack and two strokes.  He, too, will be alright and it was nice to visit him.  We saw our son, Andy, and his girlfriend yesterday.  Our schedule is free to reconnect and visit with folks.  I must open my eyes and see the blessings before me.  To humbly accept.  To be grateful.  To embrace this new path into the unknown.  To free myself of this heaviness and enjoy the greatest blessing, LIFE.