Anjali inside the tape that marked the outline of the palapa, which is now built.
Coupla' lunatics on their way back from doin' some work.
Outdoor kitchen bliss.
In the dirt.
Sunset on the nearby La Ribera beach.
Headlamp matched by moonlight.
We're moving to Mexico!
This is the sentence that keeps dancing through my head lately. Not just a dream, though I dream about it plenty; not just a fantasy, though it is fantastic to me; not even a goal, but soon: a goal reached. And when I wake up in the middle of the night to pee or by some noise outside our urban bedroom window, if I don't go right back to sleep you can be sure that I'm thinking about details of that big piece of dusty dirt in southern Baja.
We're moving there in December. And delightfully ~astonishingly~ there is a small band of fellow lunatics who will be joining us for a while to howl at the moon Baja-style. When we get there we'll be sleeping in our tent under the big palapa, while we build an earthbag structure to shield us from the elements at night. We'll be taking solar-heated showers and composting our poop. Adopt a flock of chickens almost immediately for eggs and scorpion duty(!), and soon after, some dairy goats!
From there the list of daydreams goes on and on. Happily, I have returned to journal-writing this year. It has been a fertile time to write. Very often I spend pages and pages visualizing the many (eventual) facets of living there at Lumbini Gardens. :-) Right now it is a flat piece of dust with a hill of cacti. But in my mind it is a thriving permaculture jungle oasis that attracts people from around the world to study and teach and build and plant and harvest, to make and contribute art, lively conversation, music and dance, around a table filled with produce we harvested after a rewarding day of cultivation and tending (Tiffanie romantic run-on at its best, right there!). I see my family thriving from being in a much more relaxed culture, and from simple, Earth-based day-to-day living. Hands in the dirt, skin regularly bathed in bright sunshine, sunsets reflected off the ocean, evenings by crackling firelight and starshine.
And in between are all the juicy, dirty, nitty-gritty details. ;-) Learning to live in a foreign culture. Really use a different language for everyday getting by. Learning permaculture ~ not just the theory in books, but played out on real land with its own particular medley of circumstances. Deciding from deep experience on favorite and least favorite parts of outdoor-based living. Animal husbandry. Living in the desert, and away from American West Coast city amenities. Haha. These are the ones that my mind gets cranking on if I don't fall back asleep at night.
It is at the far-reaches of what I personally consider possible. It is far from the existence I witness around me in Standard America. It is what I've always wanted. Beginning in my childhood when Laura Ingalls Wilder's books and visits to my grandparents' working farm were forever-imprinted on the landscape of my imagination, to college literature classes falling in love with the world and worldview of Wendell Berry, to recent times when all I see is pointing me back to the ways of our ancestors, this is what makes sense to me. This is what I see myself doing.
this is a quote for which I haven't found the official source yet, but it is attributed to the Hopi Elders. It feels appropriate here.
...Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we've been waiting for.
I'm having such trouble *explaining* to you about all that I'm thinking and feeling lately! I sit to describe it and the words turn in on themselves and I'm left panting and searching with my eyes.
Perhaps I could instead share with you some sketches I've done for the first time in years to show you pictorially, or maybe a dance would describe it ~ because I've been doing a lot of that too. Or if that didn't quite convey it, maybe I could do a few cartwheels in an open sunny, grasshopper-jumping, clover blossomed field ~ because I've been doing a little of that too. Or even the old standby, the kitchen, has been housing quite a bit of activity in the past few days; maybe I could show you all the meals I've been jazzed to make.
Well, nope; I'm still not getting it by writing here. I just deleted several paragraphs of attempts. So I'll share the experience of the above photo:
Here I am on a hike in Tahoe on the 3rd of July. See that white stuff in the background? It's snow. The water I am emerging from is a collection of actively-melting snow. I stepped over the snow to get into the water. It was so cold. It took courage to work up to jumping in, but with the en-couragement of my husband (who had jumped in pretty much after my suggesting it) and my daughter (wading exuberantly naked), it was the only thing to do. And I'm so glad I did it! Invigoration x 100, there was no way not to know you're alive and be 100% in the moment as I clamored to the surface.
As urgent as it felt to get my head out of the water, as I was emerging, I was also thinking, "I wanna do this every day!" In an instant, every cell of my body was re-vived and coursing with exhilaration. I felt energized, but even more importantly, I felt sooo satisfied with, and grateful for, my decision to follow through and jump in that water.
And this is the way it is with me lately. Actively, purposefully, I have been practicing expanding my heart and making choices to move myself closer to Yes ~ closer to the natural animal life that is the birthright of all Earth inhabitants. It was, and remains an effort. But I am beginning to reap the rewards of this discipline. Each step that I take feels more natural, and every movement, instead of taxing me, is giving me energy! My awakening grows deeper by the day. I feel vibrant and lively!
I am an animal, alive on this planet!
And that's as close I'm gonna come to explaining it to you for now.
Let's not talk; let's just go fly in a sun-drenched morning meadow with the dragonflies.
There are so many huge things bouncing around taking space in my mind lately that it is hard for the words to slip their way through. I have about three lengthy posts going all at once and am stuttering on each of them. And more importantly, I am spending as much time as possible outside and away from this luminescent box. Still the little narrator does not shut up in my head these days. ;-)
I take things so seriously. Even though everything that we're working towards in our life is just exactly what I want, things still weigh so heavily on me. I could use some laughter or weightlessness therapy. You know that too-cute saying, "Angels can fly because they take things lightly." Well, luckily the little person in my life adds much levity. So I thought this would be a nice little break in between all the heavy topics I seem to want to write about.
(And of course she croons this without help and then as soon as I bring up the camera she gets quiet but that is understandable. It still melts my heart every time.)
Thank you thank you thank you for the sweet reminder.
(And, um, yeah. I never figured out how to fix that last post.)