As I gaze out the window from my kitchen writing spot I think this is the most beautiful fall I can remember.
Felix and I spent two nights in the yurt over Thanksgiving weekend, hearing crickets, coyotes and owls. In the morning, seeing it had frosted, we harvested more of the garden: huge potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and herbs. Tash made me a drying wall with hooks and wire and it gives me deep pleasure to walk by and smell herbs drying for tea, soup and medicines. So far we have mint, lemon balm, catnip, lambsquarters, raspberry, mullein and mugwort. I’ve been cooking up a bumper crop of tomatoes into home-made ketchup and apples into apple sauce, experimenting with doing this over the wood stove to save electricity.
I feel such a depth of plenty in the garden and the wilderness with its plants that can be foraged. We dug burdock roots and made hair oil, pickles and a stir-fry. We dug wild parsnips and made soup and chips and shared them with Felix’s class—who went wild with excitement! The satisfaction that these past-times bring even seems to replace the longing that I have for a relationship…which would NOT be a good idea right now.
Yet…I’m realizing that much of this gardening is distraction. When it comes down to it, none of this activity saves me any money. It’s still cheaper to buy organic ketchup in the store when I consider all my time, effort and materials. Even though gardening and foraging are good for my soul, I’m no less anxious with people and it takes me away from more important things.
So I went back to the drawing board and clarified my priorities: personal and family healing; writing a book on German New Medicine; cleaning up and simplifying my life; and planning realistically for the future of the centre.
Next year’s garden will be simpler, growing food that provides proteins and starches and that is easily harvested and stored over the winter: squash, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, maybe corn to dry (although something ate most of it this year, despite the fence) and lots of garlic as a cash crop to offset the cost of the garden helpers. A water system will be installed to cut down on manual labour and we’ll cover the garden in black cloth to eliminate most of the weeding. All of which will allow me to retire to the pond cabin and WRITE.
As to inner healing, I’m doing intensive work with my skype therapist Josea and am often discouraged that my body continues to respond in spastic seizures and sobs when Josea facilitates me into my body. During my days, I’m still dissociated and running on auto-pilot over a well of anxiety that doesn’t seem to have an end, only noticing this in seconds of awareness here and there. Thanksgiving was a nightmare for no apparent reason. How long will this take???
Patience and acceptance…gratitude…humility…and keep cleaning up and simplifying so that there is more time to be aware… And remembering that fall and spring create more turbulence in the mind which will pass into the calmer quiet of winter.
There are yellow butterflies swirling around in the garden.
Symbols of hope, reminders from Nature.
Happy Fall to you!