This is the place I visited to make my cell phone work. I guess the view inspired my phone to get reception! I would run up the hill and around the mountain to one of several clearings. The place got its name because the very first time Dude dad and I visited, there, on the trail, were some of the freshest Manzanita berry turds ever discovered! We looked, wide-eyed, at each other and then over our shoulders! Surely Big Bear Three Bar was hiding in the brush, because that crap was fresh!
(Thanks to dude dad for the shitty visual.)
On the ridge there was a trail in the grass, as if someone had been surveying the land or enjoying the view. I plopped myself down there too! Creatures big and small agree: Three Bar Bear Ridge is the place to be!
I present you: MEOWZA, Queen of the garden domain.
This cat rules!
Gemini & Uba (Tuba Scuba): the rejects.
The best territory is carefully guarded by Meowza, Queen of the garden sphere. So Uba waits on the hillside for me to come from the garden and then scurries along her little path to beat me to the house. In a couple of hours Gem waltzes in crying. Rather than feed her the kibble we\’ve got, I flip the poor baby on her back and rock her in my arms, rubbing the belly. These are feral cats. I say, \”Go eat a mouse!\” They fend for themselves, but we put on this little act.
At night I sense a shadow in the garden. I hear it behind me in the Ivy Room. She whines loudly – several sharp cries – from inside the garden gate upon finding me with Meowza just outside it, bathed in moonlight. I believe it is Uba. I start to notice her silent shadow slinking in the garden space at odd hours.
One early morning, cold because it was about to rain, I catch Uba scurrying across a walkway headed out of the garden. Upon calling, she turns to meet me in the path, despite an ever constant paranoia about being caught. I sit as she paces back and forth in front of me, allowing my hands to pass over her shiny coat again and again. Uba calms down, but is still keenly aware of her surroundings. As she becomes more comfortable with the safety I provide, I am able to hold Uba for several minutes. There is a bit of struggle, but she is mostly surrendered to me, knowing my presence brings only peace. She gets up and back to pacing. After several more moments, I excuse myself and begin weeding the last row of strawberries. As I work, I notice Uba in the garden, exploring, but hanging around the area I occupy. Then I turn to catch her nibbling on my spice muffin! After awhile, she is off to another adventure and so am I.
Uba might have been anxious in the garden because she is inferior to the Queen. Meowza defends the space as if it were hers alone. She reigns over us all, like a true Queen, and delights most perfectly in the gardens wonders. When guests arrive, she entertains and generously accepts being stroked and showered with affections.
It is mid-morning, not yet too hot. The garden is quiet. Meowza appears from down the hill and approaches me on the terrace. She walks right through the bed and over the plants at hand to greet me. As soon as I begin patting she has thrown herself to the ground right on top of my work! Iris\’ are bending over and she is rolling around in them, just delighting! After a bit of this, I turn to continue but Meowza immediately corrects me with a swift swing of her claws. \”This is a warning! I am playing now, so pay attention to me!\” This lady is not to be messed! I delicately extracted myself from the encounter, like a child who is stuck in the brambles: very carefully!
By that time, she was over it! Meowza went on her way after another adventure, this one all but forgotten. There were lizards to chase and naps to take in the ivy cave! As the heat gained, I looked up to see the Queen herself walking fancy – parading herself right under my nose – with a dead baby mouse. She settled in the shade beneath an Iris, in view of me and whatever it is that Zoe was barking at up the hill.
Zoe could be mistaken for a horse. She is a working dog (quite tall) and she does just that! This place has a beautiful natural rhythm, an operating harmony where none go without. Sustained by one another; we are one! Nobody feeds Zoe kibble, but a current of energy is exchanged to provide nourishment. Zoe is like a private contractor exchanging a skill/trade for her nap spot in the horse tackle shed. She feeds herself. Her works assures it. She is security on patrol. She barks at unwanted visitors. She makes her rounds along dirt roads that circle the property.
When a fawn cried out over the hill, stuck in a fence, I found Zoe there standing by. She handed authority of the situation off to me by approaching me when I approached the scene. It was like an invisible baton had been passed and then Zoe was gone, off to make herself scarce. But when I had to leave, she instantly returned to post. This unspoken exchange was part of a sacred agreement.
At the house there are turkeys in the straw two times daily. The bachelor turkey pair is still diligently working on halving that hay bale in our driveway. Does with their babes explore our back yard on their daily grazing passages. Each being entwined by weaving in its own cycle of continued life; here we dance.
I wouldn\’t be surprised in the least to hear that the Three Headed Cat
was inspired by this matriarch! (See Aegopodium Meditation)
P.S. – We dance with Rooster Cooster too. He is tremendously redundant all day long! Don\’t be fooled by farm myth. Sure, he starts at the crack of dawn. But Rooster Cooster continues on all morning and into the afternoon, elaborating on the very same theme at sundown. He is obnoxiously redundant. Evenings I hear the Roost’s haunting entreaty echo over the hill.
I always chuckle when I hear him cackle. To me it\’s, “Hey guys, did you know that its daytime?” Sometimes I even bother to remind my peers, as if they didn\’t hear. How ridiculously funny that Rooster Cooster cries out the same message over and over AND OVER, while maintaining his dedicated – no, fervent tone each and every time. He really means it, “Sun’s up! Get moving!” – even at dusk! It is not until all the chicks are tucked in for the night that the cockiness stops.
The best translation I’ve heard is, “THIS IS NOT A GAME! YOU DO NOT KNOW ME!” And in the case of the civilized world, he’s right. Moral of the story?
Life and Death intertwined Here, in a Knot that Binds Glorious and Grotesque.
A fawn fatally entangled, limps back to the wilderness from whence it came, transformed, trailing ichor & transcending onto the sacrificial altar. It will swiftly be churned asunder and by dawn we find new life. The sacred sacrifice offers nourishment that benefits the whole, impelling rebirth! And the cycle goes on…
\”YOU’RE A GOOD KILLER\” In order to live, you’ve got to be a demolisher. You take plants & animals that were once alive & rip them apart with your teeth then disintegrate them in your digestive system. Your body is literally on fire inside, burning up the oxygen you such into your lungs. You didn’t actually cut down the trees used to make your house & furniture but you colluded in their demise. Then there’s the psychological liquidation you’ve done: killing off old beliefs you’ve outgrown, for instance. I’m not trying to make you feel guilty, just pointing out that you have a lot of experience with positive expressions of destruction. Can you think of other forms this magic takes? As an aspiring mast of Pronoia, it’s one of your specialties – a talent you have a duty to wield with energetic grace. -Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia, Rob Brezsny 104
I prune strawberries. I make a safe space to nurture life within the garden sphere. Beneath it all, I find earth.
I turn from the bed to find total destruction! Lying on the path: squashed snails and dying blooms, A serving of slaughter (= (if not >)) growth preserved. I, murderer.
I, life giver. I create and destroy. This is a necessary rhythm: the world seeking balance.
Dear Russ, I’ve been feeling disconnected recently. Being able to spend the weekend with you was the greatest birthday gift I could have asked for and you made it so very special! It was wonderful. But since you returned to Eureka, I have found loneliness magnified. I inhabit a whole house, all to myself, on 400 acres plopped down amongst expansive woodland and populated by creatures of every kind! Now I will admit: the animal friends, I do not mind. Their mystic energy enraptures me!
I am embracing the wilderness …perhaps because it is all that I can do at the moment. It delights and scares me – this tiny human in awe of its majesty. As I sit in the living room at night I wonder: who is looking in? Rattlesnake, scorpion, bat, bear or owl: the nocturne awakens and thrives. Coming across a dying fawn is an uncomfortable situation to face. “But remember,” I remind, “I did put myself here.” It’s a bit like clipping rosemary for dry allafternoon. The experience tests your patience, but if you sit through it, doors open. After all, I talked to you!
Family has been trying to get in touch, more and more as their messages get ignored. The image they have is of this young woman somewhere on the opposite side of the country traveling with only her pack having her back. They live with the not knowing, as do I. But to them, I am gone (lost) and they have no control. To me, I am right here at the very least!
It is so difficult – impossible, really – to photograph the sensation of the sun on one’s back in the garden, explain the experience of a place, or simulate all the layers of awareness that make up what it feels to be here. Dimensions are shed when the media changes, and the reality gets lost in translation. You just had to be there, omnisciently!
I hesitate to even attempt expressing the magnitude of this journey. I procrastinate more and more about calling someone, or writing a blog entry, even taking a picture! What could I say? How to convey? I put it off, put it off again and again, delaying response, delaying reaction. Instead, I just AM. A lot of times that is enough. I surrender to the ebb and flow of the world before me. I am learning how to dance in the current. It is magic! I am living my dreams!
The Camps are a truly genuine couple who built an oasis of mythological proportions from a clear cut mountainside! Walter and Jane are pioneers. Their livelihood comes from sharing this vision with people in the most tolerant and caring way. I have tremendous reverence for the way they generously welcome and provide for people on their land in the woods, again and again without bitterness. The harmony here is honed in its forty years of happening. On arrival, I am given their trust and my own freedom. I find a magnitude of magic in this wonderland of knowledge and art, in an action that sustains us!
The garden is my safe haven. Each day I love it with increased zeal; it grows on me. The energy is tremendous! When there are three hundred people roaming the property, I go there to find comfort and peace. When I am alone, I often sing. I mix with the strawberries. I listen to boys playing in the ivy cave. I duck occasionally when a hummingbird zooms overhead. I practice patience: ruminating at my task for hours on end, only Aegopodium listening. I serve a sustainable mission by taking care of a plant’s need and receiving the food it gives me in return. Not only do I learn the language of the flora, I am given the creative freedom to shape its aesthetic. We resonate with one another! While communing with plants, one of my favorite tasks is to massage the soil. When my hands have touched the whole bed, it is renewed and beautiful!
In a moment, I can channel this energy into an expression of fine art, which mimics the actual experience of being. This is my means of sharing, communicating, & celebrating the beauty that I see with fellow company and east coast stylee. OR, I can wait a week. And then what I thought I saw all looks entirely different! As it fades into distant past, the perception perceives itself, becoming an entirely new perspective – one that could not have been imagined! Revising eternally, I am overfull with the wonders of life!
There is an exquisite rhythm maintained in this microcosm on the mountain. There is an abundance of both community and solitude; they co-exist is perfect balance. Bustling with creative freedom, our actions are always inspired because we choose this! Each a unique voice and creator! I’ve got the energy ball rolling and I am a prophet! I sit back in wonder to watch will(its) manifest.
Looking ahead but trying not to get there before myself. Nice, easy pace. I don’t rush or worry about what will happen next. I wait to see! When I push myself through the discomfort of not knowing, I emerge on the other side not needing to know. I am happily surprised to learn the way I will get by! For the present, I am simply here, now. What will be, is, and is beautiful indeed. Still, I want to be where all I see is you, but I guess I’m supposed to spend some more time in the rosemary patch. This is increasingly Okay with me. The outside world is still there and it still loves me. The connections are just as strong, but there is a slightly severe delay on all communications in and out. This affords time for personal reflection, to be sure! I am grounded, presently.
We shall meet soon, tumbling through the universe like the time traveling bears that tramps through my dreams, guided and gripped in the awestruck embrace of mother earth as she spins through space! And so it is. Blessed be.