Wildforest Sanctuary

This is our view from the trailer. I made it to a place where I can stay put for awhile in what is called Mendonoma (Mendocino/Sonoma Counties). I feel like a kid again: doing chores on the homestead in exchange for room and board. I am learning how to make a simple living out in the forest, connected with cycles of creation.

Here, we participate in the making of our own food! We glean (finding new, untapped food sources that would otherwise go to waste) apples and blackberries, found growing in abundance throughout the area. Mmmh cobbler! It goes great with \”Le lait au Rouge\” – divinity in a mason jar: raw, fresh, optimally digestible & naturally homogenized goats milk.

One of my favorite jobs is to collect eggs. Our six chickens don\’t always lay an egg each day, so it is always a fun little surprise to see how many will be waiting, and where. Today (only the second time EVER) I was lucky enough to collect the total: 2 brown and 4 green! Yay!

It is also my job to feed the animals: dogs, goats, chickens …and WWOOFers. We compost all \”waste\” and food scraps – allowing a year for decomposition with Biodynamic preparations before adding this now-nutrient-rich soil back into the garden as a building block for the food that we will harvest. In this way, we complete the cycle. [AND we eliminate the need to contaminate our water supply with fecal matter: a very ridiculous practice indeed. (Read: The Humanure Handbook)]

Yesterday we made it off the property (and out to the ocean!!!) for the first time in two weeks. What excitement! I have gained so much appreciation for this natural abundance in my life and gotten really good at \”Not Needing\” (or consuming). With each day: added appropriateness. Appropriateness, in difficult times, sees the wisdom in ailing as presence for personal healing. As Neale Donald Walsh says, \”obstacles are not opposing you, but merely and gently re-routing you. It is important not to view that which stands in your way as your \’enemy.\’ It can often be your best friend, sending you on a detour that takes you around what could have been your biggest stumbling block. Send a word of gratitude, then, for anything that seems to be \’opposing\’ you now. All things in life happen for good. Trust God about that.\” And I do. I feel blessed.

And then there is the forest-woods-wild-er-ness. It is alive, conscious and inexplicably breathing in as we exhale. It has eyes and feeling, just like any other being. It is also a place. The redwoods bring an impressive energy that permeates the air. I am so thankful to have time to experience this gift first hand. I can hardly describe the magic that I feel, but it is profound Presence. There are four other trees that fill the forest: Douglas Fir, Sugar Pine, Tan Oak and Madrone.

Here are some other things that I want to express GRATITUDE for:
\”Meteor Showers\”
\”The perfect amount of sun\”
\”Appreciating Someone\”
\”Hot Tea\”
\”Lemon & Mint\”
\”Cool Rosemary\”
\”A Friend to Help\” …brew tea, make lunch
\”Taking Care\” …of one another

American Gothic

California Redwoods Style

Tree & Man

In an herb, a shrub or a bush, the observer takes greatest delight in the flowers. We relate differently to a tree. We are impressed by the tremendous size, characteristically made possible by doing without the energy-consuming abundance of flowers. A tree fills us with awe. It occupies a space far greater than that occupied by a human being and has a life span well beyond that of human life. It is not for nothing that large individual trees are put under protection as \”natural monuments.\” Like the monuments of civilization, they go far back into the past. We can experience ephemerality in the life cycle of an annual plant; thinking about a tree we are made aware of the time-bound nature of our own existence.

Goethe, who described the development of a \”typical\” herbaceous plant in his Metamorphosis of Plants, was well aware of the special position trees hold in the plant world. In his work on morphology, he wrote in the chapter entitled: \”Our Objective Is Stated\”: If one looks at plants and animals in their most rudimentary stages, they are scarcely distinguishable from one another.

Such nuclear organisms – whether rigid, mobile, or semi- mobile – are just barely perceptible to our senses. Whether these first beginnings could be conclusively traced in opposing directions, to the plant through light and to the animal through darkness, I do not make bold to decide, although opinions and analogies are not lacking on this subject.

This much we can say: creatures, emerging gradually from a relationship in which they can scarcely distinguish between plant and animal, are perfected anti-thetically: the plant being ultimately glorified, fixed and rigid in the tree, and the animal, with utmost mobility and freedom, in mankind.

From AnthroMedLibrary: http://www.anthromed.org/

The Sunrise Ruby, Rumi

In the early morning hour,
just before dawn, lover and beloved awake
and take a drink of water.

She asks, “Do you love me or yourself more?
Really, tell the absolute truth.”

He says, “There is nothing left of me.
I’m like a ruby held up to the sunrise.
Is it still a stone, or a world
made of redness? It has no resistance
to sunlight.”

This is how Hallaj said, I am God,
and told the truth!

The ruby and the sunrise are one.
Be courageous and discipline yourself.

Completely become hearing and ear,
and wear this sun-ruby as an earring.

Work. Keep digging your well.
Don’t think about getting off from work.
Water is there somewhere.

Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.

Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who’s there.

The Essential Rumi, Coleman Barks

The Gift

The astronaut said to his wife, while they were fighting,
\”Honey, I just need my space!\”

I now appreciate all the years I have had windows.

And that I will have windows again.

But for now,
I appreciate the opening.