CHAPTER 3: Goodbye Farm

Dear Nan Nan,
It HAS been a long time, but not 6 months! I’ve only been gone since June 22nd and arrived on the farm July 16th. Anyhow, it was good hear my grandmother’s voice over the phone, especially because I am so very sick! I had to laugh that you did not understand my initial blog entries. I went back to read them myself, and they were abstract indeed! My prose tend to wards word association a lot, breaking into little phrases that I string along, in the dialect and grammatical language of Case E. I hope there is something universal to be deciphered in my speech. I wish luck for all who try to decipher meaning from my scatterbrain notations!

How EVER, I AM trying the letter as a new format for entries (as you see). This way, my writing is more focused and flows naturally, as if I were speaking to someone in particular. I am curious to see if & how my style changes as I write to different people. The cool thing about this new way of writing is that these letters are not only directed at the person they are addressed to; they seek the consideration of a wide audience. I chose to kick off with a letter to my Nan Nan because (How could I not?) Grandmother is a universal familial relation, so others can identify – we all have one. It represents an ancient archetype of the fertile earth mother, from which we all are borne. Universal truths echo in sound waves through all of space & time (the same) instant. Infinite. The same message (Truth. Love.) is delivered by many messengers. So please dive in and enjoy! This is an open journal to you, an invitation for connection. Come. Reflect with me on this mirror pond. Read my letters as if they were just for you!

I am so sorry I have neglected writing for so long! At times I get preoccupied with my little existence & endeavors, forgetting to keep in touch! I do hope you will enjoy the garlic & onions; they are excellent staples in the kitchen! I expected to hear from you soon since I was on the farm, but since moving on, I will just have to suffice with sending post cards!

So week two at the farm was characterized by bliss, as I easily followed the flow of perpetual pleasure. But of course, things change and the cycle continued on into the “compliment” of being blissed: extreme suffering. First, Russell (the person I really connected with) left the farm. When I went to bed the first night of his absence the nighttime sounds were blaring! I was ultra aware of every crunch in the leaves & had crickets ringing in my ears. They filled the silence of my companion-less night.

I HAD been looking forward to having time to catch up on my writing. But I failed to assert what I wanted and (turns out) needed. Instead, I took all these new opportunities exploring neighboring farms, eat at the Mining Company and driving up Orleans Mountain. I ended up sleeping on the roof of a truck, parked in a dirt road on a canyon slope with no socks! I spent Sunday hot and bothered with a wicked fever.

I noticed that my crew-mates liked to STIR IT UP. Recently, their passive aggressive tendencies were directed at me. There was certainly a take-care-of-yourself approach to life on the farm, which did not emphasize empathy or communication. To dispel the resentment I felt, one morning I tried to clear the air. We were all settling into weeding asparagus and I spoke up, apologizing to everyone for my transgressions and for failing to communicate. At first, there was awkward (or surprised) silence. Then, the tension broke and was happy to receive a gentle ribbing from all around. It verified what I thought was going on and I was glad to dissipate some of the hard feelings.

Still, I fought an uphill battle when it came to one woman in particular. I became sensitive to her curt remarks and attempts to exclude me whenever possible. I told myself that she was begging for compassion, but had great difficulty rising above her distaste. Instead, I took it personal and escalated the negative energy with my own quips. All of these interactions were under the guise of friendly banter, which made me boil even more!

The real talk always took place behind a persons back; this much I knew from a couple weeks of work. When I got sick, it provided the perfect opportunity for the crew to speculate about me all day long, which may be why I felt increased resentment at this time. Shady Brady was my informant – confirming that this woman did not like me. I held onto this knowledge begrudgingly and it put me into a bad mood. I was glad he didn’t go into detail about what was being said, but still, had made myself sick and was going to learn the hard way.

I lie on the deck, sweating out my fever in agony and feeling nothing but resentment from everyone around me for (?) being so uselessly sick. I was avoided except the occasional, “How you feeling sick girl?” and oftentimes felt like a leper. When I ran into Von (owner & crew leader) and told him I was feeling sick, he responded by telling me to stay away from sick people and quickly disappeared!

I did nothing but think about escape routes all day. I missed Russ because he fed me (literally & emotionally). He had empathy. He genuinely cared. He would give the touch & attention & nourishment I desperately needed to heal. As things were, I felt very alone in the whole wide world. It was all up to me to climb out of the pit.

On the phone with you, it was funny to hear myself describe everyone in a nice neutral tone, as if all were well. I even brushed off my illness! I didn’t want to admit the reality of the situation. All these other energies and emotions swirl about between us. I rest in the knowing that the cycle must turn. All will be well at the appropriate time. Pray that I may be the seed of transformation that sparks a positive change within our microcosm in the woods. Envision this community blessed with a sense of wellness & abundance that is inclusive of each individual, so that we may work in joy and harmony with one another, truly grateful of the gifts that surround us daily.

All my love, blessed be,

CHAPTER 2: Week 2: Farm Jive

By the end of the first week, many of the difficult physical adjustments are made: I’m starting to hum. I get insights into place: I live in squirrel town (come to find out). Morning & night there\’s this scratchin\’ scramblin\’ scurryin\’ – whoa – the rhythm of the squirrelly. We are just a hole in the hill, he\’s happenin\’ all around me, squirrel-motion mixed with the big, black-hooded jays (blue). I’m throwin\’ glances (gettin’ jumpy) when there’s just a rustle in the leaves!

We crack open a yellow watermelon to see how they are coming along. Munchin\’ on da grind-age! At lunch I walk down to my campsite – whoa – watermelon rinds on my doorstep! Who brought these here?? At first I thought it was a kind-of weird omen. Then I remembered that it was probably squirrelly. Ah ha ha! It\’s where I live. You so squirrelly! It explains why my very first basil bunch was critiqued, \”Little squirrelly. But nice!” Ha! Who knew I was under the squirrel influence the whole time! Make my bouquets on the extra squirrelly side – basil rose, sunflower. I appreciate that. Here\’s some Queen Anne\’s Lace. Yum.

Two squirrels are in a bar. One squirrel turns to the other and says, “I was so drunk last night, I f*#ked your mother.” The other squirrel turns to the first squirrel and says, “Dad! You’re drunk! It’s time to go home!” This happens to be the second question you get asked when you start working on the farm: do you know any jokes? And then they are exchanged. Do you know what to call cheese that isn\’t yours? NACHO CHEESE! (CHALLAH!)

There’s this pumpkin in the patch. This one special pumpkins. Yeah there\’s a lot of great pumpkins out there, but he – this one in particular pumpkin – is called Doctor Chubby. The name came up while we were all standing over the patch one day admiring the up and comers. PRO-duce! He was not just a Mister, no – DOCTOR Chubby is a name that inspires: crowning champ of the patch! Doc Chub & his relations are checked on most everyday: a couple here, some body there – grabbing an extra moment to peel back the foliage and eye him up. Good ol\’ Doc Chub! Pumpkin gets a lot of attention. Especially from Pat, who just so happens to be a pumpkin himself. Pat planted Doctor Chubby and all his relatives. He harvests the Chubbiest of the family to be crowned victors at the county fair. He’s got his eye on several for his birthday party in October too.

I think the whole thing is grand. You see, I’m a snap pea. I\’m snappy, I\’m quick, I\’m down. The first question when you work in the field is, “What kind of a vegetable are you?” Current crew hosts two pumpkins, iceberg, broccoli & brussell sprouts. Other vegetables visit, like last week we welcomed the spice of life, garlic to town! You just never know what kind of vegetable is gonna come down the way to hang out!

For now life is characterized by…
Cutting rosemary for dry,
Monotony bears down: one pops open.
By the black berries, a conversation begins…

I am bobbing in the sea, flowing in the rumble of waves! There is such fluidity to waking-dream life that it all goes effortlessly together in one rich (turbulent) flow. I work hard, feel strong & satisfied, eat A LOT of the freshest food on earth & sleep like a rock. Two naps a day! Great contentment. Great joy. Distractions are almost completely eliminated. I am very present. I share & amplify awareness – mirrors in the eyes of one an other. Libra breathes the bountiful beauty of Venus into shared space. Art has function and pancakes are in the oven! Life is good.

I frequently deja-dream. It is a moment that washes over me in waking life – so familiar. It’s as if you lived this moment once a long time before and it has just revisited you, with blessings, or it is a reminder that you are on your path because it seems so right to feel this sensation in the given situation. It never made sense in the dream, not until now, materialized before you, could you understand the perfection of the moment. Grace. Gratitude. It is a deep sensation of fruition & satisfaction. You are on the path! This is your personal omen. All is well.

In the fields I try to imagine how the fig trees
And basil leaves,
Busy themselves,
Through the night. They are
Constantly immersed,
In the grip of mother earth (ground down).
I want to be with them.

I am baptized by the Salmons cleansing currents:
Russell says this river is color of my eyes: Salmon River green.
Icy blue green translucence dancing over sandy stones.
In the slow swell of a deep channel,
I float free! What a satisfying act:
Bathing & floating with light glit-glit-glittering on the silvery surface.
Water rumbling by beneath…

Syncronicity surfacing…
The great sea god brings many strands,
For to weave.
First, be cleansed, be forgiven, be free!
The river’s melodic movement makes me see
It is IN MY HEART to make peace,
Let it float on, released! Welcome change.

In dream state: I levitate!
It is real enough in dreaming.
Enthusiasm propels me until I am floating on air!
The unbelievable becomes real.
I am lifted, lighter, especially in the morning, still groggy,
Laying hay on the hillside, putting the leeks to bed,
Free-floating in the sea of my own consciousness.

Every night on my way to bed I get side tracked by beauty of the sky.
There are so many stars here (this love has no ceiling).
The heavyweights are always out early.
They hold down the sky; define the time.
Mystique enraptures me.
Mystery has captured man since the start of all things.
As the full moon approaches, energy builds in our remote (stellar) community.

It is with the tides of the earth,
Although we do not always understand our (re)percussions.
Energy blossoms with the moon at its pinnacle;
A balance is struck. You find us hula hooping in joyful commune,
Hooting & hollerin’ in the light!
An animal instinct emerging from deep within?
Cycle wanes; the season’s change.
Happy & Humble on the Hillside


After toiling in the fields on any given day, the interns of the farm re-coop at our three-sided kitchen cabin on the hill. On this evening Leonna is cooking dinner while Russell and I are sitting around. He is a hefty gentleman who joins us, with curly grey hair & patchwork shorts, introduced as Lauren. We offer our new visitor a bite to eat, but he declines, instead preferring to pick his dinner in the orchard. As he goes off to gather food, Leonna informs us that Lauren is better known as Joy Bear (of the Rainbow Family). I laugh to myself: so far, Joy Bear’s scavenging is quite in character.

When Joy Bear returns, conversation quickly leads to the evening’s television programming: our ladies, 30 hens & Cluck Cluck the rooster. The box (coop) garnishes a lot of our attention (when we aren’t starring down the soil). Since it is nearing dark, Leonna suggests we start the nightly ritual of gathering all the ladies up and putting them to bed (in the coop). Joy Bear laughs heartily and insists that the hens will put themselves to bed before dark. He suggests we have an experiment to see if the ladies take care of themselves tonight. “The very worst that could happen is that we are chasing chickens around in the dark with our headlamps on,”Russ notes. I am optimistic (surprise). But Leonna is having none of it. She commences on our normal protocol as if there were no debate. Russ and I help in rounding them up (I think it is kind-of fun anyhow!)

Joy Bear follows us down the hill, already chuckling to himself about the show he is about to be treated to. No shortage of delight, Joy Bear stands by the pen, bracing himself on a post & booming the whole time! He bellows a great many jolly laughs at the crazy chicken chasing interns! I am impressed with his immense laughter. Whoa! Ha! Ha! Ha! While working the fields the next day, Joy Bear is a popular topic of conversation. Some scoff that he laughed right at us! How rude! How obnoxious! It is appropriate that we are so miffed, but I suspect a smile creeping across my face. I secretly relish Joy Bear’s irresistible jubilation. In the chicken coop, I had been laughing alongside him – on the inside, of course. And the very next night, after J. Bear departed, the ladies did indeed tuck themselves in.



By speaking of the forces that dwell within us we bring them to life.

Caroline Casey, Making the Gods Work for You

So I’m down on the river bar in the afternoon taking a break from the farmer’s fields. I sit back on the sand looking over the river, relax and start to doze. I’m asleep for a bit, somewhere between dream state and only mildly awake, when, out of the blue, I feel this big wet sensation on my face: I’m being LICKED! I reflexively push away with my hand, sitting up & turning to see that I have rejected the advances of a cougar cub! The little one instinctively nips my hand in response to my abrupt rebuttal! I scramble up the hill, retrieve others and upon our return, we are graced with the sight of momma mountain lion leading her babe up the hill across the river. Thank goodness we didn’t have to meet her! I am full of gratitude for the mystical gift that youthful creature bestowed! For such an elusive entity, reaching out and touching a person like that must be a rare treat!

When I first came to the farm, Catherine and Russell took me down to the Salmon River for a dip. We all settled into the river bar, I took a quick skinny & was napping with my shade hat pulled down over the face (to protect from Cougar-Face) in an attempt to catch the last rays of warmth before the sun fell over the mountain ridge. All was quiet, until Catherine suddenly blared out, “BEAR.” I popped my hat up and was about to turn & look over my shoulder but there he was – black bear – sitting on the ridge right across the river from us. His nose was in the air. He stayed, sitting there by an evergreen for several minutes, sharing our company. I was charmed. What a magical greeting! Well, I thank you for the welcome! Before long black bear moseyed on, climbing the hill in his slow paced way. It was my first direct encounter with these animals, but I was left with the sense that their presence is deep – drenched – in peace.

Shady Brady (farm intern) was lucky in that he had the opportunity to co-habitate with our local black bear: his tent is pitched down by the river & nestled near a berry patch. Brady would start suddenly in the early morning hours, startled by something, which was then startled by him, taking a few steps with a gruff grunt. It was these steps which again startled Brady, but it seems that everyone stayed startled enough to keep moving on their own way! More often than not, the black bear presence is felt rather than encountered. It’s a brisk brush with a powerful but peaceful steward of this land.

One afternoon Shady enters our outdoor kitchen announcing bluntly, “Bear ate my soap.” I had to laugh! Ha! Ha! Ha! Bear ate my soap? Ha! “Tell me, dear Shady, just how did that happen?” I inquire jokingly. “Yeah, yeah,” he replies, “Everyone’s a skeptic, but seriously!”

It’s really quite simple. Draw your own conclusions. You are on the river bar. There are bear tracks on the beach approaching a cairn, which once marked the location of a bar of soap. And there are bear tracks down the beach, departing the scene. And yet, for some, this is not enough.

I ribbed Mr. Brady, “How do you know he ate it? That nice black bear may have just balanced it on his head & then hopped right into the river to lather up! I bet he\’s full of lavender scent right now and got a nice shiny coat to boot!” But Brady stuck with his story, “Just down the beach in the berry patch there was a little spittle on the ground. Bear spit-up.” Guess that bubbly block didn’t go down so well… But I wouldn’t speak too soon, because later that week I caught sight of black bear swimming over to our river bar. Back for more black bear? Since the “Bear ate my soap” incident, I suppose my imagination has run wild, at least, in dream states… Am I dreaming? I invited black bear into my sanctuary – literally welcoming him into my tent! My companion in the tent was skeptical that this was a good idea. Being wary of a big black bear in such close quarters is understandable – appropriate, even. But I was unyielding: I’m tryin’ a hang out with da bear! I’m down. I’m down! I encourage black bear again & again – come! Welcome! I unzip the tent for him. And he immediately blesses me with a wonderful greeting-hug-romp. We wrestled about playfully feeling each other out! Then, at the appropriate time, he exited and took his bear-pace over the hill and on his way. See? All is well.

CHAPTER 1: Farm Rap

The crew moves & acts (together):
One organism, distinct legs.
Leapfrogging about one another,
In a hive of activity,
Sometimes (chicken) chatter.
We scratch the ground with our bare hands.
We dig into it – working, massaging the soil.
We worship the ground.
On the farm
We are
On the farm
(Time slows down. Dirt is constant.)

I think up a lot of stuff 2 do while in the field.
I’ve become quiet (introverted: focused inward)
…almost somber.
But it helps me continue to clear, clarify & cleanse.
I AM> focusing my energy.
& yet releasing grip…
(go with the flow, you know?)
Simply be.

Yet the child – my child, mind child seeks distraction.
But I set that little girl down here in the dirt.
On the Farm
We are
On Farm Head Space
Here for our vegetables.
“Here. Now,” I tell her,
With an implied,
“You ain’t goin’ nowhere ’til you’re finished.”
At first difficulty the child screams (tantrum)!
But thyme grows on us (silence prevails; discomfort passes).
Somethings always new or changing.
Somethings always the same.
Cluck Cluck is learning to Cock-a-doodle – a garbled call
(The lotus unfolds) the kid is quiet.

Come evening,
My mind breaks along with the body,
Too exhausted & scattered to go pecking around @ misc. tasks.
I just surrender (to what is).
Sleeping (deep) because I work (so very hard) to serve.
The thoughts still bob in my brain (seeds of worry?)
Coming & going (more freely).
Release them; Do Not Water!
They clutter the nature of what is!
In stopping resistance, you embrace being.
So that abundance enfolds you in its loving arms!
On the path, you are.
Been a week – two – three –
Four since I came (Like Whoa, And How!?)
Slow go – or so go(-ne)?
I thought
When was it (timely)?
I (appropriate) am here.
My body continues
An evolution of blisters & scratches, itching & callousing,
Taking care – my vessel knows. I let it,
Because last night Venus held the sky (Milky Way her backdrop).
It was deep – sublime!
Each one, I thought – though I knew it not by a name –
held its place in the heavens (it belonged).
Something familiar there.

I’m drinkin’ cold mate: cream & honey.
I am so nourished (Thank You bacon),
Body working hard,
Learnin’ the satisfaction of a rigorous days work in the earth (worship).
I rake the land with my hands.
I feel real (grounded).
There is dirt under my fingernails.
It is worked into the creases of my skin.
Tasks are beautiful in their simplicity (a moving meditation):
Hand-weeding, stirrup-hoeing, laying hay (all rhythmic routine).
No need for perfection, (basically) its all squiggly lines!
We make organic, squirrelly bunches – yum!
[I am inspired!]
As my body finds rhythm – it hums!
Sometimes I don’t even think!
Vision: emerges (well being).
I am the tiniest ant, but also infinite!
Evident, giving (we harvest), sharing the labor to create a
Sanctuary of Spirit (TRANSPARENCE).

INTRO: Hoe Down!

So I am presently here & very calm, content, peaceful about this place. Before the farm internship came about I was a bit anxious, even though floating on the wind in such a breezy free-fall was exhilarating! But I let all the baggage of that flow, because after working four hard farm days I know… how to use a hoe. 😉

I have found a connection to the internet, nestled here at the Somes Bar Outpost, which seems to be the only building in Somes Bar… all the locals are here. So is the yogurt… amongst other pantry necessities. There is a little boy named Casey running around in here right now and his mom keeps calling our name!!

I have been doing nothing but work (weed) work (mulch) work (hoe) intermingled with stints of nap (sleep) eat (harvest) eat (munchie on the grind-age) nap (sleep). There\’s dirt under my nails. And caked on my skin. This morning I took a dip on the skinny in the Salmon River. I can\’t say enough about it – the Salmon is a truly cleansing, clarifying experience. Wilson creek provides the farm with water. It is an icy treat to bathe in – most refreshing! We never get that squeaky clean of the city folk. There is always just a bit of rustic in the crease of my skin keeping me grounded – to remind me of my worship. There is free reign to harvest the food that I one needs. The orchard is especially delightful. Everyone takes note as the peach tree comes around.

When we work the fields, whatever task it is, we do it all together, jumping around one another (each at our individual pace & rhythm) teeming, a hive of energy until the task is complete. And then there is just another one.

The moon just turned from wax to wane and it has risen up full and bright orange (smoke) late in the evening. Our anticipation builds as it climbs the ridge to reach us! We have hula hoops and cougars in this canyon!

The farm is a welcome relief from having nowhere to be. This is safe, satisfying & simple – a labor of love. This is my cleansing. This is my meditation. I plant myself here with patience & stamina to unfold onto my path. I cultivate self knowing on my own terms & all my relations flow from that spring of well being. I find myself dwelling in my heart & manifesting magic in my life experiences. And I leave what is to come: possible. As I surrender, my potential is unlocked. I invite opportunity, find sacred space (conscious conversations with our selves), create a God gateway.

I learn the gifts of ritual & ceremony (I must elaborate on this later). And begin to define & practice these rites for myself – in my personal god language – which strengthens the unique quality of my energy/vibration/passion/gateway: an individual’s expression of the whole: all one: freedom. When we look one another in the eyes; when our energies overlap to create greater clarity: we are mirroring ourselves/our-hearts in one another.

We know that all is,
And so it is.

8/19/21: Continuing on with my memory of this excellent story of my life…

I returned to the Arcata farmers market and inquired to see if anyone was looking for a hand. I was lucky to meet Von and Claudia and be accepted as an intern on their farm in Orleans. They picked me up at the Finnish Hot Tubs and Sauna and drove me three hours inland.

There I was given my own tent with a mattress- a welcome luxury. There were a handful of other interns who shared a three walled outdoor kitchen by the chicken coop. We worked a lot of hours, ate a lot of food and slept as often as we could- including the afternoon nap! Every day we alternated who would cook lunch. I remember Claudia serving us whole boiled and skinned beets and whole skinned cucumbers. I remember them being delicious and gobbling them down!

When you walked into the farmhouse there were bundled of lavender covering the ceiling and a huge picture window overlooking the rows of crops.

There was a barn where garlic and onions had been pulled and were laid out to dry. We bundled them and hung them and filled flat rate priority mail boxes to send home to our family.

There was a small stream that ran down the hill from the kitchen with ice cold water.

We spend hours doing singular tasks in the fields. The upper field between the kitchen and the main house had peppermint and chamomile and all the herbs you could imagine. There were several rows of tomatoes that we would train onto their supports and savor tasting as we harvested. Down below half of the field was filled with rosemary. I remember having to fill about a dozen boxes with bundles of rosemary sprigs. We probably spent 8 hours just cutting rosemary that day and all had our sheers and fingers covered in resin by days end. I remember sneaking off to the edge of the field to pick some blackberries when the day was running long. When the figs came in we climbed ladders and learned to eat the ones that were too ripe to travel well.

Friday was harvest day and we would fill boxes of basil, rosemary and whatever else was ready. In the wee morning hours, Von and Claudia would pack up the truck and drive it three hours down to Arcata to sell at the market.