The interns shifted their attention from the garden to the gathering space and attempted to wrap their minds around the concept of social permaculture. This week was truly unique compared to the weeks prior. Each intern wrote a few words on what stood out for them.
It has been immensely helpful and wonderful having some new interns join the garden workforce these past few weeks! Fresh new perspectives fill the air as the energy rises, tickling the senses of those intertwined in the piglet and biogaian projects. The Terrace excavation has begun, ensuing lots of digging down and rocking around. Work is always more fun with many working hands and smiles! Everyone has adorned their personal skills, filling in the puzzles pieces task by task as the hours pass.
The garden is growing in abundance and we have been eating wonderful zucchinis as well as onions, garlics, and broccoli. The raspberries are ripe and deliciously plump! The blueberries are beginning to blue and swell. Fresh fruit out of a garden is perhaps one of the most amazing experiences i have ever tasted. I cannot believe i have been missing out on this for so long! I do not know how i will ever eat grocery store fruits and veggies ever again, it just doesn’t seem right! I really feel like i have been developing into my own in the community, feeling more comfortable and present, feeling like i am in the right place in this moment.
I had been feeling overwhelmed the past few weeks, thinking i had taken on too much participating in this internship and working at the salon every other week, and so i stepped down from going to 21 Acres on Fridays and Saturdays. I will be working extra shifts at the salon in order to make a little more money, seeing as we are moving into a house soon, closer to Seattle. I have realized that commuting is not a joy of mine. I do not enjoy driving for 2+ hours for work purposes. Learning more and more about myself and the way i want to be living my life as i grow and intake more information about this crazy life! I cannot wait to grow some things in my own garden at the end of the summer! It is going to be so fun planting my own lettuce and kale and being able to make delicious salads this fall. I am also really looking forward to making more jam and learn how to can the extra produce we harvest from our garden this year.
One of the things that has really been on my mind lately is the large plethora of knowledge contained in this community. It is really amazing to watch different members of the community come together and offer their expertise in order to accomplish goals. This has really been overwhelmingly evident as we are working in the community space next to the garden. So many different minds and ideas have come together to design and implement the plan for this space and it is starting to really take shape. For instance, Brian has been extremely instrumental in keeping things organized and moving forward and his clear knowledge of landscape construction is invaluable. Nartano’s expertise in mechanics and utilities really opens up just how much can be done in the space. Patricia has an understanding of design that adds some real ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the project. This has really shown me that coming together and sharing our talents and effort with each other is a vital part of the human experience and is clearly the best way to accomplish great things.
I have always felt pressured in our society to be a goals-driven individual. To always know what you’re working towards and have the proper steps lined up to reach an end result. This week at Songaia we spoke a lot about the story and the journey of our so-called goals and how that portion can be even better than the finished result. Think about a kitchen - the food that we put into our recipes, the tools we use to chop food, the people who are doing the chopping, and the plates we put our food on all have their own individual stories. The sum of those parts create a final piece, but the stories behind it all is what really makes it special. In the supply chain of everything, every story is meaningful and makes a difference.
I’ve found myself focusing more on the journey than on the end result which has proved helpful to living life in the present and to being open to receiving opportunities as they manifest themselves in front of you. I still find value in goals and in preparation and follow through, and I am not sure that I will ever be able to see past this Western way of thinking, but opening my mind to considering the journey more is something I feel as if I will continue to work on. I think one challenge that I could see myself facing is identifying when something has been manifested and should be utilized. That could be because I am still very much a task-driven, steps-oriented person, and I would be fearful of poor timing, but I think the realization of that potential challenge is helpful in overcoming it.
It’s been a busy week at Songaia. I have been interning for about a month and there has been more excitement here in the last week than in the weeks prior combined. We hosted Permaculture Woodinville for a pizza night and discussion about social permaculture. This event happened to fall the week right after we broke ground on the new gathering space, which is coming along at an incredible rate.
Writing about the week feels so...watered down. In all honesty, it’s hard for me to do justice to things that have occurred here and in my own head in just a few paragraphs. I think that’s why I’ve had a hard time getting myself to write these blogs (Patricia wanted one every week...this is my first. Whoopsie). I came here a month ago, but it feels like it’s been three. I’ve learned so much and fallen in love with the people. How do I express that in words? How do I capture Patricia’s spirit? Brian’s loving energy? Nartano’s openness? Helen’s contagious passion? Caroline’s goofiness? Jacob’s flair? Nancy’s Nancy-ness?
Through all the excitement, Brian said something this week that stood out to me. Like Patricia, I am a very goal-oriented person. Like Christy, I find comfort in having a plan. I like making goals and getting things done, which often interferes with my enjoyment of the process. I don’t remember his exact phrasing, but one morning during our daily check-in Brian said something like “it’s not about the end-goal, it’s about the story”. If I ever needed to get a phrase tattooed to my arm as a daily reminder, it would be this.
And I think that’s the key to capturing the essence of what I am learning and feeling--stories. School has given me the skills to do technical writing. Songaia will make me a storyteller.
Through this internship I am hoping to develop a “permaculture mindset”, to go forward with the tools to foster sustainability and community in my own life. What that really means, I’m not exactly sure. But I feel like this week has helped me to lay the initial bricks (or lock n’ load retention wall, if you wish) to start developing that mindset.
Stop. Observe. Listen. Go forward with intention, but flexibility. Enjoy the process. Express gratefulness. Be.
And unless you like puns, don’t get Brian and Caroline going.