How do I share an authentic heart-space with people over an extended people without jumping on a repetitive intellectual hamster wheel of what's most familiar to me?
Before coming to Songaia I had never really been tested in a thorough daily routine to share and express this outer reality with other folks in community. Finding and creating Love in Public became the primary focus for me because as an intern you don't really have a lot of private space to retreat back into.
There was a song Anita shared with me that we sang loudly with the refrain "We may not have it all together, but together we can have it all". This conviction about happiness and radical simplicity was also important to me during my time at Songaia. That when there is a quorum of love and friendship. It is easier to show up to my day knowing that what we have together is enough.
I learned a lot about harvesting and cooking with new herbs like chickweed, nasturtium leaves and doug fir tips. It is like be a painter and discovering it's possible to eat with several new shades of color that had not previously been available.
At the Bastyr Herbs and food festival I learned about foraging for many new foods like young oregon grape, stinky bob, and indian plum. It is really empowering to walk through a forest and start to gain confidence noticing how to eat and identify more plants. This speaks to the movement that happening of rewilding and of sharing identity with the earth that was strengthened during my time at Songaia. It has been healing to shift my story and energy to feel more strongly that I belong to the earth and that we belong to each other.
I thought Susie Fox did an awesome job of sharing new tips and tricks in the kitchen. I learned about making fire cider and other shrubs to add apothecary medicine and flavor to salad dressings and sauces. The potential to add more plant medicine into our foods here is very exciting to me.
Elizabeth, Helen, and Anita also taught me a lot about how to nurture living things in the garden. Many of them are little details that filled in my knowledge about how to care for living things.
For me Music and the Earth are the two most potent love languages that bond strangers and community members together. The space they occupy has a timeless quality that does not rely on intellectual belief system. The mirror and vessel they use helps me see myself and others with a kinder and more universal lens.
Many of my favorite memories at Songaia involve the interaction of these two elements. Spending time in the garden. Finding connection, silence, and grounding with life giving energies. Then coming together with music to find a playful chorus that expresses delight in the connection of being together.
I remember when Jacob showed me how to play dandelion as a trumpet during the festival of the earth as one of the spontaneous moments that shifted my perspective 180 degrees. It was right around sunset, and we went from a mindful contemplative garden walk talking about plant medicine and healing old traumas. Then Jacob stopped and picked up a dandelion and made a high pitched buzz. Moments later I gave it a try and we turned into a squawking flock of ducks running around and tooting to our own rhythms. Olive, Anita, Brian, and Misty Dawn joined us at different points that week to partake in the experience. And just like that the heaviness from our conversation lifted and we were in a very different kind of feeling in our hearts.
Songaia helped me dream of the future. Of the new stories and shared experiences being held by children and babies. My parents are aging and there is no story of regrowth from this new movement of people who are influenced by the great turning. Psychologically it is very difficult to keep telling a story that does not involve these types of new beginnings. How we dream and the source of our creativity our deeply influenced by our subconscous perceptions of how the village and our peers are changing into something new from what's existed in the past.
I was also exposed to so many new ideas that are still fermenting in my experience...
Ian's deep awareness of bacteria as medicine for plants and people. Misty Dawn's perspective on personalizing a theatrical reality to help catalyst personal transformation. Elizabeth's generosity in teaching me about the ukulele. There are countless more examples that I keep going on and on. Little seeds and feelings that have left me curious about the potential for me to reclaim and remember some missing or forgotten part of my personality. Oh yeah! I can be feisty and tender and contemplative and musical all in one day. It was really positive to feel that there is a surprising amount of wiggle room for my ego's personality could adapt to a new setting, so long as there is a shared story of care and concern being nurtured.