Returning from my trip I was thrown straight back in the deep end of gardening..... Blackberry de rooting. Whoa nelly! If a meteorite hit Washington state tomorrow these suckers would just shrug their shoulders and continue their slow yet sneaky attack to take over the world. Blackberry roots are something like the knots in your hair after a Metallica concert when you have a curly birds nest of a du. Yikes.
Four days a week are spent with 7 hours in the garden. We collect and harvest food for the community and also plant and harvest seeds to sow. Right now I'm harvesting radish, beets, spinach, rocket, kale, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, figs, plums, Apples, potatoes and onions.
And edible flowers too.
After a day's battle against the blackberries I found time to ponder into the back yard of the cottage where myself and the other intern Jacob are staying. I think it's officially been five years since the last intern did any tending to this garden and nature has gone wild.
I'm not sure if it's just because we worked so hard to get the back looking good or if gardening is this fun always...whatever the answer I'm signed up for life.
So for the last few days it's all I can think about. What plants can I plant, what colours go where, what herbs smell the best, what ground cover needs shade, what can we re plant in this season... Ohhhh and the list goes on. I'm reminded of a saying, "gardening is the slowest art form".
In our spare time we are constantly on the look out for plants to take samples of and regrow. We also have started a ritual of rock painting around the fire at night. It feels incredible to be creating and playing out in the gardens. The first night we couldn't bare to leave our oasis so we just camped out under the stars. Hippy Bliss.
So that's all the external awesomeness but I've also been gaining a lot internally during this time. Since returning from the back country I've found myself beginning to let go of a few things which I hadn't noticed took such a toll on me. What are they you ask???
Time, money and judgement.
Time, because there is always time if you only fill your life with wants. Things you believe you need end up draining your time. Yesterday I went out with a fellow community member, Brent, who showed me his Bees. We suited up and just like Piglet and Poo Bear went looking for honey. He had time to share all his knowledge of bee life and I had time to learn.
Lastly Judgement, oh judgement what misery you cause. Without judgement in my life I enjoy all aspects of the people I am surrounded by. I no longer let my judgement of another define who they are to me. Without judgement I am able to be with anyone and appreciate their unique gifts. This is not always easy. Learning to love the parts that drive me bonkers is hard but truly empowering. Ain't no body who can take my calm or sense of joy. This includes myself. The release of judgement also includes the judgemental voice inside that tells me what I'm doing is a waste of time or what I have to say is stupid or unworthy.
With all this said I have to give thanks to the special people in the community who make this magic possible. This community is full of people who are loving and caring to each other and their land. They share things, help fix things, help make things together and one can't help be inspired by the surroundings of such love and kindness.
Money, because I'm living in a community of trade. I work in the garden for food I work in my garden for rent and because I am living quite simply I have time to potter around a lot and play. Today I discovered one of the residents is an incredible artist and in return for a lesson In clay art I offered to help her clear her study so she can create more art projects in her space. I'm loving having time and energy to give to creativeness. I've always been a person who fits a million things into one day yet never made time to make beauty. I get the same feeling I used to get when I would return home with an art project from school. "Look mum, see what I made, look, look!!!" I'm not sure if I am connecting with the feeling of accomplishment or maybe my art still looks like a primary school project!!
I've chosen to allow a year to play. Anything I ever wanted to do or try is getting done this year. What I'm already discovering is that this doesnt have ro be a one time thing. it can be a lifetime. it will be a lifetime of play.
Feels like time well spent already.