Hiatus

I’m away from the land now, taking care of town business and on my way to Reevis to help out there and build my yurpee (to be put up on the land). After that I’ll be visiting friends and family in New Mexico and Texas.

In all, I’ll be away for about three weeks. I will miss my friends – the larks and the horny toad and the white butterflies. And the olla. It feels like a living thing to me. I set up a hose to keep the olla full while I’m away, on a very slow drip – I hope it works. One of those little ground-level frustrations – I tried using black irrigation hose but could not get the connector clamps tight enough to be watertight. So had to resort to Plan B, garden hoses. They’re about ten times as expensive, and I’m concerned that – because they’re bright green – the cows might try to chew on them, as they tried to eat my bright green contouring flags. (I kept finding them pulled out of the ground and lying nearby, all wrinkled.) So please, if you are the praying type, say a prayer for my olla.

I will probably not post here while I’m away, but will be focusing on other writing – my novel, laying the foundations for magazine writing, and my blogs at One Year to a Writing Career and thebutterfly.

See you when I get back!

20140429-122103.jpg

Correction

The astrologers are saying that this big event we’ve been experiencing, the Cardinal Grand Cross, which peaked yesterday, is for one thing about course corrections.

20140424-180144.jpg

Leaving Reevis and moving here to Apacheland was a manifestation of that kinetic in my life, clearly. But I didn’t know, when I came here, that another course correction was hovering, waiting for my beckon – this one maybe just as momentous, although not quite so outwardly dramatic.

Here we go.

When I left Reevis, I went right back to the work I’d been doing before – freelance copy editing, in which I have about 25 years of experience. My best former client took me back immediately – awesome. But I knew this wasn’t going to be enough money, and how to deal with that fact … I felt that question would be answered here somehow, in time. A radiant woman named Valerie taught me to trust and to follow my heart. Wise words are spoken more often than believed, but she did and had reason to, so I did, too.

And I’ve been trusting … but the digits in my checking account have been dwindling, and God hasn’t made any direct deposits. And there are things I want to do, more than just cover bills.

Monday, the emotions about this came up, childhood messages (I call it kid stuff) about powerlessness with regard to money, futility (even if I work hard it won’t pay off so why try so hard), inadequacy (I’m not good enough to make more than a bare living), etc. etc. … and some things about love, too … and … I’m telling this story, which I realize is getting long and probably will get longer, because it has such a lovely ending. Bear with.

So. I woke on Tuesday feeling oddly like I didn’t know what to do. Not just what to do that moment or that day, but in the largest possible sense. In a good, peaceful way … released from the cords of other people’s expectations and needs. Even my own. I felt the space (of the rest of my life!) open for me to CHOOSE.

Knew that I could decide for myself, based on whatever facts or desires or criteria I wanted to use. I could even decide how to decide.

Wow, as they say.

I woke with this new knowing just as God gave the world another beautiful sunrise – that juicy apricot sun just peeking over the horizon like a magnificent child playing a game – and with the obvious question (as day follows morning):

What do you want to do? What do YOU want to do?

Good lord.

So, immediately, a walk, a good long walk to the railroad tracks that are three miles away – my first exploration of the neighborhood. Returned two hours later, thirsty and leg-sore, with hands full of treasures (rocks and such) and heart full of OF COURSE.

Of course I’m going to write, and I’m going to make a living at it. What I’ve wanted in my heart since the first afternoon I was allowed to wander, seven and gobsmacked, among the sacred aisles of the “adult” floor of the Rochester Public Library. To be one of Those Who Write Books.

For three days now I’ve been running around screaming with my hair on fire because I feel – I KNOW – I finally get to do this! Knowing I can.

And I’ve been writing like a wild woman.

Apologies for this long-winded post, but this is to explain why my attention will be divided from here on out, between this land that I loved the moment I breathed its air, and this work that I’ve loved forever.

Maybe it seems simple, but it wasn’t.

20140424-182114.jpg

Why no well

I am SO glad you asked about why I don’t want a well (although you may be sorry you did!). Because I’ve been meaning to look into the details of the water situation here, and your question gave me the impetus to do that today.

The short answer is sustainability – just having heard little bits about the global water situation – I’m not an expert. Or maybe it’s not even that, it’s just a feeling I have that what falls out of the sky ought to be enough, if we’re wise, and that using more is a kind of profligacy.

Continue reading

Larks!

Oh, I finally found out who is my bird friends who twitter and zoom around!

They’re Horned Larks. Eremophila alpestris.

20140421-091842.jpg

“This ground bird thrives in extreme habitats such as plowed fields, beaches, airport runways and other barren areas that have few places to hide [yup] and no protection from cold winter storms. During the winter Horned Larks are inevitably in flocks, often with other open ground birds, where they run looking for seeds and then fly on to the next field in a tight flock trying to avoid marauding falcons and hawks. During the summer the flocks break up, and pairs nest in poorly vegetated fields [yup], alpine areas and arctic tundra. They are so tough that even in northern states they are one of the first birds to start nesting – as early as February. They often sing while flying and fluttering high over head [yes!].” (askabiologist.asu.edu)

That’s exactly what they do, they zoom around, but around here they do it just a few feet off the ground, twittering like crazy. In pairs.

And they’re in decline in California, Colorado, and Utah.

This morning a female was perched in the junie near the truck, so I opened a side window and draped the computer mic right outside the window, and then since she wasn’t making a sound I longed for her to do that. Then she flutters over to the open window, not three feet from where I am sitting inside the truck, and hovers there for a second! I wish you could hear it, the mic picked up the fluttering. I suppose she wasn’t happy to perch on the sill there, so she went over and sat on the rearview window and chirped a while. Oh!

Then the male sang, and I finally got a good recording and was able to find it online. Yay.

While I was writing this, some little jet-packed birdie flew over the truck at warp speed, yelling and swerving, chasing insects I imagine. A new UFO! It’s just that when I see a bird or plant or bug or even animal I haven’t seen before here, it’s like the place is opening to me, unfolding itself, as if I’m earning its trust. Well, I don’t know that trust has anything to do with it, or just that I myself am becoming more aware. It’s just beautiful and so exciting.

Planting an olla

I’d like all my friends to see this image. Right now I’m just a crazy lady with a shovel … but if I’m right, and if I stick with this … in ten years this is the photo I’ll be pointing to, and saying, that’s where it started.

20140420-141738.jpg

In ten years, I hope that from the vantage point of this photo (above) to the left and right will extend a windbreak six hundred feet long. And behind where I’m standing, will be a food forest a couple of hundred feet in diameter. We’ll see. It depends on me, and of course, on having enough water.

What the photo is of, is an olla buried in the center of the rudiments of a berm n basin. An olla is a clay pot shaped like a sphere with a short cylinder on top. It’s hollow of course, and you bury it to the neck and then fill it with water, and it keeps the surrounding soil moist with minimum loss of water to evaporation. This is a traditional southwestern method of irrigation. The photo below (from earlier) shows the olla. It has a flat, round top that you just set on top to cover it.

20140420-141915.jpg

It holds about two gallons of water, and will need to be refilled probably twice a week. It came from Summer Winds nursery in Phoenix and cost about $35. Dripping Springs Ollas in Texas makes them.

I dug a hole about six inches deeper and eight or ten inches wider than the olla, and backfilled the hole around the olla with layers of sand, clay, clumps of the blue grama grass, twigs and broken small branches, and seasoned cow poop. Then mulched with gravel on top. All native materials.

The soil all around is hard-packed clay. The experiment is to see whether it will be possible to grow anything at all around the olla, and whether it will inspire life in the surrounding soil that will begin to improve the quality of the soil. I planted just one sunchoke tuber, just to see.

20140420-141901.jpg

This olla, having it in the ground now, has made me happier and more satisfied than about anything I’ve done here. It felt like a sacred and momentous, consequential act, very much like planting a seed. I feel like I’ve done something.

I don’t know why I post these pictures of myself. I hardly ever get to look at myself (no mirrors except the automotive ones), and no reason to look at myself, but sometimes I get a glimpse in a car window and it’s like “Wow, that’s amazing, that’s something you hardly ever see – I should take a picture of it!”

20140420-141907.jpg

My hummingbird attractor tee, but there’s none here.

Yet.

The acorn

20140417-193744.jpg

This evening was absolutely still, absolutely silent. I felt I could hear the sun set if I listened.

Listening … I received a message a couple of weeks ago, just: YOU AREN’T LISTENING.

There is so much to hear, inside ourselves and from our hearts and from God, if we would quiet and listen.

Yesterday I went to town; today stayed in the truck until after noon, and those are the best days, when I stay in the truck and pray, feel, read, journal, write, and don’t come out until that inner-directed intention has become the character of the day. Then I come out and work for a few hours, in the warm afternoon. That seems like the right balance and priorities.

News item: This morning I discovered black bugs in the poop hole! Such excitement! From being at Reevis I know what a healthy poop hole looks like: millions of bugs busy down there, and they process the input immediately. At Reevis we didn’t even throw sawdust down there, just some dirt occasionally if it was overused and there got to be a smell. When the process was finished – which we could see in old outhouse holes when we dug them out to reuse – what was left was just sandy soil, not even compost. This system has worked well for decades at Reevis. So it’s been creepy and sad to me that nobody (nobody with six legs) has been interested in my excrement – a sign of how lifeless and depleted this place is. But today, bugs! About fifteen little black bugs, and a few big ones, checking out my “fertility” hole. Maybe they came over with the cattle that were grazing around camp this morning. To me this is a very exciting positive development, the first little cell of vitality that I seem to have co-created here. Yay for bugs!

I built an A-frame level today, and started the low hoophouse – but I don’t want to write about those tonight. I want to write about Eric Francis, the astrologer from New York, whose reading for 2014 for Sag (that’s me) kept me in the truck all morning. His work has helped me understand what on earth is going on in my life, why I feel so much impetus toward emotional shifts and this feeling that something very important is going on but I can’t say what it is. Some of the things he says about Sag are so flattering and key right into my specialness addiction:

It would be very beneficial, for yourself and for others, for you to do the work to become an enlightened person

and

We need you to be at your clearest and most evolved spiritually, because you are an important piece in the rest of our connection to the source.

Isn’t it nice that he said that about me? 😛 The truth is, seriously, that I feel these statements are true of everyone. That every one of us who, as Eric puts it, “lives up to our current level of spiritual maturity” (meaning living what we know or believe to be true), will embody what he calls “organic spiritual leadership.” This possibility isn’t, obviously, only for those born in November or December! And it isn’t for some chosen person or persons, who for some special reason are destined to be the first mortals after Jesus to become at-one on Earth. We are all little acorns, and every single one of us has the possibility of growing into a mighty oak – I mean, a Christed person. And whether that happens for each of us depends only on our own choice. Just the simple choice to desire that, and to enact that desire.

A very powerful thing to understand.

I’m grateful that this place is becoming what I meant it to be, a place for focused attention to soul work and prayer. I’m grateful that the first thing I think to do when I wake up at dawn is to say good morning to God. I’m grateful that I’m beginning to understand why things have happened as they have in my life (and am growing in compassion for myself through that understanding), that I seem to be connecting better with my spirit guides and guardians, that I don’t feel so competitive anymore, that I realized that my persistent feeling that it was a strange thing to center God so much in my life came from my father’s attitudes which I absorbed, and that I can change that feeling in myself just by choosing to.

Enough for tonight. Time to listen.

20140417-195153.jpg