What we’re planting

Spring is arriving.  It seemed improbable, and given that every year we’ve been here has been pretty much completely different even while adhering to constant weather extremity, I still found my heart lifted at the sight of the fleeting pink haze covering the oak trees.  Now they’re leafing out in that absolutely splendid new, unique green color they have.  It’s like watching energy coalesce.  The hummingbirds are en masse, gale force, and one of last year’s cabbage plants appears to have become a perennial.  The snow covering the top of Mt. Shasta leads me to hope we’ll see it pink in a sunset soon.

We’re still in a quiet sort of planning stage.  I realized the other day that it’s really no wonder we’re both tired.  We got here in a state of moderate traumatization and have worked like dray horses until this winter.  Events then conspired to deliver a mental knockout punch which allowed, or presented requirements, for a physical stoppage for a while.  I realized that the Partner’s constant admonition to just STOP made total sense.  When you run around, constantly doing….you’re not in balance.  Eventually the doing stops as your end of the teeter totter crashes to the ground.  You may, as I did, wriggle around thinking you’re still upright but eventually the truth reveals itself.  You are not upright at all.

I saw, then,  just how much this whole experience has both changed me and brought out the deeper pieces that were previously underwater.    It’s shocking how much I didn’t see myself for what and who I am, but that is part of being human apparently.

We made a choice, coming here, or perhaps it would be better to say a preliminary part of our bigger choice was made.  We wanted to leave the city, and lo and behold it decided to spit us out as so often happens.  It was a bit premature to my mind in terms of planning and readiness but, you know, come out big or stay home.  I firmly believe that fate or whatever you want to call it had a HUGE part in our finding ourselves here.  Especially given that we’d never even HEARD of it til we moved here.  Excitement, yes?  The reality of living a much simpler, less electrified and more rural lifestyle, has shown us both things that have been surprising, largely because it has confirmed a great deal of what we both, albeit separately, had always thought deep down.

A lot of that is political of course, because the personal is pretty much always political.  I have never believed, and still don’t, that money is a mark of success and goodness.  I don’t think we need to eat tomatoes in the dead of winter here, but I also think? that since we live in a state that produces a huge amount of food for the world that we absolutely SHOULDN’T be eating things out of season that come from halfway across the world.  Why don’t we eat our own food and call it good?  This idea has its roots in what I think is a more truly democratic process, and not a process that has investment bankers and corporate lawyers at its heart and as its prime beneficiaries.  You work for the good of the whole, not the few.  That whole includes everything, includes treating the earth like your brother or sister.  In a way the shift we made really was political.  It was us saying we want to be free, we want to think for ourselves, and we want to work for the common good by, at the very least and to start, reducing our carbon footprint and stewarding whatever land we occupied, along with taking some responsibility for the food we eat.

This has rather thorough-going ramifications.  I reject many things now that people I am close to accept, and it is an interesting, and slightly frightening, thing to see how those differences get navigated.  It is easy for people to dismiss someone who lives the way we do, not in a house and in parlous economic setting, living in a way as our 19th century  ancestors did.  It is easy for them to think we don’t know what we’re doing or talking about.  But I think we do.  This bridging of the gap, this allowing the light to be shed on the entire room, is important.  We cannot continue, in this world, to do things the way we have been doing them.  Energy, resources, population, the seeming total inability to live in peace with each other, and the relentless placing of money at the top of everything all the time- it isn’t good, it isn’t sustainable, and I don’t think you need to be a rocket scientist to figure this out.  Speaking of which, I read the NEW YORKER article on the ITER project myself.  It left me both encouraged and anxious.  There isn’t all that much time, and it is late in the day to let one’s ignorance of how the world really works be a guiding light.  Simply because one is comfortable in this world, or benefiting from its works, is not a good enough reason to remain silent and inactive anymore.  You just have to see things for what they are, no excuses.  It isn’t that complicated to set things right, either.  But it is like healing.  Anything is possible but not everyone is capable.  I mean, really.  What if all the rest of the world said, for example, to Putin: KNOCK IT OFF VLADI.  ABSOLUTELY NOT.  Or they kept capitalist ideation out of agriculture altogether, including ALL the kafuffle, from marijuana, corn, Monsanto’s seeds, to toxic chickens and not labelling GMOs.  I saw some apologist for the powers that be discussing the trade talks between the US and the EU, especially pertaining to food imports.  If the food is safe and nutritious for Americans, it’s good enough for Europeans, he said.  Of course, the evidence- if you choose to look at it- shows that the food the average American eats is far from safe and in fact splats them firmly on the disease conveyor belt.  How hard would it be to take the beneficiaries of our current system- the petroleum industry, don’t kid yourself- and say, jeez guys.  You’ve got enough money to last until kingdom come.  Lighten up, literally.  You ain’t running this game anymore.  We’ve decided to LIVE.

That is my hope, anyway, and my further hope is that the Partner and I are walking the right path, monsters or no.

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