This afternoon I was regaling the staff with funny stories from the early days here. I described the summer we opened the farm to the public because hundreds of people were showing anyways. It was one of a number of growing seasons when the produce and Flowers were oversized and abundant, and I thought I had licked the issue of insect infestations for all times. We were talking about all this because we’re looking at our labels and considering going “retro” back to designs from the early days.
It is hard for this dear young staff to imagine that hundreds and hundreds of people could arrive at the farm because they heard about us without cell phones, instagram or the internet. It’s kind of hard for me to understand too, but I credit the Elementals who have always been timeless and gizmo free networkers. They knew I was sharing life at the farm and the Flower Essences because I was so darn grateful for how joyful and fun and meaningful my life was with them and the Angels as my partners and our joint creations the center of my daily life.
In the years before Green Hope Farm happened, there had been a litany of personal challenges for me, but when we moved here in the late 1980’s, there was a stretch when just about everything I tried to do blossomed and grew. The bumper sticker on my car read, “Life’s a Joy and then you Ascend” and that said it all. If I stuck a stick in the ground, it grew. If I thought, “I wonder what it would be like to do this activity?”, whatever I needed to do that activity fell into my lap. Things went wrong but in funny ways. I’m sure it was more complicated than this, but my memories of this time are wonderful and sweet. My life was in the gardens and the gardens were glorious, filled as they were by Flowers, children, dogs, cats, and fairies.
Eventually this time passed and I entered a period in which people and places fell away from my life so fast and so unexpectedly that I could barely process it. The garden lessons grew more complex as well. The harvest was what I learned from navigating the complexities and losses. Life became something I had to learn to savor in the middle of pain and suffering. Like everyone else, I had to grow up.
Through the ups and downs, the Angels and Elementals remained ever ready to offer their wise counsel and life up my heart. When I had a positive attitude, it was because I worked to see things this way, not because my world was all sunshine and roses. Suffering can make a person more compassionate, or at least that’s been my experience. I can be in the trenches with you all better, because most of my life I’ve been there with you.
Which brings me to this January. WHEW! Did you all survive it intact? What a whirlwind of stripping away whatever “needed to go.” (btw sometimes I’d really like to talk to the big guy about why exactly ALL this needs to go……) Maybe it is just that I am a Capricorn so all this stuff happening in my sign made it more intense, but gosh, some of your emails made me feel like I got off light and frankly, January was a disorienting series of losses for me.
Some things keep going strong- the love of the Flowers or as the staff goddesses call it, “Flower Power”, the presence of Divinity in all things, the seed catalogs that promise the return of Flowers after our long winter, HUMOR and LOVE.
Originally I was sitting down to write a blog about creativity, but somehow this morphed into thoughts about how creative times are often preceded by an emptying out or literal firestorms burning things to the ground.
In nature, fires lead to new growth in plants. Wild raspberries grow gangbusters on burnt ground and wild blueberries need to be burned through to keep bearing strong. I guess we’re more like berries than we might think. Which leads me to the positive: After this winter time of contraction, loss and challenge, we can look forward to new life and new creative endeavors and their blossoming. Stripped of more self definitions which we thought we needed, we can be open to rediscovering who we are without these labels or these things or people we thought we needed.
I remember when I was stopped in my tracks by my broken arms. Both times the breaks were many with plates, pins, and surgeries. As I recovered, I could do very little but sit there, yet I felt whole. I felt like me. Maybe as we experience the new parameters of our stripped down post January firestorms, we will find yet again the wholeness of who we still are and find wonderful creative, funny, joyful ways to express it.
And for me it begins with new garden plans. I’m trying to grow celery for the first time. How about you?