oh life, what a funny dance. you may have noticed a certain lack of ~dwell~ posts, the ones i did post having been dedicated to the idea of dwelling in the intention of researching (and ending up on) a live aboard boat. i did a fair amount of leg work researching the idea, including consulting the seasoned liveaboard mama cindy at zach aboard, checking listings, researching docking expenses, walking said docks looking for our new home. on the homefront, i commenced an organization/cleaning/downsizing effort that has had delightful results, including that we like our living space more and more, the deeper i delve in this endeavor. the whole exercise has ultimately helped me shape the ideas of what i do (and don’t) want in a living space.
it turns out, a boat isn’t going to work so well for us at this point in our lives. i’m not only ok with that, i’m thrilled at all the extra “work” i’ve gotten done as a result of dwelling in that space of really overturning each stone of that idea~inspiration~thing as it emerged.
i’ve mentioned during the course of the dwell series, that i have my longer term sights set on permaculture. the whole package, not just the kickin’ gardening. the closing of so many leaky cycles, which goes so much deeper than just growing food. the more i get to know myself, the less i can abide waste and chronic excess, and while i’ve been pretty true to those beliefs (and truer all the time) i know that i am not going to rest until i am fully immersed in a life where there are no more blatant geysers of waste pouring forth simply due to the fact of my mere existence. this isn’t everyone’s calling, i want to be clear here. it’s something that is true for me though, and the voice telling me so gets louder all the time.
as for dwelling in those intentions (the permaculture ones), i surprised myself a little and reached out to get to know a woman who said the p word at a local foods meeting quinn and i recently attended. actually i emailed her out of the blue, after said meeting, because she mentioned that she has a weekly open-food-forest-demo site at her property. the best part is that she warmly welcomed quinn, assuring me in her response to my email that her gardening adventures have always included children. i just get the sense that this woman has so much goodness that i can’t help but want to be around her, and she seems very motivated to share her knowledge freely. we showed up yesterday in a rain/wind storm to her house, and immediately got down to work digging potatoes from what looked to be a small, unassuming mound of weeds from last season that some wild strawberry plants were enjoying growing on. 50 potatoes later, i was sold- new method of growing potatoes- check!
there was so much more… quinn’s “best part” (a game we often play as we talk over how our day went) was “drinking water! and playing on the big blue ball!” because after we washed potatoes in rainwater collected by her wheelbarrow, toured the backyard compost scene (trench composting… again, i’m sold. no plastic!) and planted some new onion starts in one of the raised beds, she welcomed us into her beautiful home to show us exactly how to prepare some of our potatoes (which she generously gave us to bring home, along with a few “extra” onion starts that somehow i suspect she could have found room for…) one thing led to another, she offered quinn water to drink, and soon she and quinn were discussing center of gravity as he attempted balancing on her yoga ball. (he kept saying “it’s inside the ball! my center of gravity is inside the ball!”)
and can i just rave about soil for a moment? the bed we planted the onions in was a bed she started right on top of the grass turf that was there, in place, when she moved in (not that long ago). and it was drop dead gorgeous soil. absolutely teeming with worms, and you could literally sink your arm down into it without need for a tool. it was just. so. fertile-fluffy-nice-even-in-a-rainstorm. sheet mulching, baby. i tucked away a few tips for getting started and again, i’m sold.
but back on the reaching out to new people thing- i am keenly feeling my singleness these days, and my vulnerability. downsizing our belongings and reorganizing our household has had me contemplating my driving forces. why is it that i am suddenly really interested in living without furniture? i know that a portion of that drive is a desire to be completely self sufficient. while self sufficiency is a worthy goal from many angles, that is perhaps not the ideal angle… it’s okay to ask a friend to lift the other end of your futon when you need to move it. or so i am trying to convince myself… i haven’t had a backyard furniture bonfire. yet….
so, interdependence. i am trying to find the balance between complete and total i-am-an-island independence, and codependence (tried that out for a while and it’s really not for me!) and slowly, slowly, slowly realizing that there is a healthy middle ground. i’m still looking for it, but hey, at least i’m paying attention to that intention. dwelling in it, shall we say?
our host yesterday noted that part of the permaculture dance involves rethinking the concepts of boundaries and fencelines. she told me how she has had to navigate a tricky relationship with a neighbor whose dryer exhaust was killing her blueberry bushes. i believe she used the lovely wording “cultivating relationships.” let’s just say that it was a bit more than a composting and gardening lesson…