June 5th marks the eighth anniversary of Sacred Suenos, which marks a good opportunity to reflect on the project. I’ve been blessed this year with a few return volunteers (two of whom were first here when the land was nothing but acidic, depleted soil, supporting only bracken, and one of whom joined me before i had made the first adobe block to build with). Their perspective reminded me what challenges i first faced, and how much progress has been made since i arrived. I’m so grateful for their reaction to the Seed Camp, especially since i’ve been rather disappointed by my slow progress on the new RADi site.
Not that the Seed Camp is completely developed, yet. There’s still some additional infrastructure (dining room, deck, and perhaps another bedroom cabin), a section for field crops to be developed, and the soil still needs more invigorating. I have heard, second hand, that some people are critical of my progress in eight years, not understanding why i shouldn’t be able to fully feed the people living at the Seed Camp by now (average 7 people). I must admit that i wish the land would regenerate faster, too, but then i note how much it has grown since the days when corn wouldn’t reach ten centimeters before dying. Right now, we’re eating farm fresh salad every day, overloading on beans, several species of berries, lots of Andean fruits, and more! And what’s impressive is that all this increased production comes without any inputs of compost or good soil from off the land. It’s easy to make one’s land productive by robbing fertility from other sites, but quite another thing to help nature turn a depleted land into something lush. Nature teaches patience, not instant gratification.
I’m continually learning about patience, among so many other things. A couple of months ago, i had a hard lesson on attachments to forms of life; as well as on the interconnectedness of everything. Our sweet buddy, Two Socks (the tall horse, fledging member of the logistics team), broke one of his hind legs severely, and had to be put down. I had some time to say good-bye, shed some tears, then buried his head, heart, and hoofs, under a fig tree. For two weeks, i ate horse meat two meals per day, and have now harvested a couple of figs, giving thanks and inviting a little bit of two socks into my being. Through considering those figs, i’ve truly felt how many creatures have been and gone, had become two socks, become me… and that i, too, will one day go and spread into the beings that will come.
On a different note, i’m happy to say that the internship program is finally off to a great start, with Kimmy settling into the role of Farm Facilitator at the Seed Camp. You’ll be able to read about her experience soon 🙂 as well as that of Chloe, who’s going to start her RADi internship this month. I’m looking forward to getting into serious action at RADi this summer (with a small break to participate in the Water Woman festival in Vilcabamba), and then do another trip to California this fall. I hope to manifest some work through October and a chunk of November, and then go to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur for a month long work study on Non Violent Communication. The program sounds wonderful, and i really look forward to improving myself, and sharing what i’ll learn with the people who flow into the communal setting at the Seed Camp, and possibly even through Vilcabamba. But the program is expensive, and even working six weeks won’t cover the cost of it, the flight to the US, and paying for caretakers. If you, or anyone you know, may be able to give me financial support, i would greatly appreciate it :).
So here’s to eight years of Sacred Suenos, to the hundreds of beautiful people who came, made the mountain a little more fertile and biodiverse, and hopefully gained a little inspiration in the meantime. I raise a little glass of mountain brewed mead, and wish this little mountainside continued revitalization. May her soil build, her biodiversity increase, her bounty increase, and her waterfalls flow steady and full of magic!