Looking back, staying present

SOME WEEKS AGO:

The last couple of moons have brought me a familiarity of another time. Those first years, when I would spend long stints completely alone, falling into routines, forced into reflection, talking to myself, to any animate object, and perhaps a few inanimate, as well. There was some loneliness back then, i admit, but what i’ve been reminiscing about has been the sense of calm that comes from focusing on the land. Literally being one with nature.  I also appreciate the freedom to sing to goats, argue with ducks, and be a happy freak without any judgment. Even before these moons of solitude, though, for a full spin around the sun, actually, I’ve been blessed with the comings and goings of Ale, a very adept freak enabler. She was also an astounding work enabler, and we managed to accomplish quite a lot while she was here during invierno, the rainy season. We finished the pond and got some ducks for it, made a little aviary and got 30 quail (but 29 were male, and we’ve eaten most of them), and with help from Lutz and a fun crew, we put up the main structure for the SolariYome. Bam!

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Ale left during the same week that Louisa, Keisha, Casey, Chad, and Kyrsten left as well, a couple of moons ago. Lutz was still around, but only came up for a couple days every couple weeks. A while before, Deb and Edwin had moved into the valley and disappeared into a secluded love nest. So it got quiet, quickly.

It feels fondly familiar to those first years that i lived in the Seed Camp kitchen. Lots of solitude and serenity. Ample time to lose myself in daydreams and self-dialog while working. Those first years  immersed me in a peace that cleared my head and allowed me to understand myself better, and i can feel it happening again, now. Of course,  there are significant differences. I’m not completely alone on the mountainside. Lukas, who volunteered here last year, has returned. He’s made the Seed Camp his home, and we see each other a couple of times a week. Another difference is the number and diversity of animals and birds. I’m not only talking about the farm animals, though i appreciate the entertainment, and connection that the horses, goats, dogs, cat rabbits, chickens, ducks, and quail provide me. I’m also talking about all the wildlife that now exists here. If the biodiversity continues to increase at the rate that i’ve been experiencing lately, i can’t imagine what this mountainside will look like in the decades to come.

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Perhaps the most significant difference is my level of confidence. In those first days, i wasn’t sure if i could do it, build it, plant it. I wondered if i were going to find community, if the land could be regenerated significantly, if i could find the right tools to grow my skills, and grow as a person. Today, well, i still have some insecurities, and will continue to deal with them as i take on new challenges, but when it comes to the challenges that i began this adventure with, I feel that i am succeeding.

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AND NOW:

From solitude to multitudes! These past few weeks have brought a number of volunteers, nearly filling all the beds at Seed Camp. It’s a pretty good crew, good talks, fun lessons, and new bonds forming. Strangely, i still feel like i’m comparing this with the past. Not those first years of relative solitude, but the next few years, when a more permanent community didn’t yet exist, but the flow of volunteers was steady. My memories of that time, however, are not as romanticized as my first years. Managing volunteers without being a boss is like trying to herd cats, and i didn’t do the greatest job during those last couple years at the seed camp. Without the rest of the community, I have to be responsible for the volunteer program again. But again, there are some significant changes. Being able to live at a distance has given me the space to breath when i need to, and for a while, Lukas tried to take some of the responsibility. The most significant and optimistic difference between the past and now, though, has been how Non-Violent Communication is radically changing how i deal with people, including myself, when i feel my emotions triggered. I’m not perfect. I’ve asked the crew to call me out if i do get grumpy or short with anyone, but most people don’t usually tell me until well after their stay. Hopefully, these guys will be the ones who write me in years to come, and tell me that I inspired them, not that i offended them.

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On a different note, I’ve reconsidered what i’m doing with RADi. At the moment, Keisha,
and Casey, who are the most committed to living at Sacred Sueňos on a relatively permanent basis after i leave, have said that they don’t want to be responsible beyond the land that i originally liberated. Well, i’m going to have to find somebody who’ll keep RADi thriving when i’ve done my share of regenerating and developing it. Asking somebody to take on something like a design institute may be asking too much, so i’ve decided to humble my plans, and just focus on making a very easy to manage homestead. I’m announcing this mainly to force me to update the website sooner than later. We’re still planning on giving classes, workshops, and retreats at the Seed Camp, and i’ll always offer free weekly regenerative seminars to anybody who wants to participate.

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I know that i’ve still got a few years before my fifteen year promise to this land is fulfilled, and I may find myself playing on the mountainside a year or two beyond that, but i can sense a shift. I’m now visualizing the end game, setting final goals, even imagining the possible lives i could be living beyond this one. It won’t be easy to let this place go, and luckily i don’t have to go through that right now. Today, i get to appreciate the sunset, breath the fragrant mountain air, taste the pure spring water, and relish in a lifestyle that has fulfilled me in ways i could never have imagined. I’m so grateful that i found this path, and that so many have joined me on it, one step at a time.

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