Monday, January 28, 2013

For the Love of Food!

Myself, my firstborn, and one on the way, practicing organic gardening

For the Love of Food!                        
I believe everyone develops a relationship with food in their early childhood, that’s where comfort food comes from. The foods that not only fill your belly, but make you feel better when you are sad, lonely or sick, the foods you share around the family table with your children.
I am supremely lucky to have been given a relationship with food that is passionate, healthy, and fun. Growing up in the commune, there was always enough to eat, but we lived close enough to the line of not having enough, you better damn well know we respected our food.
I laugh to think the outside world would look in at us and say we were impoverished! Yes we sat down at  the table more times than I care to think about, to a plate of brown rice and beans…AGAIN! Really who could complain about being provided a perfect protein? I can tell you who, me. It took me a good long time to care for brown rice and beans, but now…yes they are my comfort food.
Those were the bad days! The good days we ate corn, freshly picked only hours before, cooked under the evening sun in an outdoor kitchen. The children snacking on fresh sun warmed tomatoes bigger than our heads while we waited for our supper.  There was fresh baked bread and homemade jam, and sometimes the rare treat of meat of some sort, venison or even a bear once (that is another story, the killing of the bear was somewhat controversial in our small branch of the community) hunting was done very seldom and everyone appreciated a creature had lost its life so we could be nourished.
We raised chickens (and learned not to get attached) and literally lived off of the land, we wasted nothing, planting and harvesting the gardens and even going into the woods to harvest nuts and berries! We would harvest Serviceberries by spreading a sheet on the ground and shaking the branches. Gallons of them would be used to make jam. Harvesting the hazelnuts was not quite as easy, with their prickly husks, our little fingers would get tired and sore.  We would sit by the fire at night and husk them and listen to a story either read to us or told by one of our elders.
What I gleaned out of this wholesome relationship to food is how interconnected it is to everything that is important, health, community, family, economics, and environment. It cannot b e extracted from any of these things. It is a basic need for living beings and has become polluted and perverse in that greater society has failed to see its inextricable connectedness to all we need to survive. If we all recognized our need to nourish and be nourished in holistic way I believe we would have much healthier happier society.
Eat well, waste nothing, live healthy. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Flower Child's Daughter

Me my Mother and  Little Brother Circa 1978-79

I am possessed by something that will not let me rest. I know I must now at least attempt to commit my life to words. In this way I think I may finally introduce myself to myself. I have not lived a page turning nail biting adventurous kind of life, but a life of soul searching, reaching for some sort of salve for the many wounds life inflicted upon me, and most importantly, I would like to share my survival story. This perhaps is not the story many people would want to read, but I hope for me at least, it will reveal the secrets of my heart and help me to heal.

This being said, I feel I must elaborate, my life has not been all wounds and melancholy, there has been plenty of joy and love and laughter. I believe my overall statement is that our lives, all unique and individual as snowflakes, are a journey. A journey to self. Self awareness, self acceptance… whatever it is we need ourselves to know.

So it is now, at some point in the middle of my life that I find it necessary to set forth on my journey to relive it for my own purpose, to explain to myself why it is ok to be just exactly who I am.

I will start lightheartedly.

I have never blogged before, but writing is in my being and I have stories to tell! I grew up in a hippie commune started in the 60's and exists in some form or another still today. My stories range anywhere from uber painful, to super hilarious and every thing in-between. I am 38 now and lived communally with my mother until I was old enough to run for the hills! (that would be 18) And run for hills I did! And ran back again, and than again back to the hills. I have now settled down to realize I have duality with my desire to respect my past and to build my future as an individual. I hope in telling my story I find peace, share experience, and enlighten readers to unique lifestyles.

What is on my mind today is my sisters, and no, not your everyday sisters, these women are not all actually related to me. We are sisters of the heart, growing up flower child. We are sisters also without choice, growing up in an environment where, god damn it, you had to work your shit out. And we had shit to work out. And this was not a bad thing, it may have been you didn't want to look at the person's face, but there it was looking back at you. And if you did not find the value of that person, you were only hurting yourself, because one day, one week, or one month later, they would still be there! I think this value of taking the time to see through your differences instead of walking away like it was so easy to do outside our community, built stronger deeper connections than would otherwise be possible. Was there failure? Of course! But over all there was success, and a deep love and respect.

Today I rely on these women, they are always in the background in case one of us falls down. They will be there to pick up the fallen sister, put her back on her feet and love her through all her failures and celebrate her successes.