Thursday, February 3, 2011

Emergent Growth

Spring is already in the air here in the Northwest, with the first tentative buds bulging on trees, and the tiniest shoots of green popping up in the garden. It's a tease of course, as Spring is every year here, it starts early, but fruition is a long time coming. We joke that summer starts July 5th in the Northwest, and seriously, it ain't no joke.

There are seed catalogs beginning to pile up on my counter, so far un-browsed, but beckoning. I look out at my raggedy garden, soaked, muddy, and most definitely dormant. The greenhouse plastic in tatters, my chicken coop long abandoned. I've long dreamed of turning our little 2 acres in the woods into a little self-sustaining farmette, a spiritual and creative retreat, if only with a tiny yurt or wall tent on our back lot for a sanctuary/yoga/writing/art/reading/prayer-hut. I could totally, totally make this happen.

So, why don't I? I mean besides the fact that I have 4 children, ages 4, 7, 9 and 11, and that motherhood and homemaking utterly and completely kicks my ass at times? Yes, I'm busy, just like everyone else is, and really who wants to hear that excuse from anyone? Yet, I excuse myself from my own dreams because of busy-ness all the time.

Today I was flipping through the latest copy of MaryJanesFarm magazine (You MUST check her out if you don't know her already) for some inspiration, and of course, I found it. But this quote completely knocked me out:

"Too often we balk at the very things that could give us the life we want. Too often, the fear that we're incapable causes us to make excuses.

'No time'

'No money'

'No clue how to use a circular saw.' [insert your own favorite tool or art supply here]

The obstacles seem great, the provisions slim. We talk about "making do." But that doesn't mean settling-it means expecting more and better from yourself."-MaryJane Butters.

YES! Amen, Amen, Amen! This life I dream of is unimaginably, tantalizingly, amazingly, and gratefully within arms reach. I am so thankful to be able to stay home with my children, to have all my needs taken care of, and to even have a little left over for fun and dream building. To have a husband who tolerates and even encourages all my dreams, and gives me an understanding grin with his eye roll when I tell him my latest plans, and always tells me to go for it. There's nothing standing in my way, except myself, my own fears of failure, (and of success) and yes, I'm afraid a wee bit of laziness too. Making that life happen will take a lot of good old fashioned hard work.

I really just need to put pen to paper, seed to soil, chick to coop, arse to cushion, heart to prayer and be ready to ask for lots and lots of help along the way to learn the things I don't know how to do already. But I CAN do it.

"You have everything you need to begin."

This was my chosen mantra when I took the Mondo Beyondo class last year. (highly recommended, by the way). This statement has been rattling around in my brain again lately. Perhaps it's seeing the light lingering in the sky a few minutes longer each evening, the aroma of Spring surprising me as I step out into the cold, damp air, but I'm feeling ready to grow again. I've been in a season of rest for several months, recovering from what I realized was several years of debilitating stress and health issues, rearranging my thought patterns, letting go of guilt and crazy expectations, accepting more and more of myself as I really am. I am so grateful that I live in a peaceful country, in a wonderful small town, with an amazing husband, and 4 really great kids. My life is full. I can take it any which way I choose. I really do have EVERYTHING I need to begin. I bet you do too.

I know what I want to do with it all. But, it's easy to get pulled away, lulled by screens, watching other people have all the adventures, or get lost in the fun of learning about it all, and forgetting to actually DO something.

Create, Engage, Connect, Grow.

That I can do.

What are you doing these days? What new ideas are incubating for you right now?


  1. Well, I am learning to use a circular saw!

  2. Yes, yes, yes! I'm learning the guitar and how to ski! I will hatch some chicks for you in our incubator, it takes 21 days, will that work? Lets help each other with gardens. I am so overwhelmed with the veggie garden thing!