Friday, May 3, 2013

'Tis the Season

 Spring is here again and the fruit trees appear like white lace on green velvet.  Oregon is so pretty this time of the year.  Normally the hum of bees can be heard from a distance but even though there isn’t much noise in the country these days, I have yet to hear the bees, even while standing under the cherry trees.  The days have been warm and sunny and I wonder if the blooms on our fruit trees will get pollinated this year.  Recently we've had lows below freezing and yet this Sunday is suppose to be close to 90 for the high.  How will we continue to grow food with such huge temperature swings?  I'm waiting for signs at the Farmer's market stating, "closed for remodeling".  Every year we hope to see if nature will be forgiving once again, but we know hope is not a strategy.

This past Saturday I was visited by Jehovah Witnesses and I rejoiced in our agreement of how the system is coming down, though I told them I disagreed that horses from the sky would save me.  I explained politely that I’ve done my reading and most of what I agree with is based on science not just another story that I’m told to believe.  I asked them if they ever thought about the bees and what would happen to our food without them, they too agreed that we are so dependent on nature to reward us with life.  This thought keeps me going as I wait to eat the fruit of the garden.

I’m often asked what it is that gets me up in the morning and motivated to work as though it matters what I’m doing.  Sometimes I don’t even think about it when I begin another day but then there are those times that I ask myself the same question.  I think about the variety of ways I answer as it depends on how sad, angry or loving I feel.  My emotions dictate the way I feel at any given time and sometimes I have to acknowledge them whatever they may be, but I also acknowledge at least one thing of beauty every day and here on the property that’s not hard.
Oregon Iris- like painted nature 

I lived for so long in the material world of consumerism and counted on things of no substance to entertain me, now I watch birds.  After tilling an area in our newly discovered pasture for planting raspberries, I watched our chickens scratch and dig in the soil vociferously disturbing the worms.  I watch butterflies puddling in the soil after watering and I walk the garden paths looking for new shoots of food that will satisfy my hunger while noticing the volunteers that are happy to visit again.  I love living.  

Some have asked us, “if you know that the gig is almost up, why do you continue to work so hard?”  I think about this quite a bit and my answer though it may sound flippant is "what else do you expect me to do?"  Do you expect me to lay in bed in a dreamlike state hoping that the economy will pick up full speed and zoom ahead?  I so remember pretending, though it was years ago with my Barbie dolls on the front porch.  Maybe some expect I might take my life but why would I take it now when it's so real and authentic? No matter how tired, disgruntled, angry or bitter I may be, the ability to live in a way that allows me to give back every day is all I need to keep me going.  It’s my breathing tube that keeps me alive.  I can't play dead. 

When we named our blog, I had just begun to embrace collapse and though I had mixed feelings about embracing something so horrific I never questioned it.  I knew deep down I would have to accept it somehow and why not embrace the love that I have for the beautiful place I’ve lived for over half of my life?  Its no one’s fault but my own that I didn’t pay more attention to the real side of it, the deep down feeling of seeing something so beautiful.  Today I see the beauty as well as rotting decay, like a healthy tooth that has been eaten away by sweetness.  

I now live like a hospice patient who wakes up in the morning sometimes with hope and often with regret, rethinking all the things that I or others could of done differently.  Life is so precious that to not live it every day to the best of one’s ability would be a sheer waste of energy, resources and time which we’re running out of all three.  I embrace collapse and I cry a lot.  I share thoughts with other like minded folk and I thank them for helping me understand the incomprehensible.  I embrace their words of love and compassion when they speak of their daily experiences.  Voices from all over the country and beyond.  I enjoy their stories of how they sow and what they reap.  A face I’ve never seen with a voice so kind and tender is a welcomed respite.  Others I’ve met along the twisted path of emotions growing as we learn, dying as we watch, and loving unconditionally.

Since writing my last post (the beginning of the year) I’ve been thinking more about what it is we really need.  I think about love, compassion and empathy.  I often wonder how I can know what I know and still love, when it’s so easy to hate what we have done.  I'm more gracious to those for inspiring me to continue on or those who support me when I feel like I can't.  
The beginning of a new year unfolded before my eyes as February rolled around and Valentines Day became a reminder of more propaganda;  forcing lovers to give in some of the most expensive ways.  Love by means of exploitation.  Precious land being mined for brilliant stones that say, “I love you”, and cards bought and paid for with words written by someone else.  I remember the days spent shopping for the right one that said exactly what I wanted it to say.  Never did it dawn on me then to write a verse of my own using my own thoughts.  February is a month of memories for me.  A meaningful wedding I missed and a death that I tried to be there for.  Memories are wonderful reflections of what we have left, and to hold on to just those that are happy teaches us little about despair.

Recently my husband and I watched a documentary, Citizen King, and I cried to think about the days of real protest and how those days may be over for us.  The sound of feet marching together made me wish to have been a part of that protest, not this one.  I so often feel like I don’t belong in this life with my feelings.  Maybe like my husband said, we lack the moral courage now to stand, whether it’s for something we know is right or against something we know is wrong.  Like seasons that come and go,  we too swing in the balance as if it’s the only thing we can do and denying becomes the norm.

Spring here in Oregon is anything but normal, but we also know that normal changes all the time.  Maybe this summer will be the last good growing season to “put up” or “shut up” as what we think of as the norm for growing food is rapidly changing along with many other things.  

Changing skies on the Oregon Coast