29 April 2011

Quail Springs: Beautiful Happenings

I've been settling in now to the community life. This week has been full of all matters of goodness, and I have plenty-o-fotografias to share.  Last night, we had this lovely celebration of life and music, and I thought of how much I will miss these folks when I leave.

Tuesday, I ventured over to Painted Rock and to see the wildflowers.

A view from the top of painted rock, Maya below

one of the cave paintings
oh gorgeous flowers!

thistles and such
  At the end of day, we all can be quite tired. Wednesday was a busy day. 

Relaxing on the porch with Brenton and Vic
Thursday, visioning day, I hiked along the mountain ridge.

Quail Springs below
Poetry nights, hootenannies, dancing, stretching, walking....I'm thankful for this good life.
Friends are visiting too! More pictures to come....I'm exausted.

24 April 2011

Quail Springs: Diving in

So, tomorrow I'm doing it. I'm going to leave my blackberry turned off! And if that goes well, I'll leave it off till Wednesday!  It's time.  I've been procrastinating, but this weekend I felt encouraged to go for it, to trust that the world won't fall a part, that my family will be fine, that my friends won't be gone, and that I will be ok, enough, more than enough.  No need to know the time. No need to check in just now with my friends who are coming to visit this month. Nope. All will be well and all manner of thing shall be well. Yes!

I think the change (which hasn't happened yet mind you! I will have to turn it off after I use it as an alarm tomorrow morning for milking the goats time!) internally happened when I dove into the Santa Barbara ocean today for an Easter baptism really. Invigorated, I called aloud "rebirth! feminine fire! transformation!"

We had spent the day Saturday in the Santa Barbara hills to hear Jan, our mentor here at QS (http://redsequin.com/) sing at Cold Springs Tavern.  Quite randomly, we ended up dancing salsa (with my old salsa crew!) in Oxnard and then sleeping in a friend's home (right by Henry's beach) in SB.  Then today, Sunday, we enjoyed the sun and water.  I so love having the waves move my body, leaping up, spinning around, and just playing....

So much play!!!!!

So, here's my home in my little nook facing West:

 She's so cozy, warm, and I feel protected and taken care of.  I'm excited to have friends come stay or camp around.

23 April 2011

Quail Springs: dear friends...

In the mornings walking from dianita to the main house, spider webs gather on my trousers.  I see them --glistening thin silver lines hanging from juniper bush to oak scrub-- there's so many I can't but help collect them. On my dark jeans, they look so pretty.

I'm coming to know the spiders, the ants, and the animals here at QS.  I like checking in on the baby bunnies...
and the (two days old) baby chicks.

 I like taking Honey and the other goaties for a walk on the ridge.
 And just saying hello to the Mr. White Rabbit.

I've also been making friends with humans too. We went wine tasting at a neighbor's winery - Sagebrush Annie's --and were treated to many little delicious tastey sips.

These friends are challenging and encouraging me to live from the heart and body. School work is pretty much all done -- and I did well; just got the emails -- so it's time to let go. Early summer for me.

22 April 2011

Quail Springs: Playing in the Clay Earth, Keeping the Fire

Yesterday, a few women and I played in the clay mud.  We were preparing it for the cob, and we were loving it!

Senia, a young woman who lives here at QS, approached me with the clay straight from the creek bed.  I asked her to put it on my cheeks and arm, and we took turns, with another apprentice, Mae, decorating each other.  Then, we walked up to where some other community members are making cob fire pits for hot baths. Already there was a big tub of clay and water ready to be mixed, and I just let my fingers and arms sink in.  We then started singing:
The Earth is my body
Water my blood
Air my breath
Fire my spirit

And it became a meditation.  I felt this deep connection with the other women and the clay Earth.  Mae, at one point, just stuck her face right in, and I laughed aloud.  It seemed so audacious until Julie, another apprentice, also stuck her face and head in.  Then the three children who are visiting dove in, and last, Senia and I.  It was so beautiful and simple. 

Today, a couple women who were mentored by a Chumash medicine woman this past weekend are keeping a fire all day and night for healing.  I've enjoyed painting and reading and napping around the fire. I lounged in the hammock under the tree in the garden too.  It's a visioning day, as they call it, and so, I'm seeking my vision as I read Women Who Dance with the Wolves

Time for a bicycle ride up to the spring....

20 April 2011

Quail Springs: Reading and Being

Finally finishing up this Dark Mothers paper, and I was able to dive into some reading.  I know I know -- just be! But these old habits can't just leave lickity split you know?! I read some sweet lines in Desert Solitude about loneliness replaced by loveliness as well as "this is the most beautiful place on Earth." And, from Starhawk's Earthpath, a meditation on composting what you no longer need.  I guess in part I've turned to others' words this morning because I woke with such a start last night from a sad dream in which I was forgotten and deleted from a loved one's life.  Or, at least, that's how I'm reading it.  It seems strange really, for this to come up now, and I wonder what lesson I'm to learn.  This is an oppportunity, I tell myself, to welcome my emotions and to love myself.  And, although I hear Rumi whispering,

"Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instruments
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground."

I still go to the study. This morning, I read some Denise Levertov again:

"That our loyalty to one another and our loyalty to our work
not be set in false conflict...

That our love for each other, if need be,
give way to absence. And the unkown.

That we endure absence, if need be,
without losing our love for each other.
Without closing our doors to the unkown."

Here's a fotografia or two of the yesterday's adventures: compost mixing, planting seeds, scattering the compost, and then dancing on it!

19 April 2011

Quail Springs Month: Traveling, Arriving, Enjoying

On the road again... to the Cuyama Valley

...this time, I'm on the road (without Kerouac this time) with my Dianita camper mobile nook.  I picked her up at the farm house (many thanks to the Lucas' for letting me borrow her!), put all my things inside, and nos fuimos!  Well, kind of:

I paused for a spell with my dear sisterfriend Kat at the Oaxacan Festival in Oxnard. It was a good pause to see that the camper was working well, and after, I filled her up with gas (don't ask how much!).  On the drive, I listened to oldies -- "rolling like thunder" and "magic woman" and "don't know where I'm going, but know where I came from" -- and was feeling ready for anything.

I was also flooded with memories of traveling in a similar camper with my grandparents.  They had taken my sister and I across the states up from New Mexico to the Dakotas.  I remember Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and so many other sites.  I also remember how the soda tasted, the card games we played with Grammie laughing, and us belting out "when the saints go marching on."

Now with my camper roadtrip, I felt young and free and adventerous on my own.  The fear and anxiety I had been feeling while in L.A. left me, and I had this great sense of autonomy.  Safety nets transformed into webs of trust, and even when an accident closed down route 33, the delay became a party.  As we waited for the road to clear, I got to know other travelers, someone even had beers!  Later, when the hwy opened, I stopped with my new biker friends at a bar in the middle of nowhere en route to Quail Springs, and we played pool as I sipped a bloody mary.  I hadn't planned on going to the bar really, but one of my new biker friends was waiting at the bar turn off. How could I say no to a guy on a harley waiting for me at the crossroads?

me and nettles in the kitchen and common building

Now here at QS, I'm impressed by a lot.  It feels very synergistic.  I arrived an hour before dusk, and I set up my little Dianita in this lovely space under some trees and at the foot the mountain.  I've never had a place of my own really, and I took time to decorate, hang my beautiful things, and set up an altar of intention for my time here.  After a nummy dinner with the other apprentices and community, we had a full moon dance and drum circle.  I felt so welcome, and when someone brought out the lyrics to "please remember me," a favorite song of mine by Iron and Wine, I cried a bit; I just I belonged in this place with these people.  I had visited QS last year, and I felt that same energy then. It was good to feel it again, to feel this confirmation inside.

Next day (yesterday), I had some great expriences, including:
milking a goat,
sheparding the goats on a walk,
almost stepping on a rattlesnake,
collecting nettles and making a soup as well as a tonic for later medicinal use,
taking a short nap that turned into a long nap,
weeding around the garlic,
dancing in the wind,
and ......working on my dark mothers paper I haven't finished yet!

Today I've set the intention to write some more, both this blog and the paper, and I've also brought out Papa's guitar and am learning and sharing with friends songs of the past as well as of here and now.

My dream the first night was of a childhood friend (Adam Wolven, who represents for me a very "go explore" point of view and who I traveled with to Baja) telling me to "Go! Explore!" and last night I dreamt I was writing family and friends from Africa (which I've never been to but think represents newness, wildness).

And this is my mantra up here: to be wild, to be free, to be innocent, to trust my intuition, to love the moon, to love my body, and to just celebrate my whole self and the Earth in this dwelling place.

13 April 2011

Countdown to Permaculture Community for a Month

So, I have this new truth springing up within me. Perhaps it's not new really, but I'm starting to be able to speak it. Here it is:  I can't imagine really living that grown-up life with house, family, 9 to 5, the nuclear family, and now I'm pretty sure I don't have to at all.  This morning I woke up from a dream saying this mantra: "Why would I ever go back?" Now, I'm not just talking about escaping abusive relationships, which I really think are so prevalent in our world; I'm speaking about escaping the traditional home altogether.  Of course, I don't think this necessarily means I must be liberated from having children, but as far as I can tell so far, children are a "package deal" and the package (hehe)  is not what I'm looking for...not at all.

And, I'm moving to a commune to try it out.  www.quailsprings.org.  Who knows if I will be able to handle it. I certainly like the city life in part with the varied happenings, the many diverse people, and the excitement. I have four days before living on the land, and I'm just rolling in the fb world, internet life, bar and night life, l.a. life, go go go life.  Four days to go, and I'm nervously eating it all up. It's my gluttonous side, and mardi gras is this weekend. Watch out.

But, I'm still looking forward to going as well. I'm starting a new journal, preparing for the rehab detox of country living, and looking forward to the transformation burgeoning in me.

This liminality (I love this word) feels like this perhaps because I am in love with song so much these days: