OK so it’s been a while! Sure has been an eventful last few months since my last writing..where to begin?!
During my travels, I tried to write every month to keep friends and family informed on my whereabouts and share about what kinds of projects and work I was doing in South America. I’d like to continue to use this space as a venue to share new ideas, projects, and inspiration. I am so grateful for all the support from loving friends and family not only during my travels, but also in my daily life.
After a period of many transitions..coming back to USA, reconnecting with friends and family on the west coast, driving cross country… I am now in a new home in Hadley, MA and excited to settle in here (for now). Coming back to the states and back to my home of the abundant Pioneer Valley of Western MA has been so graciously smooth having a net of loving, supportive friends to catch me, opening their homes and hearts receiving me with so much love! Leap and the net will appear! THANK YOU to South Prospect Street and Simple Gifts Farm and everyone in between 🙂
To all of you, may 2013 be rich with adventure, love, light, laughs, good health, delicious food, and growth! A blessing from one of my recently new favorite authors, John O Donohue :
May you awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.
May the flame of anger free you from falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and may anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.
So far, 2013 is looking like a blessing of a year! With my new position as “Education and Community Engagement Coordinator” with a dynamite team at UMass Permaculture Initiative and an upcoming year-long yoga teacher training at Karuna Center for Yoga and Healing Arts in a beautiful, welcoming community with the most inspirational of all teachers, Eileen Muir…balance will be a great goal of mine. During my travels last year, I tasted the present moment and realized how delicious it is! And among many other things, noticed my tendency to fill every moment with committment. Although I deeply love my work in local agriculture and feel incredibly grateful for the abundance of meaningful work happening here in Western Mass, it is important for me (and others) to have time to cherish the present moment, breathing deeply. Traveling revealed a lot about my personality, tendencies, and habits. One of my strongest “take-away” insights was that I do need help structuring this “free time” into my work-week. My increased practice at Karuna won’t do this for me, but most likely give me the tools to make this space and time for myself productive, healthy, and free!
I am excited to weave this practice into the great work we’re doing with the Permaculture Initiative. These projects excite and inspire me for the future of our local food system and higher education. From bringing gardens to local elementary schools (check out Grow Food Amherst!) to presenting the infinite possibilities of permaculture at the White House(!), this group has many great minds and hard working hands and Having been friends with many of its members and worked with the project indirectly (as a Student Farmer) for a few years, it has been INSPIRING and FUN to watch them GROW and to now be a part of it!
In addition to these two main activities, I am keeping my hands dirty at two of my favorite organic Western Mass farms that I call home Winter Moon Roots and Simple Gifts Farm! A lens in which I try to integrate all of these positions is wellness and body care for beginning farmers. I’ve been interested in this topic ever since I took a course with Julia Simonson and John Gerber (one of my biggest inspirations!). In these “Sustainable Agriculture” programs at universities and higher education institutions, often body care and wellness are left out. In almost every field, but especially in the field in agriculture we use our bodies! And often inefficiently!
This year I will be hoping to focus on integrating my love of yoga and healing body work with my agricultural work. Setting holistic goals, like using breath efficiently in movement, awareness of alignment, using my left hand (non-dominant hand) to do more things (like brushing my teeth..have you ever tried it? 🙂 ) Am excited to work more with and give thanks to Lydia Irons (the flexible farmer!) and her healing body work focussing on hard-working manual laborers. A dear soul sister friend, Emily has also been instrumental in my wellness goals with her blossoming business Sweetgrass Herbals…all of these inspirational, firey women doing wonderful, nourishing work to keep the seeds alive!
With a deep breath, I feel deep love, support and gratitude to be here now!
Lots of love and light to YOU, and all those you love too! (and the ones they love and the ones they love…)