Monday, March 21, 2011

We woke up to wind blowing this morning.  This means that it is only going to get more windy as the day progresses.  How do I feel?  I feel reflective and irritated.  I feel like the wind blowing.  I feel like it is time to take a moment to reflect on everything that we have gone through these past months.  Most of it has been amazing.  Some of it has been down right heartbreaking.  I admit it-this has not all been sunshine and butterflies.  Sometimes it down right sucks;  as the wind rips right through us, or as the cold creeps into our bones, or as the plants won't grow, or struggling for answers when we have creatures dieing and we need advice, or there is no more hay and we know the livestock is already starving, or we get sick but all of the organisms need to be fed, or when we just want to throw our hands up. It sucks, for instance when we find dead creatures that we have created a bond with; the bond of life which leads concurrently-sometimes too soon to the bond of death.  These little ones know something that we do not-they have passed to the other side before "we" believe it is time.  This morning Timothy found little Sparky, a lamb born three days ago whose mom and twin also died, dead in the midst of a pile of hay.  Sparky had really had some nice influence on our first bummer lamb "Baby," or really whatever you would like to call her.  Sparky introduced her to the herd and gave Baby that realization that she too is a sheep.  Sparky and Baby traveled around the pastures together.  It was super sweet seeing this friendship forming.  Now what?  Baby is back to the fence line waiting for human interaction.  Damn.  And then the garden.  Who am I to plant a garden in the desert?   I really struggle with this. Seriously, I cannot support the big box shops 100% nor expect that we are going to self sustainable here where it hasn't rained for months.  Recently we were invited to Sycamore Ranch to learn to brand cattle.  The rancher, Bill MacDonald and his family have owned and run this ranch for over 100 years.  Bill stated that in recent years his ranch was a complete oasis.  This year, he laments that if it doesn't rain they may have to stop operations.  He has never known this extreme lack of precipitation.  And we look at what is happening around us, with our hands up in the air in complete surrender.  We have no control over what is in our air, water, dirt and the fighting against Pachamama continues-and it feels like we have no voice.  We have no say in what is thrown into our ozone and either rains upon us or not at all.  What does one do?  Do we turn blind eyes at what is really going on, or do we continue to plant seeds and hope for the small green life sprout from her knowing of the super unnatural procedure of watering in the desert?  I do remember Scott Pittman stating in our Permaculture class at Sustainable Settings, Carbondale, Colorado that the answer is in the problem.  But what if the problem is this: {Some} people don't care for others, people are run by money and greed, people don't think about the long term affects of their actions so when something like a nuclear power plant explodes it should make us wonder why it was created in the first place---to save MONEY.  Did it save money?  How could it have if so many have been ill affected by the radiation oozing across the planet and into our food chain, water cycle, and universe?  Why do we continue to create and construct such things when we know clearly that the future may be grim if it breaks, or if there is a natural disaster nearby.  What is it about our US government and money?  How come there is money for yet another war, but not enough to take care of its' citizens health or education?  I believe my taxes went into the weapons being used in one of the three, if not all of the countries we are currently in war with.  I did not choose to have my money go there, I was never asked.  It is time for us to look a bit more reflectively at this, at our heart's words and feelings.  It is time for all of us to take action if we haven't begun already.  Educate yourself, empower your being, act as you believe is right and make your own opinions.  Believe in the power of good.

I do see hope and beauty in many of the people we have recently met and the places we have visited.  Mentioned above was Sycamore Ranch where Timothy and I learned the amazing art, if you will of branding.  It is not pretty and quite frankly it is not nice.  I certainly would not want to be a calf, but I did learn the many positive outcomes of the entire act of branding.  In a time span of three minutes, max, a calf is caught, dragged, brought to the ground, branded, castrated if a bull, ear tagged, ear marked and immunized and then let free.  I swear these people have it down pat.  We branded 122 calves that day and then they were set free to graze in the mountains.  We appreciated the experiential learning that day along with the explanations to all of our many questions.  We are very thankful for your time and patience! 

We traveled across the border to Agua Prieta where a man named Jose has begun a program called Dougla Prieta Trabajan.  This amazing organization has united Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta, Sonora in many facets.  One of these facets is through permaculture, where we were asked to come down and look at the site and give suggestions.  Timothy and I were amazed.  How wonderful that in the midst of a city, there is the beginnings of site that is utilizing the permaculture principles.  Agua Prieta is a dirty city, as most are and they have many challenges that they have faced and will continue  to.  The fact that some have forged ahead believing in nature, pachamama, health, beauty, serenity in the midst of it all made me really  be thankful to be a part of this project.
We said goodbye to Ellen and Jackie who are our colleagues from the Permaculture Institute training.  Both these lovely women gave us two weeks of their lives to  be a part of Pachamama Permaculture at Tornrose Farm.  Their energy, sweet love, ideas, projections and determination helped us so much.  Along with them, was Xavier, a WWOOFr from France who was fantastic.  We loved his care and concern for the animals along with his personal touch on all of the projects he did.  You all have a place back here at Pachamama.
And we took a day off.  Yes we did.  Well kind of.  Yes, we fed all the creatures, made sure everyone was well (Momma ewe died that morning so we had to take her to her final (sort of) resting place) and drove to Turkey Creek in the Chiricuas.  We layed in the sun, watched butterflies, admired the flowers, listened to the water, had a lovely picnic, climbed along a perfectly fallen tree, talked, watched our crazy dog play in the ice cold water, napped in the forest and reconnected with Mother Earth and each other,  in a new place.   It was a much needed day, which we realize now we have to have more of. To those of you who are teaching us, whether you are the tiniest little lamb, the most blustery wind, the most prickly pricker, the meanest cowboy or the first spring ladybug.  Thank you.  We will carry your lessons with us.  

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