Saturday, November 13, 2021

Short, but Meaningful Days

It's that time of year when we feel like we just wake up, get tired and it's time to go to bed again. Do you find this to be true for you too? We were inspired by an online acquaintance to get up with the sun and go to bed when our bodies tell us it's time, even if it's 9 p.m. or 8 p.m. Ha! I didn't think we would be able to get up early because I've always hated it and found it almost impossible to do, but I also cannot stay up at night when it's this dark. My body is hollerin' for rest and relaxation (music, knitting and reading), which almost always then makes me want to go to sleep. Steve and I try for one tv show together, often pulling the plug early. TV shows are soooooooooo one storied now and we just aren't that big of fans. Getting up with the sun and going to bed not that long after the sun sets seems to be working. I am sure we will adjust somewhat as the darkness descends 45 more minutes earlier at the Winter Solstice, but if not, that's ok. We are doing our best and that's what matters in this moment and always, really.

We are in the latter half of American Persimmon season and we are still delighting in their delicious fruits. This plant is magic, I tell you. I know you've heard me say it before, but seriously. We just found perfectly ripe, perfectly delicious fruits after hard frosts and freezes here in Ohio. Some of our bestest friends also find these fruits to be a marvel and they made this gorgeous and fun bumper sticker to help spread the persimmon love. If you want one, just message me your name and address and I will mail you one for free. 

We postponed selling our bareroot American Persimmons until early spring 2022 and made a very short video to tell you why and give you a look at these strong seedlings

What is Steve pointing at so happily? You guessed it! Some of the best tasting persimmon fruit we've had yet and just look at how pretty they are hanging there dangling in the warm autumn breeze. 

This summer and fall we hiked and hiked and hiked and found bits of ourselves again amongst such community members as Mother Beech:

If you've not read Suzanne Simard's Finding the Mother Tree, please do so now. It will change everything for you when you see trees and mushrooms and contemplate sentience. Yes, even sentience. Please don't wait. We need connection in the world just as much as we need kindness and love. Let the trees and the long twisted strands of mycelia offer enlightenment. It's time to listen again. They've all been whispering to us for so very long...

Photo by Michelle Stitzlein:

The forest web holds us in her embrace and offers such gifts of beauty. Look at these colors and textures and behaviors and feel their existence in this world. We get to behold these lives! We hold so much in our power and one of our most important acts seems to make sure everyone in this world has something to eat. That's within our power and is power in the offering.

Pawpaw Sphinx:


Datana Caterpillars:

Time passes and we seek more and more refuge away from the human trappings that so easily become and define our lives if we let them. Steve listened to some program the other day where the speaker posited that there is "no box." Isn't that right? We don't have to stay in the box, we don't have to break out of the box. No. None of that is necessary, because there is no box if we don't decide there is a box. Hmm. I don't know much, but I know sunshine offers me warmth, water offers me renewal, trees offer me breath.

I am grateful.

I am in love.


We offer your seeds of gratitude and hope you hold them in your heart and in your spirit and that once you are full up, you share and spread your own. 

Life is love or it's not, but we choose love, always. No matter what finds us, what scares us, what is more than we ever dreamed of baring. We choose love and gratitude for this one life that is ours!

Soundtrack: Cloudbusting by Kate Bush. "I just know that something good is going to happen. I don't know when, but just saying it could even make it happen."

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Hitting the Reset Button

Happy summer dear friends. What a glorious time of year! The plants are humming with life. 

The skies are painted with billowy clouds. We walk barefoot on warm Earth. We swat life-sucking and life-giving mosquitoes. We listen to bird song. Insect song. The last of the frog song. Our hearts sing with joy and soak up all the goodness and richness of this intense season. These 3.5 acres are filled with more life than we ever imagined and we are lucky enough to witness the return of diversity. The Cup Plants are in full bloom and welcomed us home after a sojourn out in the world soaking up ecosystems other than our homeland. 

What felt like drudgery, now feels like ease. Sometimes, that mighty reset button needs smacked in the biggest most forceful way and we did just that. We left. 

The flowers. The kitties. The persimmons. The showers. The easy water access. We left the ease of home life and found wild water. 

Nesting White-crowned Sparrows singing their local dialects. 

We walked through heavy and prolonged rain storms and crossed streams without trying to keep our feet dry and then savored any and all sunshine and wolfed down food like it mattered, because it did. 

We dunked in lakes and rivers at every opportunity. Some water was warm. Some was cool. Some was COLD. It all felt life giving. 

Most places we camped had no cell service and what a gift. The loss of that tether offered freedom with the birds and the pikas and insects. No distractions. Yes, we experienced some annoyances in the form of mosquitoes, horseflies and flies. They all found us to continue their own lives, but we also found glaciers, wetlands, wetland wildflowers, hundreds if not thousands of elk and a forgotten piece of ourselves.

We heard over and over again and finally saw a bawling Bobcat (or Lynx, dang it for not knowing tail patterns better). We changed our clothes in open air when no one was around. We traveled through empty campgrounds and busy campgrounds. We slept. We couldn't sleep. We hiked. 

We breathed hard. Above timberline captured us. We wanted to stay. I cried when we left and Steve understood. The White-crowned Sparrows still sing in my head. Their world is still in my heart. 

They guide me forward and remind me that reentry into home life doesn't have to be more than it has to be. Much of what we experience in this life is a human/societal construct and we can pick and let the chaff fly free. Only do what is necessary and life giving. Skip everything else. Don't waste this life. 

Seeing the kitties upon our return made our hearts so happy. We wish we would carry them with us and that they would like it. 

Filling up the Berkey water filter feels easy now; the water so delicious. The first night home I said we are never leaving again and Steve said ok. The very next day Steve was researching highline trails for us. The untethering of our spirits from shoulds and coulds coupled with the giant drink of life from wild places and respite from human constructed craziness is a pull we cannot ignore for apparently more than one day.

Recently I read some thoughts from George Monbiot pieced together here: "To be at peace with a troubled world: this is not a reasonable aim. If you don't fit in, if you feel at odds with the world, if your identity is frayed, if you feel lost and ashamed it could be because you have retained the human values you were supposed to have discarded. You are a deviant. Be proud." I have no more illusions about saving the world. It's impossible to do alone. There are many of us working in our own small ways and that gives me hope. I am not optimistic in terms of humanity, but I am hopeful. I am completely optimistic and hopeful in terms of the Earth. Life will change and we accept that now. In this brief moment where we exist on this beautiful planet, we will be kind and work towards good. We will do our best to love and remember our place in nature. 

We will laugh and swim and look at fish and listen to elk and and marvel at above timberline nesting birds and alpine butterflies. We will soak up the richness of lush vegetation and the life it supports. We will remember our place as humans, as animals, as mammals, and our place in nature, not separate from nature. We will continue to evaluate how we live and make necessary changes. We recognize that nonhuman life is not subservient to human life and that much is lost in translation and that greed and power are often the reasons for incorrect translation. We offer gratitude for our life, our love, and our memory of where we came from.

We embrace our deviance.

P.S. FeedBurner, our email subscription service, appears to be going away in August 2021. If you rely on emails to update you on our posts, please know at some point some you will not receive them anymore. Our blog will still be up and running and we will continue to post every couple of months. Thanks for following along with us. You all are one of our reasons for hope! xxx