Thursday, June 17, 2010

Life without power; Powerful life

One day off a week never seems like enough time to do all the things I want to do. I guess I just push myself to be productive and after traveling for so long it is wonderful to have a space to call my own and I just want to take advantage of that.

But I have realised after five weeks into this apprenticeship, that this is enough. It is enough to be completely immersed in farming. To give myself over to this is such a challenge because I forever want to be writing, drawing and painting but I simply don't have the time here. I don't even have the time to keep up with my 365 photo project.

We work until 6pm and before we know it it's 9:30 and the light is fading and there is only so much you can do by candlelight. Besides, I am in bed by 10:30 every night or the next morning isn't so great.

There is something to be said for this lifestyle though. We are oriented in a north-south river valley, the Fraser Canyon. I never see the sun rise or set, only the sun up over the mountain and the sun down over the other mountain. I see the rain clouds come up the valley and send sentinels of mist ahead, breaking news of a shower coming. I hear the wind and see its movements before I feel it on my skin. I notice every day the growth of the plants and the fruits on the many trees. I hear the birds and we look everywhere to see if we can find who is singing that song and when we do, we rush to the birdbook and seek her name.

I am trying so hard to take it all in and let my memory wrap around it, embrace it, integrate it into my being. I want to be a part of this and for this place to be a part of me. My fingers are callousing, slowly and now when my hands are clean they still look dirty. I'm taking pride in that and taking pride in my sore back and tight muscles.

It has been a difficult transition but not for the reasons that you might think. Living without power and modern amenities is not the challenge, even living in isolation from the people and things I know and love has not been so hard. It is the peace, the stillness and serenity that opens me to the depths of my being and allows all the passions and pains to rush back up. I am flooded with remembrance and emotions. The deluge stirring in me so powerfully that I cannot see my reflection in it. I know not who I am in this white water.

My challenge is to build a berm, with quiet strength and meditation through the hardest work I've ever done, a containing wall to pool my effusiveness and see my reflection again. By the end of this season, I think that my harvest will be great! A new peace mind to go with all of these new skills. I can't just hope, I can strive and push and work and everything will come.

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