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An acrostic poem for the new year.
H opeful is the way I am choosing to begin this new year. It’s so much lighter than despair.
A new year is a good place to take a break to look to the future, to set goals and intentions, to peek around corners.
P erhaps there are frightening things there, monsters in the closet and such,
P erhaps, though, the monsters are really just wanting to be friends.
Y ou get to decide, I get to decide, we each get to choose how we see the world, how we see ourselves.
N ew year’s eve I sat in candle light, wrote down what I wanted to let go of, and burned it in the fire place. Bye, bye “not good enough.”
E ven as I did it the words “you are an imposter” lurked in my head.
W hat I said was, “Go away. You get in the way of wonder and wow and I don’t want you here.”
Y ou never know what’s going to present itself in coming days and months, you just meet it head on.
E very dawn is a new opportunity to turn your world on its ear.
A m I good enough? Yes, I am! Go on,
R abble rouse in your own life. Dream big. Then go for it!
It makes me deliriously happy to have the opportunity to share country life with this little city boy. To see the pure joy on his face when he gets his fingers around a potato buried in the soil; feels to see if the carrot is big enough to pull; picks a fat pea, unzips it, and pops the orbs in his mouth; picks the red huckleberries and puts them on his tongue erases any doubt that coming back here was the right thing.
“Gigi! For dinner I want to have everything we picked in the garden!” You got it. (He decided not to try the rhubarb sauce on his ice cream though.}
Elliot Hill, this is your hill.
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We are in a full-on, two-fisted grip of the rainy season here in SW Washington. As a true Northwesterner, I love it. The sunbirds leave for warmer climes, but I am content to wait for it to come to me. The winter rains foretell the verdant greens of spring and summer; indoor projects get done so I can spend summer outside.
I’m less crazy about the wind—living on the side of a water-saturated hill, surrounded by old trees—and it has been windy. A tree fell the other day (the only one that has fallen, at least since I’ve been back here). I heard the crash just before I was to leave for Seattle for time with the littles. (Have you ever heard a tree fall? It’s very loud. I often wonder what the rain forest and mountain forests sound like during a winter storm.) I envisioned something across the driveway, blocking me in. I donned my rain jacket and rubber boots and pushed my way through wind and rain to investigate.
It was the deciduous tree that fell two or three winters ago and was caught by other trees on the way down. It’s been leaning at a 45 degree angle ever since. It wasn’t endangering anything, so I had let it be. Nature will do what nature does. And now it’s down, and available for firewood, should I want to pay someone to cut it up.
Meanwhile, my Airbnb is hopping. Thirteen nights booked in January. The twin cities are a popular destination even in the dead of winter! I got the loveliest review in my in-box this morning from Alex, a young doctor from Madison, Wisconsin who was in town for a job interview. (Through his Airbnb bio, I learned a new term: locum physician.) He interviewed in Chehalis for a permanent position.
I traveled to the Pacific Northwest for the first time, and Gretchen’s lovely apartment was everything that I hoped for that captured the vibe of this part of the country. I’ll tell you my routine yesterday. I usually sleep poorly, but I woke up well-rested because the bed was comfortable and I stayed warm all night. I woke up before sunrise and ran down the hill that her home is perched on overlooking a green valley. I got coffee at Jimmie’s on Tower (damn good coffee) and jogged back as the sun rose. With the mat she provided, I did some yoga on the bluff and just chilled for a couple minutes…something I forgot do for many months rushing from one task to another. I then ate the absolutely delicious (healthy but hearty) breakfast of a homemade muffin along with homemade apple sauce, yogurt and granola (I now have a new favorite breakfast). I got ready for a job interview in the right head space…and I got an offer just after the interview! If you want authenticity, special artistic touches and the sound of wind passing through firs as you drift off to sleep, this is your place!
Isn’t that beautiful! It made me teary. The summer calendar is now available! You can read about Three of Earth Farm and book dates here. If you are local and have friends coming to town, let them know. (Oh! I have just been officially designated a “super host” by Airbnb! How great is that?)
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#Not Ready for Spring
It’s been a soggy January, but the Pacific Northwest does not disappoint: there are always some spectacular mid-winter days. This is the weekend. The forecast today was 59 balmy degrees.
I cleaned the roof, utilizing my new ladder. Abandoned splitting wood, couldn’t do it even with my new ax, and hauled more small stuff down from the woods up the hill instead. Since I was up there, I cleaned out the frozen chard in the garden and the dead pineapple sage and pulled weeds out of the root vegetable bed.
It was a lovely day, and it was good to be outside; but I am not ready for spring yet. My cocoon is still cozy and my wings aren’t ready to fly. Besides, I have fire wood. But there’s another day of sunshine, and I’m not working this one. Tomorrow I’m going on a wee adventure: sunrise (?) at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. The rain returns on Monday.
Happy Santa Lucia Day.