Secret Gardens: A Personal Update

Where we last left off, I was stuck in the middle of nowhere coastal California with a broken derailluer and a bout of food poisoning from an extremely tasty chicken curry salad that was causing me to vomit every 30 minutes into a bush near my tent. Okay, maybe you didn’t know that that was where we last left off because I didn’t exactly come right out and say that, but that is what was going on in my world.

Anyhow, I had just retrieved my touring bike from San Francisco where I had left it and proceeded to bike my way north up the coast. I was attempting to make my way back to Arcata to rekindle my love affair with the folks at the Humboldt Garden Collective.

Uh-huh. Sure. Right.

What? Don’t give me that look. Am I really that transparent? Really, radical gardening is super awesome…for so many reasons. Community. Food. Security.

Okay. Fine. His name is Brian. I’ve kinda fallen for this guy named Brian.

You got me.

Brian was also the one that came and rescued me from my dehydrated hellhole along the Pacific Ocean, and brought me back to his trabin (that’s a trailer & a cabin combined) in Arcata. Its a charming little homestead with a wood stove and rugged wood furniture. If you light a fire in the stove it feels like you’re camping far far away from the adjacent house with all the roommates and the bathrooms and the kitchens and internet and such. I like to pretend that “my office” is the front porch atrium space with the tomato plants growing near the door. I really like it here.

And don’t you worry, I am finding plenty of things to fill my time–meetings, gardening, reading & metal mostly. Not metal like welding, metal like death metal. My neck is sore from too much head banging. I need to look into doing yoga for thrashers. I imagine there would be lots of head rolls involved.

As for The Humboldt Garden Collective? Well, we are hoping to get a big project completed this weekend and a fundraiser done within the next month. Personally, I’d like to see the Collective working with food banks and other community food programs like Food Not Bombs to network together all those perfect permaculture people in the area that are interested in working with food–both growing & sharing–in their community. We’re working on it. It’s inspirational, really. Much to do on this front, indeed.

Let’s See, What Else?

I’ve gone camping in the mountains twice since I’ve been back. Its calming up there and much warmer than it is down here on the coast. All this camping and nature time has given me an opportunity to read and write and philosophize like I’ve always wanted. I’ve been reasearching & learning–fine tuning my thoughts on food, capitalism, work, progress and the like. This is the time that I was craving back when I was trying to cram my entire life into the evenings and weekends. I could go weeks without making a home cooked meal, or months without reading a book or even years without being truly challenged intellectually. That is just no way to live, I tell you.

For some reason, I imagined that after I worked so hard saving all that money, freeing myself of my worldly possessions and hitting the road, that I would want to be on the move experiencing new things each and every day. India, Bangledesh, Spain, Portugal. Hop. Hop. Hop. Amy Voluntourista Jet Setter Extraordinaire!

Garden Goats

I find this, however, not necessary or desirable. Pace of life and sanctity of space is still very important to me. Slow travel, I insist. I will hop somewhere again soon, mostly likely to the other side of some proverbial pond, but not just yet.

So as we speak, I am considering staying in the area with Brian and the Garden Collective and all these quirky Arcatans and the pictured goats until after my birthday on November 5th. I have also considered leaving much sooner than that, but I don’t think my work will be done by then. Volunteering takes commitment.

From here, I’m looking at plane tickets. Panama, Peru, Thailand, Taiwan and the Phillippines are all coming to mind. Though nothing is for certain. I’m learning to live each day as it comes and worry less and less about making plans for the future. As I learn to relinquish control and live in a nearly constant state of uncertainity, I’m finding it easier and easier to live for the moment and be happier in such.

Yup. So there’s some hippy-dippy meditiating in the woods kinda writing for ya, but ya know, when I signed up for this, I was never quite sure what was gonna come out. So, you can’t be sure either.

Scene. Seen? Seen.