My Farm


We have a vegetable garden in our backyard! What with Michelle Obama agreeing to grow a victory garden at the White House, the increasing need for everyone to go green or else, and with a baby on the way who I’d like to feed food guaranteed to be fresh and organic, it seemed like a great idea. Now, I don’t know the first thing about growing anything, much less something I’d want to put in my mouth. The only thing I’ve ever kept alive for more than a year was a bamboo plant someone gave me back in 2001, only because the thing would probably continue to grow just fine if I never touched it again. The beautiful thing about my new garden – I didn’t have to lift a finger to put it there, nor will I to reap the harvest. It’s all done by a local organization called My Farm.

It’s ingenious. Trevor Paque, the founder, calls it a “decentralized urban farm”, and runs it like any CSA, only it’s spread out in yards across the city. I wish I had a picture of our yard before. It was wild – overgrown with weeds, full of stickers in the summer, and not a great place to hang out. My Farm changed all that today. Yep, in one day, it now looks like the picture above. And in a month or two, with a weekly visit from our “farmer” who will come over on her bike and maintain and harvest the garden for us, we’ll have a basket of veggies on our doorstep, and any excess will be sold to people in the city who can’t grow it in their yards. Call me lazy, but I call it brilliant. ‘Cause otherwise our kid would have to eat bamboo.


The Peace of Wild Things

I just finished reading Terry Tempest Williams‘ “Refuge“. She wrote about watching her mother and other women in her family deal with cancer while also seeing the bird refuge she loved threatened by the rising of the Great Salt Lake. Having just lost my mother a little over a year ago (though mine went suddenly – what would it have been like to have time to say goodbye like Terry did?), I related to her process of grieving – first railing against change, then acceptance of what life brings.

She writes, “I am slowly, painfully discovering that my refuge is not found in my mother, my grandmother, or even the birds at Bear River. My refuge exists in my capacity to love. If I can learn to love death then I can begin to find refuge in change.”

While I can’t say that I’ve learned to love death, I do feel more able to accept that life is change, so much of which is out of any of our control. By focusing on being present in this moment, and loving the people and animals and things I have in my life now, I find refuge in each new day I am given. Having life growing inside of me has brought this more and more to the forefront of my mind. Yes, there are many things to fear and worry about, but I don’t let these have power over me like I used to. I am part of a bigger process, one in which I have to do a lot of waiting and seeing what will come forth, and there is such freedom in that, in being fully present for each new gift that comes, instead of making things happen my way.

Terry used a poem by Wendell Berry to illustrate this idea. I love it.

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


24 weeks

24-weeks21Getting bigger…I’m reading “Operating Instructions” by Anne Lamott, and I totally relate to her issues with having a boy. She says, “…we internal Americans of the hetero persuasion have really, really conflicted feelings about you external Americans because of the way you yield those things, their power over us, and especially their power over you.” I always imagined myself very open-minded about gender, but having a little buddy with a penis growing inside me is definitely bringing up my concerns about people of the external variety. I realize I haven’t seen many examples of boys who remain close to their mothers, or of fathers who are demonstrative examples of competent “emotional literacy” (as Lamott calls it). I really want this little guy to be a nice boy. Thank God I married a nice man. I’m sure if I stay out of the way with my baggage, my husband will help my son see what it means to be a loving, caring, respectful human being. And maybe some of my old wounds will heal along the way.