Chapter One

Chapter One

I’m calling this adventure the Start. The official Beginning. It’s arbitrary, of course…I could say it started a year ago when I first met D, six years ago in that backyard garden in Minneapolis, or when I first learned about WWOOFing on a smoke break in Boone. Follow it long enough and it could be traced back to the first time I ever ate fresh peas off the vine in our backyard as a child, or further, to somewhere before me: in my grandmother who can make nearly anything grow, and the others who must have come before her. So, for the sake of practicality, lets call this moment, this one, right here, the Start. Yeah! It’s begun!!!

In an effort to preserve this moment, I’d like to create a time capsule of sorts. The contents:

  • Two relatively young persons, one with almost entirely brown hairs, the other, definitely predominantly non-grays.
  • A house, estimated at around 150-200 years old. Two floors, top floor with 5 rooms, 2 bedrooms, one porch, a kitchen/living room with fireplace and woodstove, and a pantry-kitchen. Bottom floor with a shower room, outer kitchen area with stone floor, two inside rooms with dirt floor and stone foundation. One outhouse.
  • Some trees, a backyard meadow. A stone fence. A spring.
  • As many dreams as possible. Mostly anything that carries out these ideas:
    • Building health in people and communities
    • Embracing cycles, forces of nature
    • Building soil (enriching and enhancing the places we inhabit)
    • Gifts for future generations: creating spaces that flourish, retaining and refining knowledge
    • Strengthening local trade, reducing dependence on centralized systems
    • Positively impacting our realm of influence, no matter its size
    • Living comfortably, living happily, living.
  • Some books. Right now: Making It and You Can Farm. Some experience. Some seeds.
  • A few chickens. A couple cameras. Spreadsheets. Databases. Coffee.

I imagine by tomorrow, many of these things will already be outdated. We’re in constant flux, after all. But they won’t have disappeared completely. Slowly they’ll change, become something new, hopefully something better, but surely something different. Maybe they’ll be refined and strengthened, forming a structure that supports something immense or a connection to a larger stronger something, or perhaps they’ll slowly disappear–as mistakes, lessons, guidance–decaying the old, feeding the new.

Or, more likely, it’ll just become something I can’t imagine now. Something I didn’t know I needed, something I didn’t want, something that no body is to blame for happening. Something that couldn’t be designed, but only fallen into, something that came with seasons of rain and sun, joy and tears, leaps ahead , stumbles off the path, circles leading nowhere and cycles that grow.


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