Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Facing Fear

I have been struggling in recent months, trying to run away from my greatest fears and yet being forced to face up to them. This is something that has been a theme of my life. It has been a difficult time for me, frightening, and painful, and yet I know that ultimately by facing my fears, and by getting through this I will be closer to becoming the strong, peaceful, calm person I know I can be.

One person who has been helping me along this journey, (though he has little idea I am sure of how much he helps me), is Jon Katz. He writes about his life on his farm in upstate New York, Bedlam Farm. I love the way he writes. He is honest, and wise, and generous in his willingness to share his own pain and his own dark places. This helps me. It makes me feel as though I am not alone.

Jon Katz and his wife Maria recently adopted a donkey that had been rescued from certain death. Jon has been chronicling Simon the donkey's story as he recovers in their care. As I read this each day it never fails to move me, especially now. The following piece is no exception. I don't usually quote so much directly from another but I found I couldn't shorten this because every word is necessary. It is so beautiful, and so sad, and yet so hopeful too. It gives me hope that I will get through all of this, and that I too can open up towards my fears instead of running away from them. I know this is what I need to do to move forward with my life.

"Each day, Simon’s soul emerges. I can see him best, oddly enough, in silhouette. So much stronger, more emotional. When he came to the farm, his eyes were lifeless, his soul spent in a losing battle for survival. He was at the edge of life. But each day, his soul gains strength. Simon is a messenger, I think. He comes here with a message for me. Open up, open up. Listen to me. Time is short.

We move together, silently, in the early morning, wordlessly, yet talking to one another all of the time. I open the barn door, he is waiting behind me. The other donkeys know not to come in. He walks in ahead of me, and stands by his grain pain, waiting patiently while I come into the barn, close the door, pour our two scoops of grain. At first, he rushed to the grain, almost in a panic, sometimes knocking me over. Now, he walks slowly to the pain, looks at me, sniffs it, and then lowers his head and eats it. Then he comes over to me, puts his head against my chest and is still, and there, something passes between us.

He is so much better, but there is a haggard look about him, weary, wise. Open up, open up, he says. It’s harder for men, I say. Open up, open up. Listen to me. Is that why you’ve come here? To tell me that days are precious, time is short, use the time and answer for it? No answer. Odd, but my body is different in some way I can’t define.

I have been opening up, I think. My life. My work. My photos. Maria. My friends. It is hard to open up, frightening. But Simon comes from the edge, and so he has strength, his message is powerful. And I listen to him, and am listening."

Jon Katz- http://www.bedlamfarm.com/blog/2011/06/26/simons-journal-listen-to-me-open-up/

Monday, June 27, 2011

Look what I found......

As I watered my sage bush this morning I noticed movement. At first I couldn't tell what it was....

But then I saw what it was!


A very frightened, but beautiful juvenile Common King Snake. I brought the girls out to see it and kept the dogs well away. It is so pretty! I had several of these in my veggie garden last summer too though I am surprised to find one there now as disturbed as it has all been in there over the past few weeks. It made my day though. I love having nature around me!

New Vegetable Garden

My amazing husband has been working very hard in the summer heat and has now finished my new vegetable garden! This is what it was like before,


and this is what it looks like now.


I have loads more space and it will be much easier to get around it too. I am already planning what to plant for our fall season which starts in August.

Now Robert is working on re landscaping the rest of the backyard. Pictures to follow!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Wallow Fire


I have done little other for the past week than think about all of those affected in the White Mountains by the Wallow Fire which is still raging out of control despite the valiant attempts of firefighters to contain it.

The White Mountains of Arizona and New Mexico are stunning in their beauty and peace and I can't bear to think of what will be left after this is all over. However, our friends who live up there are so stoical in their view of this fire despite the fact that it is within a mile of their property.

Hoping and praying there will be full containment soon, and that everyone stays safe.