Is there anything more natural than a child in a garden? There is such wonder, such delight to be found. Such messes to make. And good things to eat. Every season brings with it new delights.
I have been gardening with my children since they were born. I would put them in a carrier and go out and tend the garden. Of course, some things had to wait until they were napping, but you would be surprised at how much you can do with a baby on your back.
They loved it. The movement, the fresh air, seeing new things, being close to mama. Sometimes I would just wander around the garden looking at things and thinking while I carried them.
I also would set them loose to crawl in the garden, keeping a close eye on them. They loved to go after the strawberries, even when they were still white. Once they learned what was good to eat, they would go back every chance they got.
As a toddler, Graysen could strip the gooseberries off the thorny bush with his tiny fingers like an expert. And I could hardly get the Juneberries in the house because he ate them so fast.
Then he discovered the cucumbers. He liked to pick them and eat them like an apple. Cherry tomatoes didn't stand a chance. He was also generous and liked to share what he picked with me and any other kids who came by.
We had a small sandbox in the garden where he could dig to his heart's content while I worked nearby. He loved to play with water from the rain catchment barrels.
As he and...
This weekend the boys and I attended a natural building workshop at a small intentional community near us called Ionia.
It was the first workshop put on by the new Ionia Folk School offered completely in the spirit of the gift. They did not ask for money or "donations" of any kind.
There is so much I loved about this.
We were invited to participate in their community. Camp in their field. Eat meals with them. Make ourselves at home.
A community member gave us a wonderful tour of their space. They taught us about building with light clay slip. And we helped them build a massive wall of a house.
It was a beautiful exchange of energy, knowledge, and willing hands.
I knew some of the participants. There was Leah, who took my course 7 or 8 years ago, and her dad, Will. There was my friend Angelina, another single mom interested in community and building a good life. I met Ivy and Jason at a Permaculture gathering some time ago. And Mariyam had actually stayed in my house one time when we were gone in Anchorage.
I met new people too. Sherry and her teenage daughters. David and his brother from Portugal. Lovely Amy who came with Angelina. And enthusiastic Sue.
Gregory and his brother Jimmy, whose house we were working on were leading the project. Jimmy's wife made sure we had snacks and water and their 3 young children made frequent appearances on the building site.
As we worked, we fell into a rhythm. Everyone had a part to...