While I was still in Morocco in the fall of 2015, contemplating my return to the USA, I was not sure where I would choose to make my home this time. I was sure, however, that I wanted my life to be oriented to earth stewardship; I longed for a “land-based” lifestyle.
I have been blessed to have spent most of this past 12 months living on rural properties in Arkansas and Oregon. Living close to the land and spending time walking on the earth that is free of concrete and asphalt has allowed me to slow down, appreciate small daily changes in my surroundings: trees, bushes, animals, creeks and ponds, natural sounds, changes in the air — its temperature and quality.
I recently experienced being on the Lost Valley property for 34 days, using only my body for transportation. I realized that this had NEVER happened before in my entire life! I did not shop or go to the post office or a doctor’s appointment or even take a short trip to see some local sights. I walked everywhere I needed to go, in all types of weather, only on bare earth or grass.
I had the feeling this was changing me in some way that I could not define. Then on Winter Solstice I got my first clue. I attended a special ceremony that evening and upon sitting down and closing my eyes, I sank into a deep stillness from which I did not emerge until it was time to return home. That rarely happens. I felt as silent and still as a stone!
Tomas, not used to seeing me in this state, asked me three times if I was OK. It was amusing. He is usually the one who becomes a “rock” in such situations.
A similar experience occurred this past Monday during a group meditation. I sat down and 30 minutes passed rather quickly. Not my usual state, which more often features a monkey mind and a restless body.
Well, on the 34th day I got into a truck and was driven 7 minutes to the next town over called Lowell where I had a dental appointment. I was nervous, as the roads had been icy but my driver was competent and I got to see some of the local sights — like Dexter Lake and lots of surrounding hills with snow on them.
And then I returned to the land where I have been ever since. My longed-for dream of being land-based has become my reality.
Enjoy this photo summary of my land-based life during the past 12 months. Thank you Mother for bringing me home.