Acts of Connection

“It was through her actions of reciprocity, the give and take with the land, that the original immigrant became indigenous. For all of us, becoming indigenous to a place means living as if your children’s future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depended on it.”- Robin Wall Kimmerer

Summer is moving to fall. The deep dry of grasses are showing signs of greening; the infrequent rains and the moisture of Salish Sea air contribute. The Bunnies continue to mate, multiply and survive on the handouts from us campers and their search for grass roots. This clan hollows out any rise in the sandy ground to get at the barely succulent roots to keep them alive. Watchfulness is another of their stay alive predispositions. One resident feline hunter prowls the campground. We call her Devil Cat.
I sit at the large wagon window to observe the morning’s regularities and see the Bunnies on their hunches as D.C. makes her rounds along the gravel road acro…

'Ohe and Ulu, embraced by values and Ancestors is that enough?

`OHEThis versatile and giant member of the grass family is able to grow more rapidly than any other plant. After two months of growth it is the size it will remain for its lifetime. Bamboo, as well as niu, coconut, is one of the most useful and practical plants for humankind, providing water storage, food, raw materials for household and garden use, musical instruments and more. `Ohe is said to be one of the "canoe plants" brought to Hawai`i Nei by early Polynesian settlers in their oceanic navigation. This plant may have originated in India or Java. - Canoe Plants of Ancient Hawai'i

 'Ohe: practical and useful grass. And what of Ulu? Ulu Mahalo to Kealopiko for this graphic, depicted on their blog. Link to read more.
We are, once again, on the land near Langley where Bunnies reign and humans camp. As I wrote here, this move seemed a different kind of move and it truly was.  Our respite of several weeks in the care of person and place who welcomed us reset o…

I Wish

"I think that I shall never see
a poem as lovely as a tree."- Trees by Joyce Kilmer Last night we watched a movie, munched on grapes, blueberries and pistachio nuts.

The night before was a night of big wind and blowing rain. Pete had just finished sanding one side of the vardo. We knew there was a storm coming, scanning the weather on an iphone is one of the ways to keep track, and the other source of forecasting came when we were out beach walking. "Big wind coming tomorrow," the old codger neighbor guy said on his way to the low tide line. "Up to twenty miles." He was on a mission to net crabs but had enough neighborliness to share the weather.

Earlier in the day, while Pete sanded, I drove down to the beach parking lot to avoid the sand dust and read my book. Just as I was settling in, and after I set up the handwritten sign 'Guests of the Ashfords' a man with ear protection, a sweaty tee shirt and been-at-work blue jeans circled the Subaru. I…

More about gates: "The Black and White Gate"

Angeles Arrien writes, "At the Black and White Gate, we review and reassess our conduct in the art and craft of relationships. This gate requires that we face the history of all our relationships: with ourselves, friends, colleagues, and family members, as well as organizations, teams, and communities. Here we are reminded of our purpose as human beings --a miraculous species born to learn about love and to create. Any relationship can function as a conduit for both manifesting creativity and mirroring to us the extent of our ability to express love...We begin to release our reliance on fear or pride to protect us. We recognize in our later years that the only way to come home to our spiritual nature is to express our love nature." We are at that point in a wanderer's path where we know the time for moving is upon us. When that itch to move was fed mostly by the itch, a restlessness, with less history with needing to (we outstayed our welcome, couldn't tolerate some…

Then it's not miserable

Big plop, plop, ploppy drops of rain fall onto the vardo's roof. Not quite the sort of weather you'd expect for a mid-July, but then ... expectations have a way of becoming a way too tiny kind of box. This from a woman who lives in a wagon no bigger than some people's walk-in closet.

Pete's just come through the door after washing the dishes using the big stock pot filled with 'Jude Water' (we haul water from friends' wells ... friends who don't have chlorine in their water; chlorine makes me very sick). The buckets of water, now empty, were from our friend Jude.

Our outside living space under the awning works best inside the drip line. Today is one of those days when a tall lean frame like Pete's fits just right.  


Up the stairs,
Onto the porch,
Through the door. It's cozy inside, and the rain stays outside.
Then it's not miserable

The mosquito comes in with Pete,

I clap my palms together with vigor, the way I close the door…

Behind the Gate a Patchwork Dream

" The best of the stories we can give our children, whether they are stories that have been kept alive through the centuries by that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation we call oral transmission, or the tales that were made up only yesterday -- the best of these stories touch that larger dream, that greater vision, that infinite unknowing. They are the most potent kind of magic, these tales, for they catch a glimpse of the soul beneath the skin." - Jane Yolen from Touch Magic
My friend Liz and I were having a Call-and-Response exchange of emails -- my favorite sort of mail, that comes close to the real stuff. Liz had read the post Some rivers run north .... and wrote:
"Remember how I wanted to just observe and after observing talk about feng shui? I'll love to hear your observations about living behind a gate!"

The story that follows is the myth to answer Liz's email. Myth is bigger and lumpier than a quick emoji stuffed text. Medicine story tinctures fro…