Category Archives: What if…? (ideas blowing through)

Friday photos from N&C farm, and thinking about ANWR.

It felt good to get back to work at the farm yesterday

The leaves have unfurled & there was a nice rain in the evening 

A new high tunnel is under construction, which will allow the plastic to be removed from the Cathedral – giving the elements of Sun, Rain, & Air the chance to work their gifts in clearing & breathing the soil which has been under cover for 5 years

Bean seeding day!

These are Romano beans, and I was to use up the rest of them 

12 trays in all

Then another variety, purple, called Amethyst

Pardon me while I marvel once again at the beauty & diversity of bean seeds…



In they go!

Chioggia Beets, & a New Zealand Spinach variety were also seeded.

Then onto a few herb & flower transplants


With the help from Sebastian

Bob grows many varieties of Peppers, & does the transplanting of those to be absolutely sure he’s sure that the hot & sweet types are clearly marked

These piles of markers were assembled during a conversation with one of the on-farm interns

I didn’t notice their construction, as I was filling trays & my eyes were focused on my hands’ actions

But it was a delightful surprise to find later – simple creations of beauty

Across the road, Bob set to applying composted manure to some beds awaiting 3 varieties of Kale

The hens were moved there to work up a site for future planting

(Feel free to add your favorite Why did the chicken cross the road? joke in the comment section…)

 Yesterday evening, as I drove home with the radio tuned into the local, independent station

I heard about the go-ahead to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

If nothing else, please scroll down & read the Wikipedia section on Opposing Views and the position of the Native Alaskan Tribes.

(The fact that I was driving my car at the time was not lost on me…)


The ANWR was what I woke up with in my mind.

The Porcupine Caribou calving grounds are there

People are still thinking they are not of this place

Why else would such a go-ahead be made?

What would the whales say, if we could ask them…?


They see the world in a different way from us humans

We humans think we know what’s best


But I’m not so sure of that

What if the Caribou could be asked 

And the Native Treaties honored

I think a lot of things, like most humans do…

I donate money to the NRDC, with the hope that they can do something to protect this place, our place, this Us-thing-place we call Earth

But donating money isn’t enough, & I don’t donate a ton of money either.

(After meeting someone who worked in a non-profit that often went to court, she said that even $5 helps pay for transportation…)

How does one really stop a tide of greed & shortsightedness & a massive corporation like Shell from doing something…?

What if the guide was truly: what is for the benefit of ALL beings…?

Idea for sharing, considering riches, & what-if’s.

this mind

For better &/or for worse

Travels through each day with the often visiting phrase: 

what if…?

A dreamy mind.

For worse, 

it perpetuates fears & worry.

For better, 

it dreams ideas into the world.

And hopefully it’s not just a trap to avoid being present with what is.

This region has had what I would call “a real winter”

I’ve written before that I love winter.

This region is currently rich with snow.

Which is great, it acts as an insulator for plants, will replenish water tables, & is beautiful too.

Perhaps there is plenty to share.

This is a letter-drawing for my young friend who turns 3 in May.

He is bonkers for all things truck, tractor, motorcycle, & especially heavy machinery.

(He’s also a willing snow shoveler)

And the Southwest & California might be in need of some water.

If anyone is inspired to share this with engineers or people involved in the train/railway system, feel free.

(I already emailed it to the Mayor of Boston)

I’m not an economist, or anything like that, but if many people tended to railways, building & maintaining it, as well as the solar desalinization plants, not to mention all the humans who could person the backhoes & dump trucks, and many farmers & farm workers & so forth, that could add up to a lot of work for the benefit of many.

What if we shared the wealth?

Shared mind, connecting mind.

I often feel “stopped” from within
Because of a belief that I don’t know enough

But what if it’s okay that I know what I know, and that more will be revealed in time, and that
Perhaps most importantly
It’s not for me to know or understand everything

I woke up this morning with the beginning lyrics from the song “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie

And thinking about the mind, and minds, and
Well, this land.

What if…

In the places where there is an abundant boatload of sunshine
(Hello, Southwest)
Solar was the means to harness energy…

In the places where there are many winds
(Hello, Midwest, hello, Southwest)


In the places where there are often boatloads of snow & rain
(Hello, Northeast, Midwest, Northwest)

That these continual, changing weathers and resources could be shared among all

And doing so in a way that would least harm or disrupt critters & wild places

Solar in the sunny places (on already existing rooftops so as not to disrupt wild places)

Wind turbines in the windy places (low enough so as not to disrupt the air beings)

Drains & Cisterns & pipe lines for places with abundant rains, snow, floods (pipe water instead of gas!! & maybe the heavily used rivers & aquifers will replenish themselves)

O I can hear the naysayers in my mind
O they are vicious and cruel
“What do you know?”
“You have no @$&;ing idea how to do that”

But here’s the deal
Someone, as I write this
In a plane above my head
there is light where I am even though it’s dark outside

So I may not know how
I don’t have the mind of an engineer
I wish I did

But I don’t

And that’s okay
I believe in shared mind, or connecting minds
I have a mind that sees connections & knows it’s possible to do something

For real, like, it can actually happen.

Even if I don’t know the engineering part.

There are brilliant minds all over the planet
Ones that actually see the connections, see what can be done, know how to do it.

And maybe “what ifs…” are not enough
But maybe it is?
A start or a spark?

If this little pea brain can catch the idea, then some brilliant minds can see the way how

If people fly all the time, then it’s possible to share the renewable resources that are all around us

To stop producing things which don’t break down (um, plastic, styrofoam, etc.)

Work (or if you prefer the word “jobs”) to create it, work to sustain & maintain it, and all the while in causing as little harm as possible to the land & critters who we share this place with

Work with the young
Work with the old

And a quote from William Douglas Horden

“We benefit from what our environment produces; our environment must benefit from what we produce”


What if… We worked together in this way…? (Thinking about the Ebola epidemic)

What if…

The pharmaceutical company which is making the formula which is has helped cure some cases of the Ebola virus…

Could have other pharmaceutical companies to temporarily pause in their production of what-is-already-in-abundance, to help in the production of this formula…?

And in this way, it would be more abundant, and therefore more available & helpful to more people….

Tincture – attempt #1.

Last month, the New Moon was in Cancer, and so it seemed like a veryfine time to give my first go at making a tincture.

I had no idea what I was doing beyond reading part of a book, and reading some posts by herbalists online about how to tincture Propolis.
Propolis is good stuff.
Made by bees from the gathering of resin, mostly from trees in this hemisphere.

This is the same jar about mid-month in after shaking it vigorously once or twice each day.
Today is the New Moon in Virgo – and so it seemed like a veryfine time to harvest the propolis

Doesn’t look all that different from a couple weeks ago, but to make medicine today seemed just so.

Gathering the equipment together
– low tech.


The book I had doesn’t say anything about Propolis in particular, so I just got to it
The aroma was strong, and the lid had Propolis goo stuck to the inside.
Amazing stuff

Thank you bees
Thank you so

It was hard to pour at the same time as taking a photo, but I somehow caught the goo (there’s probably a technical name for the material) sliding out from the jar
It smells really good

It’s very very sticky

I tried squeezing the cotton cheesecloth bundle to remove as much of the goodness as possible

There is probably a better way of doing it, as my hands are now coated with resin (no longer sticky, and smells like Propolis)

I couldn’t bring myself to just compost the goo, figuring it will have some beneficial use, even if I didn’t know what that was in the moment…

The decanting begins!

Superfancy labels…..

Ready to share the goodness!!

Blessings on the mindful keepers of the bees
And for all who plant bee-friendly food (that is, flowers, trees, and plants which offer good food for the bees)

If you gave not already seen the movie Queen of the Sun
I highly recommend it.

What if the commercial growers of fruits and nuts took 30% of their agricultural crops and made it into year round bee sanctuaries?
If swaths of corn, wheat, and soybeans all through the Midwest were made into bee sanctuary corridors?
Just creating and tending these corridors could be a source of employment.
Many people want to work with plants, be outside, be of benefit to the planet, feel their inextricable link to all things…
This could allow for that…

(I know it’s a bumble and not a honeybee… The honeys were all over the buckwheat)


Giving it a(nother) go.




i’m going to give it another go

despite not really knowing how it will go

especially since I won’t be giving it a go on.a computer

and I’m still in the very beginning beginning stages of this whole smartphone thing


so please forgive the super high quality photo of my sweaty forehead


Today, was thinking about how when children behave in a not so great way with their toys, they get taken away

what if the same was done to countries who had very big & powerful toys

like the ones that shot down the plane recently

my heart & thoughts are with the family, friends, co-workers of anyone on that flight headed to Malaysia


the peacekeepers need to be the ones leading the show, says me



Good morning.


when i take the good morning photo

just before pushing the button on my phone

i pause

and in my mind as i look out at the view

i say a little blessing.

based on Metta meditation

but modified a bit:

may all beings who see this image

be safe

be happy

be healthy

& live with ease

sometimes, i’ll add:

and may all people they know and love be safe, be happy, be healthy, & live with ease

someone once said to me

(someone pious)

that one shouldn’t broadcast or tell people about the details of their spiritual practice.

i’m not sure why

i’ve always wondered about it since then

maybe it dilutes the power of it…?

maybe people will think i’m all “holier-than-thou”…?

i don’t honestly know why.

seeing the power of homeopathy, i don’t really believe in the dilution of power.

and i am no holier than thou

except for tailgaters.

I AM holier than tailgaters.

(except when i’m swearing at them, so i guess i’m not holier than tailgaters…)

i figure

if i share about this

perhaps other people will act from this place of blessing, too.

and my main teacher, she speaks about sharing…

and the benefit of it.

i’m going to be moving some time soon.

i don’t know if the view will be such that i’ll take a good morning photo each day.

i’m not sure yet.

till then,

and with appreciation for all those who’ve enjoyed this daily ritual

blessings on the day.

Pickled peppers, anchors, & Blue Hubbard squash.


Don’t wait.

if you wait, the pickled peppers might go bad.

if someone gives you a gift, open it


use it

use it up

delight in each pepper

savor the spicy zing on the tongue.

before eating – offer thanks, gather blessings

imagine their garden


the tending, the soil


imagine the rain, the sun, and all the Elementals involved in the creation of a plant-being

a pepper


imagine the hands that tended to this pepper plant


these hands that you know

the one that you love

the one that gave you this jar of pickled peppers

because they know you love them

don’t wait to eat them

savor them




every Wednesday, i support the tending of a house & the people, the home of some Elders.

this job, these people

have been my anchors.

since 2009, every Wednesday

(barring retreats, visits to family, & the month i was out when i injured my back in 2012)

every Wednesday this place, these people have been my destination, my North Pole.


from a string of boyfriends, through various places of living, & a number of farming situations

since 2009 they have been my one constant.

Anchor:  any device used in the manner of an anchor to hold a boat in place…. a reliable support…. a source of confidence that serves to hold an object firmly


i need this

i am drifty


finding love here & there – a place, a person, a job

so easy to fall in love

but these Elders, this place, on Wednesdays has held me tight

with gratidute

even when i want to leave, to run…


but i stay.

i love them.

they love Blue Hubbard squash.


the first year i farmed on my own it was a bumper crop for Winter squash.

hundreds of pounds

but no place to put them.


so they let me put all of them in their upstairs bedroom

the great Blue Hubbard – easily over 25 pounds – sat like an emperor on a low table


this year i planted no Winter squash


but found a Blue Hubbard and with the remembering of the pickled peppers

decided to not wait any longer to cook it up


(well, part of it)


big beauty.


into soup

made to share


don’t wait.

who are your anchors?

what would you want to say to the ones you appreciate?

who are the people that have made a difference in your life?


what would you share with them if you allowed your heart to speak?

what would you want to let them know

if you let your heart speak it’s appreciations?


don’t wait

do you have a dream in your heart?


a longing that has been there forever?

a way of life you want to live?


would you dare speak your heart to the one that causes it to beat a little faster?

even though you might feel like a prize fool after?

gather up your courage

and speak from your heart.

don’t wait.

open the jar of pickled peppers

make the soup from the Hubbard you’ve been saving

let The Ones know how your heart feels about them

and the ways they have shaped the life of your life.

don’t wait.


what if earth was the gate, the decider, the yes/no guide for what we do & don’t do?



the truth is upsetting

but perhaps

the truth shall set us free.

what if

the yes – no guide to life

the flow chart of what we are going to do

and how we are going to do it

was a bit more simple



that the very first guidepost each question had to go through was asked & answered through the earth’s gate

what i mean to say is this

for example

take a styrofoam cups

yes or no

does it break down?


okay then we’re not going to make them.

but we need to have insulated carriers for transporting organs here and there – what to use?

how about mushroom foam?  or hemp foam?


okay super.


yeah, but (someone in the back of the audience peeps up) what about all the styrofoam factory workers?

how are they going to pay their rent, huh?

let there be seamless change

let the company transition to mushrooms (or whatever truly-compostable-breakdownable material) while keeping them on the payroll

just as Malden Mills did when a fire burned down their factory and they paid their workers while they rebuilt the factory…

though that doesn’t have a so-called happy ending – what if the rest of us pitched in to support everybody…?

community-stylie.  kickstarter, indigogo, etc.


the law that puts shareholders before the earth has to change.

i don’t know which law it is

memory (not always reliable) tells me that it was put into place by Mr. Dick
Cheney that if a public traded company can increase its profits to the shareholders, it by law has to be sold to a company that wants/has the ability to buy it out.



no more of that

the earth comes before shareholders


what the HELL is a shareholder

we are ALL shareholders

shareholding this planet together

with every wise & foolish decision & action we take.


the earth has to be the Law, the Say, the Gate that our both highly impactful & piddly human activities have to go through.



does it harm?

yes?  well, then NO.

find another way.

does it harm?

no?  great.  go for it.

and none of this bullsh*t like with hydrofracking with all the people and agencies saying it doesn’t do any harm.

tell you what.

let’s get some of that flammable Pennsylvania water flowing in the shareholders and hydrofracking creator’s homes and see if they’ll willingly drink it.


i could not go to sleep

without first posting something

something after seeing this

what if

the plastic could somehow be collected

from the oceans


gathering it back up

our ingenious brains can find a way to gather it up

what if

all that plastic could be made

into playgrounds

for all the children

who are worker/slaves in so-called third world countries

making our clothing for “cheap”


they could be set free

(and perhaps, training us here in the states, to also be expert tailors & seamstresses)

to play

on playgrounds made from recycled plastic

allowing the seabirds, the sea life

their birthright

to swim, to live, to fly

and perhaps

with earth as the guide, the gate, the ultimate yes/no decider

we can find our way home.


one of the things i love about this retreat #2

one of the things i love about being on this particular retreat

is the community


the Sangha that weaves itself together

each person contributing to the whole

a living organism is created by the actions of each person

the sitting, the walking, the working, the silence

all movements a laying down of threads, creating a supportive blanket, a net, a web.


now at home

i see more clearly a sort of

ubiquitous, mundane burden of everyday life

…what i see as a flaw of this culture…

(more rice)

having to do so much of it oneself.

(rice. rice. rice.)

(not to say that i do it all myself

i certainly don’t

with a whoop of joy i proclaim my love & appreciation for the people of the plows pushing the snow by…)


it’s the little things

so many things to tend to…

food prep, laundry, hot water, etc.

yes i love my hot water

at the retreat, it was someone’s job to keep hot water in the urns


(split between two people… an a.m. shift, and a p.m. shift)

anyone could simply walk up and lift the lever and *minor miracle* hot water to drink.


here at home

i tend to the hot water

put it into the various thermoses

(what a word – thermoses)

which, in the grand scheme of things, thankfully, currently, is not difficult for me to do.

and i do very much enjoy the process of taking care of house…

still, there is laundry, food to prepare, dishes to do, general cleaning, etc., etc…


simply, there are many things to tend to.

what i love about this retreat

is the community.

each person participating

just enough, and not beyond ability.

it’s gentle.

each one contributing in some small way which supports the whole

(which supports each part of the whole)

like some imperfect perfect butcher-baker-candlestickmaker community

(or kitchen helper-cleaner-snow shoveler, hot-water-maker etc.)

like the ants working together.

or the paper mill

the gentle functional cohesion

that opens up the space for each one to practice, to sit.

i just love that part of it.

what if our world could actually be like this…?