one of my closest friends is moving
to another state, about 6 hours away.
(that’s her. and yeah, those would be collards…)
that she’s moving is both a wonderful thing and a sad thing
i feel a big joy & happiness
i feel a great loss & deep sadness
she is a special creature
easy to talk with, kind, accepting, open, playful, thoughtful, allows herself and others the space for the wide range of feelings that blow through a human at any given time…
we’d encourage each other in our dreams, share our hopes, fears, & goings-on in any given day…
i respect the way she lives her life…
it’s a great choice, her moving to where she’s headed
…near her family, within community, and to a progressive state that seems to have its sh*t together.
together today we dug the last of the potatoes.
in 2009, along with 3 other women, we farmed together on this land.
had a small, organic CSA
she’s old enough to be my mom (her son & i are the same age) but we are similar creatures in many ways.
it was a really nice day today for digging potatoes.
cool and overcast
soil not too cold
lots of juicy earthworms.
(this big boogie came up with my first dig.
base of palm to middle finger tip is 6 and 1/4 inches, folks.
ho-lee whopper. it proceeded to crawl into my sleeve as i walked it back to the potato bed.)
today we dug up over 89 pounds of potatoes.
(not including green ones and stabs).
add this to the already dug up, boxed, & shrouded in old sheets and towels – in all it makes nearly 500 pounds of potatoes.
i love growing potatoes.
like digging for buried treasure.
driving home i was reflecting on the day we planted them in May…
she and i and the woman who owns the land…
our ages in May were 67, 41, and 71, respectively.
my friend and i did most of the heavier work, but we all pitched in.
when mrs. landowner was tired, she sat in a lawn chair that we dragged into the garden and tell us stories about times in her life… that day sharing stories from her experience as a Freedom Rider in the 60’s.
rich tales straight from history
we were floored.
she kept apologizing for not doing more work…
“no no no!” we’d say “this is GREAT thank you for sharing your stories!!”
moved by this repetition of apology, i shared about images i once saw many years ago while working at an art & paper supply store in NYC
it looked like it was from an old magazine. written in French (which i don’t speak) but from the photos it was clear that in this hand-made-paper-making town, the entire community was involved. young and old.
the stronger people pulled the paper.
(link to an image of a burly dude pulling paper. whoa that frame is HEAVY) http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4492/1787/1600/duchene.jpg
the elders sat around a table together, removing petals from flowers to be used as inclusions in the paper pulp.
(i’ll try to see if i can find the image somehow…)
the photos from this old French town, a community working together and honoring the bodies & skills of each person, really struck me.
this, to me, was a sort of cohesion & honoring & connection i feel there is a lot of room for in our culture…
the potato planting day reflected this sort of mini-community…
each of us working together
contributing skills at our level of ability
we took our time
talking, resting, drinking plenty of water, snacks as needed, listening to stories, and acknowledging each other for the good work we were doing…
o i love my friend.
it’s a big change for her
a literal grand movement towards something she’s been wanting for a long, long time…
i look forward to visiting her in her new home
i am happy knowing she’s settling in a great place
i will miss her deeply.