It has been an unusual summer here in the wilds of suburban Connecticut. A very hot summer, it has an intensity that makes it seem as though it will burn itself out early. We at the Hollow are lying low this summer, staying close to home and enjoying lots of quiet days and early nights. The goal for me was to have some healing time, while still managing to make some progress on all that we want to do here on our little acre 'homestead'. Some of that has been accomplished, but some plans are still firmly standing their ground on the to-do list.
For nearly the entire time from my last blog post to this one, the incredible tragedy of the gulf~oil 'incident' has been unfolding. This event once again shook me to my core and leaves me reaching for hope that we are able, even with the most aggressive actions (that we never actually take) to change humanity's destiny. As an empath, it has been extremely difficult to feel the agony of the situation without it effecting every aspect of my life... and so, it has. What was to be a summer of healing and rejuvenation did not wind up as such. I feel blessed to be treading water, and though it feels sometimes like failure, I know it is not. Keep on keeping on! As I type this, the powers that be will have us believe that this nightmare is all but over, and I want to believe it. I have never prayed so much and so deeply as I have this summer. Blessings to Gaia, may she know more love every moment of every day...
I return often to this sentiment by the wonderous and sparkling Maya Angelou..."Surviving is important, thriving is elegant." I have it on a pretty card on my kitchen windowsill... where it reminds me daily of this most simple yet sacred shift, and again I renew my will to *thrive*. Struggling with severe adrenal fatigue and fibromyalgia these last few years has been eye opening in lots of ways... and I am slowly, slowly healing. Hemlock Hollow is not exactly patient, however, and either is my own vision of what I want this place to be for us. I have plans!
The gardens this year were and continue to be a challenge, but we are happily drowning in tomatoes, which after last year's blight (total loss!) and the threat of the blight's return is a wonderful thing. We reaped lots of peas and beans, many cucumbers and squashes before the squash beetles took over. The summer greens were amazing, and the fresh broccoli! We are overflowing with peppers of all kinds and beautiful eggplants... we had probably 30 pounds of strawberries and 15 pounds of raspberries. The elderberries are ripening up now, and I am slowly drying them so I can make lots of elderberry elixir to keep us healthy over the winter.
The chickens are doing fabulously, our new ladies are due to start laying any time... and finally, the new coop is almost finished and ready for paint. Soon, we'll have upwards of 16 eggs a day and we'll be looking to sell a few dozen a week! If you want the most beautiful, fresh organic eggs around... you'll know where to find them!
The bees have grown their colony to mass proportions and have gotten away from me a bit... a fine lesson for this first year beekeeper. I was not nearly nosy enough and left them alone long enough for the hive to settle offcenter a bit, thereby encouraging the bees to build cross-comb, which they certainly did! So, I have what seems to be an extremely healthy, vibrant colony that I can't get into until spring! I am disappointed that I let this happen, but not terribly upset because they are doing beautifully and doing their own thing... which is why I wanted to do this in the first place, after all. So, come early spring I will attempt to ply my bee mentor with pizza and beer in hopes of opening up my hive and resetting it, a huge project no doubt, and hopefully one with some honey as a reward!
As summer wanes, we are looking forward. New projects, new ideas... Zach has formally begun training with the AODA (The Ancient Order of Druids in America) and is considering learning to play the Mountain Dulcimer! I am busily working with my amazing shamanism mentor and teacher... charting deep new territory after over 25 years of spiritual study and practice. I am preparing for her visit to Connecticut in September with much anticipation, nothing like a magical houseguest to kick one's tushie into high gear... ;-) Zoe is preparing to head back into the forest at Great Hollow Wilderness School as well as finally showing some real readiness to start reading, this is going to be an exciting time for all of us.
As the harvest season settles down around us, we are full of gratitude for the abundance around us, as well as the many lessons along the way. We continue to offer prayer and hope for the healing of the Earth and her waters, and for the healing of the human heart.