Today is my daughter’s last day of homeschool. It’s also just a couple weeks before she’s officially a teenager. I wonder if I could have made more of this time… all of it, but especially the last year with her home. We haven’t spent this much time together in a long time. While the pandemic which spurred this stint was not by any means on our terms, it’s still been a blessing to have had it.
It feels like the bustle of the hustle blinded me. I take things slower now. I don’t want things to go back to the way they were before. I don’t she does either, honestly. Now we must strike a balance. I hope she is treated well in her new school. I hope that sending her back will be a decision we are happy about. I hope that college doesn’t take me away from her too much as it did the first time around.
I can’t say that I’ve embodied the paradigm of enlightenment. My emotional intelligence and compassion has a long way to go before I can even truly embrace that kind of love of myself. However, looking back at old journals, talking others in text, vox, video, or in person, and especially my recent time on reddit has given me some clarity to reflect upon how far I’ve come and what I had to do to get here.
Let me catch you up briefly on my life as it stands. I’m enrolled in college, growing some beautiful marijuana plants, and starting an Etsy. My husband and I have a 3 year and a 5 year plan and home ownership is on the not-so-distant horizon. I’ve lost about 8 pounds, and am going to approach a healthy life along with a healthier lifestyle. I’ve learned not only how to tidy and clean but how to declutter which has transformed my life in many ways beyond the satisfaction I feel about my home. I’ve spent over a year with my daughter all day every day and I am grateful for this rare opportunity that I had with her as a mother.
So when someone asks me for help; people (friends and strangers alike) calling out to others for hope while they’re struggling with weight, finances, or even just depression I want to tell them what I’ve done, but what I’ve done is so internal and personal that to give a step-by-step process would seem vapid—it always does! But if I could put it into some sort of poetic expression it would be this:
Everything you need is already inside of you. You are the world. You are the universe. And you’re not unhappy because of the lack of love which you do not receive but because there is a lack of love you are not yet understanding how to, or are not able to, embody. The passions and the care that lacks, that creates a void within, you have to find a way to fill that yourself. You must care and have compassion for yourself and those who treat you well. You must cut those who do you harm, and leave spaces that don’t serve you.
I don’t know if it will help you today. But through my journey this is what I’ve learned, and I hope if nothing else that it helps give you hope, today.
Someday, I hope to find an outlet that wants to support my passion projects. I want to make a living hearty enough to support a home in a temperate region, near water, that sustains a large garden by writing poetry books and strange novels.
Last night I had a dream about maple seeds twirling around me that felt so grounded in reality I didn’t realize I was dreaming until my dog woke me up to be let outside. I thought, “that first chapter of Braiding Sweetgrass must’ve really spoken loudly to me”. I’d read it weeks ago so truly this I believe. I dreamt of Skywoman and I dreamt that I’d found forgiveness for Eve. I woke with zest, ready for a day of hard work in the garden and a morning full of poetry and creamed coffee.
It was to my pleasant surprise that I walked out onto my garden deck, carrying that coffee in my grandmother’s fox mug, to find the glass table, my potted plants, my citronella candles, my beautiful little marijuana seedlings, all decorated with maple seeds—plucked dragonfly wings—and more still cascading down from what looked like Heaven. That was 8 AM, and in the Spring/Summer months 8 AM is yellow, the blue of the Winter mornings that I love dearly is shed in the earliest hours of 4 and 5, and I’ve not been waking up that early for a long time now.
I don’t try to believe in mystical coincidences, giving credence to these happenings to a higher power when the magic of simple healthy life is a miracle to be gracious for alone, but sometimes life has a way of making them hard to ignore. An italicized idea snug in the middle of a mundane sentence called “The Morning Routine”. And isn’t that really the moral of the Skywoman mythology/belief? Either way, I returned some of my coffee to the Earth, and I hope it was enough to say thank you for such blessed sights.
I’ve seen a lot of ugly sights in my life, and so I’m trying hard to remain grateful for every beautiful ones. Especially since that afternoon in November where I closed my mother’s dead eyes. I’m haunted quite literally by my mother’s ghost and not in the sense that we’d have hoped for jokingly when she was alive. I like to imagine, even just for my own sanity that she is in these maple seeds, in my seedlings, in the grasses, the clovers, the coffee…
Some days I don’t know what to write in the mornings, so I don’t. I study, or garden, or clean… But days like today—when the laundry has piled and the floors beg me for a mop—it all boils over into my dreams. I know I’m on fire or steaming; I’m pouring over the edge with some experience, well of thoughts, emotionally ripe and it all must flow out of me somewhere. So I find a page and I let it bleed red.
Perhaps one day these seeds of thoughts will be a great maple. Those who plant the seeds of maple trees never live to see how tall the trees grow, or live drink of their sugar even one time, do they? And it’s okay that this is the way. I believe it is so, anyway. –Paige
To some of you following a gardener probably sounds as fun as watching the grass grow! However, fun is in the eye of the beholder, no? And to me I find it not only fun, but relaxing and rewarding to watch plants that I’ve tended evolve from seed, to seedling, to fully flowered plant.
In this video I’m not doing much (TikTok allows only a minute max), but weeding the huge garden we have in front by hand and getting the beds ready for my plant babies.
Taking care of a New Jersey garden is a lot of work, but this is especially true if you want to keep a garden organic, as we do.