This last week I have been working the farm.  Not that I wasn’t working on it before, but now in the manner to make it what it needs/wants to be.  I had made a ritual statement that my first 50 years were dedicated to and dictated by the rest of the world – responsibilities as mom, wife, daughter, employee, boss, priestess, friend and any other title you can put on a person.  I did that with love and I do not regret one step.  I would do it all again because that past is what has made me who I am, bringing me to where I am today.  I followed that statement with the promise to myself that the next 50 years were going to be built on what I wanted, my needs, desires, dreams and all the things that were put off so that I could do everything else.  It was a short time after that ritual where I made my declarations and promises that I turned 50 years old – a half century.  What have I learned?  I’ve learned that when you make declarations and promises in ritual before the gods you best be prepared for what comes next. 

My husband and I finished buying our farm in the next three months and then we began to explore the land.  We walked the woods we now owned, felt the soil in the fields and planned what we would do where.  In fact we finally understood we had to figure out what exactly it was that we were going to do.  Bill never said no, well maybe to the alpacas, but everything else that I suggested he just smiled and said we can do that.  It was my decision on what to grow, what to raise, where things would go, and I loved every moment of it. 

My daughter and her family come and spend all the time they can here on the farm and we have a great deal of fun. So the first “crop” is grand babies.  Yes, what better to raise on open fields and woodlots than the next generation?  We have begun to teach them the limits of the land both literally and figuratively through various methods.  In doing that they are learning about tractors, gardens, bugs, and poison ivy.  The second crop: honey, well bees and honey. 

My son surprised me and told me one day that he would really like to have hives on the farm if it was okay.  Okay?  I had already been planning on it – bees are the livestock that I have chosen to raise.  We have had a great time doing the research, talking, hunting for equipment, and now we have placed the hives in the fields.  There are two hives, the bees are not here yet, we will be picking them up in a few days and will then place them in their new homes.  In walking out to put the final straps on the hives he asked if I understood that he was deathly afraid of bees.  I had known it but he needed to tell me himself.  The hives and all that come with it will help him move through that fear.  The land is working us now.  After finishing with the hives we continued our walk through the fields.  As we talked we both saw a movement in the grass in front of us.  It was a small snake – the first of the season that I have seen.  It made its way to the tall grass and we continued on our way.  As we got nearer the house, there was another snake, larger than the first.  It to made its way to the taller grass, but this time we could watch where it went due to the movement it caused in the grass around it.  Transformation and life is around us.

The third crop – berries.  This was what I decided to grow a long time ago.  Three kinds of berries: blackberries, raspberries, and blue berries.  We tilled the field where I had decided to plant and if that was all we had to do that would have made it easy.  Our fields however, are filled with stones.  As we turned over the soil the stones became exposed; I walked behind the tiller and began to remove them from the ground, tossing them aside to haul away later.  It was then that I began to realize that through this entire process the Greenman had been talking.  Whispering softly at first and then laughing with me (not at me) as I struggled with decisions, duties, and actions.  The stones of life had been in the field of my soul, I had removed them once before.  Now a new crop of stones was here, literal ones, that needed to be found, appreciated, and moved to their proper location. 

The next day I began again, but this time to put the cuttings in the ground.  I had to gather the tools, remove the debris that would hinder their growth, dig individual holes and then gently place these new beginnings in the ground.  Yes new beginnings.  As I performed each chore I began to hear the voice of the earth, both mother and father, sing to me.  I saw the smiling face of the Greenman in the bare dirt, I heard the singing of the mother in the voices of birds, and their kiss on my skin was gentle and welcomed. At the end of the day I was sore, tired – I felt wonderful. I have never felt so satisfied as I did at that moment. 

My conversation with the Greenman began with my words almost a year ago but it wasn’t until now that I truly began to hear his response.  Opening my eyes to the opportunities (even the insane ones) rather than ignoring them due to fear has given me a new way to communicate.  As it turns out, others can hear the conversation as well even when they don’t understand what it is that humming in their ears.  Enjoy your converstaions with the Greenman he has much to say.

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