I started writing this blog to keep track of what was growing in my garden, way back in 2010. Over the last two years a little house grew where our garage-for-bikes used to be, and I let that garden go. Slowly, I started a new garden, one where the plants can take more care of each other while I am away; one in which the soil can change back into what it was before cultivation ever came here. I joined a program run by The Portland Audubon to try to stem the staggering losses of songbirds, and to repopulate the Willamette Valley with historically native plant species. This new garden is just in its infancy, and I often miss the old garden, and all the ways it connected me to season and purpose and cycle. At the same time, I hold deep, deep gratitude for how I have come to know myself in relationship to this small piece of land.
I hope that this temporary home will bring all who contact it into deeper community with this place, its people and history, and themselves. As I notice some surprise and agitation in the first steps of sharing a very precious and private place through a very public and automated service, I want to pause and ground into my values, really feel my willingness in this process, and clarify my intentions.
I intend to hold good boundaries so that my closest loves continue to experience flow and belonging on this small piece of earth as we open our space to others.
I intend to communicate with clarity and kindness so that our guests and neighbors feel seen and heard. I intend to care for the garden in such a way that the bonds between plants, animals, seasons, and people grow strong and resilient.
I intend to be transparent so new friends can find out more about us/ this land/ this process/ this place, and so I can get help, feedback, and encouragement wherever it is available and authentic.
Things I want to say right now:
1. This land has a whole life. It has been breathing through the seasons here for so much longer than we have been here. We don't really OWN it. We are here in the lap of the animals, plants, spirits, ancestral deities and traditional guardians of this place. We are here in their abundance, as part of their web: learning, growing, worshiping, forgetting and remembering our place.
2. Our African American neighbors were here, are here, will be here. Expect them; respect them. From my perspective, this is their neighborhood. Some of our neighbors we are very close to. Some play their music louder than we might prefer. This is true independent of race. If you have an issue: please let us know.
3. Careful on the swings! These swings are part of our family rhythm. Jeff made them for Zelda's 4th birthday. For her 5th birthday, he made them taller. You may play on these swings but we take no responsibility for your safety while you are on or around these swings. Our children swing very high. They do dumb stuff and are joyful. People have fallen off. Getting hit in the face by one of the solid wooden seats is not fun. We do not have insurance for these swings.