Today I hung wet laundry out on the new clothes line that I put up as the clothes were washing. My new washer (we found it unloved in the cone shed) works great. It is sitting out in the middle of my yard beneath the cool new shade we built yesterday. The shade is made from 16 foot cattle panels curved up over short, five-foot walls with a blue tarp stretched across it. We are calling it “Mudananda” which means the “bliss of mud.” It will serve for doing laundry, screening and mixing mud, clean-up and probably canning in the late summer. Simple, elegant, effective–my favorite words.
It has been so hot that it makes the body weary and the mind fuzzy; I work until I can’t, and then I go jump in the lake. I can’t figure out what is wrong with me. I’m 58 years old and working like I think I am twenty-something. I can’t stop dreaming about tunnel gardens and kiva’s and small, cozy retreat cabins with wise and not-so-wise people coming to stay and play and learn. I want to double my garden. I want to add more blueberry plants. I want a writing/creating studio of my own.
I will have to live to be 150 to do all the things I want to do. It may be my age that is making me reach so far.
When I was in my twenties I bought an old Catholic Church in Piedmont, SD. My goal was to make the place into a learning center—a place where the mind and the spirit meet and have a good time. I grew a garden. I had my babies. Time passed. I frequently met people like me who dreamed of community and growing a center of some kind. That was almost forty years ago and the idea doesn’t leave me alone.
Yesterday morning over coffee I was stressing about how much there was to do. And the heat. And then suddenly I turned a mysterious dial about two degrees (no more) and my ideas shifted from trying to solve a problem to creating a solution. The two internal states are so very different from one another. In one I have a belly ache and think about going back to bed. In the other I can’t wait to get out of my seat and get on it. In reality, nothing changed but that tiny shift of my internal dial. I think that it is not so important that I get it all done–but that I do it all in a creative frame. Loving it. Not dreading it.
As much as I’m loving this twenty-something lifestyle I’m living, I also want to get back to teaching effective ways to live life in a nonordinary way.
Want to help me build a retreat center? We could use good used windows and doors, any rafters or good lumber that you may have lying around, a few hours on a bobcat, a little carpentry expertise? It could be fun and I’ll give you excellent discounts on all the upcoming potential programs. I plan to start with a one-day retreat at my house this fall called “See Me Beautiful and a couple of Youth Radio Camps.”
Or maybe there is something you would like to teach? Let’s think about it. Who says we need lots of money to make something dynamic happen?
Well, back to Mudananda and my sun-dried laundry. Fresh sheets tonight!
A little extra note: I’ve had a lot of new friends and fellow inquirers joining my blog lately. Be sure to pass it on to others and invite them to join me on this unusual path. Just subscribe in the upper right corner and you will get my weekly (no more, I promise) posts.
And speaking of mud–here is my latest touch to our house–behind the fireplace. Rocks and mud–wonderful.
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