My squeals of joy could be heard a few miles away when I woke up to hearing that one of the cats had her kittens in the night. After arming myself with a bribe of bacon, eggs and cheese, I booked it into the greenhouse to see the four little furry balls of joy. Momma kitty was happy to trade petting her kittens for bacon(shameless, I know), though she took another day of bribing before she’d let me pick them up. Zoe and I are trying to figure out how we can convince the boys that we need a kitten. And really, we’d have to get it young so that we could train it for the road, and to not eat Harold(the rat). I kind of love the idea of Harold giving the kitten a run around though (youtube videos anyone?). Either way, I’ve spent the last few days taking every moment I can between chores to run into the greenhouse and gently pet momma and the kittens. I can’t imagine a better form of meditating then slowly stroking a purring momma and new little balls of fuzzy life as the peaceful purrs wash over me, the greenhouse breathing scents of basil, oregano, and a dozen other herbs blending with the smell of hay and mulch under my knees. Even the spiders seem less threatening in the face of new life (from 100% terrifying to 99%).
But even amongst all this beauty, I’ve been wreaked of late. I left a very stable, comfortable, (reasonably) normal existence and went off into the world in a conversion van, thinking that I was all grown up and had a few things figured out and within a month I was proven flat wrong and well on my way to being wreaked. And it has continued everyday since, until recently, I’ve been having trouble even looking in the mirror. I can’t tell who I am anymore, and nothing quite “fits” right. Which is immensely frustrating when one has spent as much time working on one’s self development as I have. But the strange thing is, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. This throwing myself into this life has opened up to such extremes, to so many new thoughts and paths, to challenging aspects of my thoughts and beliefs I never even realized I had until these moments has been deranged and wonderful. I have been ranting, crying, depressed, wondering and waxing wit at the myriad aspects of life that are often easily overlooked in favor of the bright, the new, the I-prefer-to-see-this-it’s-easier-on-my-conscience ostrich head in the sand approach to life. This view is vicious, dreary, work-weary, panic attack inducing freedom. I though I was going mad until I read the “Misfit Manifesto” – a free download by Jeff Goins (http://goinswriter.com/) and realized I was not the only one going through this, and why I was beginning to view the world this way. It saved my sanity, just knowing that there was a word for it, and it was wonderful. All of a sudden, it didn’t seem like such a burden to see all of the pain, damage and madness of the world. It was something I could work to make better, if only in my own little ways. The hardest part is the constant feeling of limbo, how everyday requires some new adjustment to new information about the truth of the world. I’m in mourning and being reborn a dozen times a day just to live with truth and integrity. It’s exhausting. But it must be done, because if not me, then who? And so as some explanation for why I choose to live this way, I pet kittens, and hang clothes on a line, and treat asthma attacks with saline, and read and share my experiences on here, the little bits I can do to simply not play the game anymore. Be the Change.
Speaking of clothes lines, one interesting aspect of the camp we are staying at is their 1942 washing machine. It is, to put it lightly, significantly more interactive than modern washing machines. But on the upside, it’s very retro cool. It uses only about 10 gallons of water for each cycle, and there is a roller contraption that squeezes all the water out of the clothes, making the work weirdly fun. It took three loads and the camp is draped in a hundred clothes (Yay Gypsies!!) but it’s all finished. Having a boyfriend who glories in motors, forges, mud and all other manner of how-on-earth-did-you-manage-to-do- that- to- your- clothes combined with my desire to eliminate toxins from my life has led me to get creative about laundry detergent. After months of trying out combinations I came up with a simple and effective recipe that works as both all-purpose cleaner and laundry detergent, I’ve even used it to wash dishes when we’ve been out of water.
All-purpose cleaner and Laundry Detergent
– 1 to 1 ration of vinegar to water
– 15 drops of each lavender and tea tree essential oil
– Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap about 1 tbsp to 1 cup of water/vinegar mix
– add either orange/lemon essential oil, or just add the rinds from lemons/oranges used in cooking(which is what I do)