Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Back to NYC

I would have never imagined that after just two months of living out of a car, with the pleasures of a camp stove in the trunk, white gas to refuel the tank, a cutting board the size of a romance novel, two folders of Cd's, one camera, some basic tools....and a road map, that I would want to abandon all of my possessions, setup the tent on the roof and call the outdoors my home.

I spent the first night thirsting for the cool breeze almost freezing to pull me into the deep nethers of the sleeping bag that also doubled as a pillow while driving. I awoke through the night, looking for the clouds through the tent roof, wondering if fall leaves were falling or if the clouds were passing bringing in a morning drizzle.I was no longer sleeping outdoors however to find such things. It would take a small bit of time for my sense to change.

We arrived back to the city with a sense of pure freshness. We has cups of raw milk in our system, holding us over till our arrival at my apartment where 8 friends gathered in our honor, creating a feast billowing with raw caraway cheese, macoun apples, roasted beets, watercress salad, wine and fresh bread. There were welcome back letters lining the stairway to the top floor apartment and banjo and ukulele picks in the room of masked and joyful friends.

This whole trip, we would arrive in towns, homes and coffee shops wondering how the fine art of food and sustainability could be combined into a community of people that cherished togetherness. Here we had it instantly, and in the comforts of a home still spotted with familiar wall hangings and flourishing plants.

It has been just two days back from the journey. I had to take a ride to the park to feel the essence of space and the coolness of the earth beneath my back and dream of running out to collect grains for the goats.

Here, I take on a whole new way of a sustainable life and daily path, that has begin with exerting less energy to conquer desirable needs. For the first time in 2 years I brought my largest mug to the coffee shop, sipped organic coffee and enjoyed the company or roommates while settling into the home again.

Just three days ago we had nestled into the bounty of Jonas and Judy's Homestead. They had been there for 35 years and were thrilled to have our visit partially because Jonas was so excited to see the prospects of his garage Mercedes going grease.

We arrived during the week when they still had plenty of chores to do, milking and feeding the animals at the break of dawn and before night settled in. Other important tasks included the preparation of the winter cook stove, fired up with extra pieces of apple wood that were chopped down to fit. The frost was also coming and harvesting the last of the summer vegetable was a big priority. We helped make spaghetti sauce, picked and strung chillies and foraged some wild edible plants that grew beneath their clothesline and apple tree.

Milk was brought in and strained right after milking and stored with dates written on the glass jar. It was raw, unpasteurized and the dates helped milk to be drunk with the dates in mild so that it didn't spoil after a day or two.

Judy and Jonas both made time for sharing, almost any information, insight and topics of conversation that could be of learning to us or them. They learned as they went and humbly knew that information would come and change.

We made fresh butter, learned how to grow Kefir, make breads, milk, herd a milking cow, identify the electric fence, and enjoy the graces of a meal harvested from one's backyard.

It was truly a gift to be in their company. It was the best way for our journey to end, at their homestead.

We look forward to highlighting the many topics and places that have not yet surfaced in out journaling.

But for now...here is to being able to find everything you need in a 20 block radius. Oh how the city provides! Thank goodness we have manicured our attentiveness and willingness to find it.