Barn's burnt down
I can see the Moon.
~ Mizuta Masahide

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Grief and Gratitude

Today I learned of the loss of a Coulda-Been-Friend. And I am so...very...sad.

She whisked into my life at a time when work and purpose and my sense of self were all swirling in a fog of passion, gratitude, uncertainty, and malaise. And one day, over a bed of weeds at an urban farm, she graced me with the gift of compassionate listening, and generous mirth.

In the months that have passed since we met, she would periodically check in on me, and I on her. We would exchange anecdotes and mutual encouragement. And when my journey brought us both into the same state again, we made tentative plans to meet and catch up.

But there was always work. Or vacations. Or illness. Or simply the impatient and speedy passage of time.

And so we never met up.

And now, we never will.

Just two days and about a dozen emails. But those two days at a conference and those dozen or so emails were an encounter with Grace. For that, I will always be grateful.

Rest peacefully, Seana. I know you walk with the angels.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Springing Forward...with Stubborn Persistence

I am a fair-weather morning person. So like so many people, this was a rough week. Late winter gloom, Daylight Savings Time and early allergies have made mincemeat of my energy, sleep pattern and focus. 

And yet, I am also jazzed, with clarity about a single-minded mission: becoming a flower farmer and farmstead entrepreneur.

Sure, I just began a new job I love (and which, sadly, is under acute threat if 45's budget hit list is to be believed). But it is 3/4 time and is values-aligned with my stubborn desire (going on eight years now) to start and grow a farm-based business.

A property I have been eye-balling for almost two years went back on the market a short while ago, and my wheels began to turn.

I began communicating with the owner, visited the snow-blanketed property, and went into feasibility research mode in every spare moment. 

This week, my meeting with the local Small Business Development Center went very well, and while I have more homework to complete before our follow up meeting next week, I am reassured in the feasibility of the concept AND my ability to execute it. 

Over the years, I have developed a number of business projects that usually got to the capital raise stage and petered out. I used to lament these but I stopped doing so once I realized that with each effort, I learned more about myself, the markets, and the nature of business itself. But I also learned that it is so much harder to build a business without being rooted in community. 

We are home. 


And this community is one I love and have loved for years. 

It's telling that when I envision the Farm, I don't just see the fields and the canning garden or even the canning kitchen - spaces of meditative work for me and my soul. I envision people coming as guests. People integrating the story of the Farm into the narratives of their lives. Communities planted through seeds of commerce and cultivated through the humus of hospitality, memories and joy.

And so I persist...with spreadsheets, the business plan, and preparing documents for loan applications and prospective investors.

The seed has been planted in good potting soil. It's incubating in the greenhouse, with the seedling beginning to break through. By the grace of God and the stubbornness with which the Divine has gifted me, this is the year the seedling will transplant well and the Farm will finally bloom.