Tuesday, December 16, 2008

. . .

It’s one of those wet tropical mornings where everything is damp and chilly. The mosquitoes are out in full force and I’m sitting with the fan on wrapped in 3 layers and longing for a pair of woolly socks. It’s November: a good time to plant, the beginning of the rainy season, not a good time to wash clothes.
My life is changing again, and again for the better. I’m leaving school. I really don’t know how I feel about this, I keep expecting pangs of regret and fear, but nothing comes, just a sense that this is right. I always thought I would be one of those lifers, someone who would remain immersed in schools until they dropped, but at 40 I’m bowing out, hopefully gracefully, and taking up another passion. And it’s okay.
I’m stepping into a life that feels ready made: I’ve been working at the farmers’ market for 4 months now and this will continue and develop as I move from working a stall by myself or with Heather, to sharing stall space with Peter. I started with selling mixes of dried fruit, then added sprouts, and now we are making granola bars with the fruits and the cacao we grow. When the salad greens are ready we’ll sell those too and we’re working on jams, pickles and preserves to add. On the farm I’ll be working with the salad greens and the fruit trees, propagating and grafting, and on the landscaping side I’m working with Peter, but concentrating on edible landscapes. This is a dream. I’m very happy.
We just came back from a job on the other side of Costa Rica on the unspoilt Osa Penninsula , a wonderful eco-lodge called Sabalo Lodge, an hour’s boat ride along wide tropical rivers and dense mangrove. I thought the mangrove would never end and then suddenly we stopped before a wide open lawn shaded by coconut palms, delicious. The owners, Dan and Holly, are creating a beautiful secret space, tucked away from everything, collecting their water, creating their electricity and caring for their guests. We were there to work, but felt very well cared for. Peter laid down a good orchard with a rich variety of fruits, we worked with epiphytes and flowering shrubs and I worked on edible landscaping, 4 beds with a good variety of greens, tubers, herbs, spices and vegetables. It was great fun, 10 hour days, but rewarding.