I lit a fire the night before Halloween. The cold air blew into these high desert foothills, just in time to chill all those tricky treating children out there…(we were cozy inside, as Jaengus at 2.5 years old is not quite hip to Halloween yet and as far as I am concerned that is just fine:)
That very fire, it is still going, rising and falling, as the sun warms us through our big southerns windows it wanes and right before bedtime it rages. Now that the clocks have been set back, tonights winds and rains blowing the last leaves off the trees, it feels official, winter is here and it is time to keep that fire going all winter long.
Now we have been heating with wood for years, growing food for even more, buying as little and caring as much as we can, for, well ever I guess…but creating a family and staying at home to tend them has deepened my understanding what stoking these home fires really means to me.
Tending these very symbolic embers has been my main focus and main teacher for the past two years. My friend Kyce often calls this stage of life, the Mommystery, and rightly so. In the mist of millions of things to do, I have lots of time and space in my mind to Chop wood, Carry water, churn the problems of the the world inside and out and ruminate over what I am going to do ablaut them as I hang my laundry out to dry. Slowing, steadying myself and my wild mind is the only way to be a solid parent, partner and friend and let me tell you, it is taking a lot of conscious inner work and I still have a lot more laundry to dry.
One of the first big blows of this journey was how isolating life could be. Luckily, I had learned to grow my food, gather my herbs, chop my wood, and carry water earlier on, deeply dedicated to self sufficieny as a life path….but all the sudden I was all alone, well me and my boys, chopping all the wood and carrying all the water. Which I love, truly, yet as a community oriented gal, I had no idea this romantic idea of tending my own hearth would leave me feeling so isolated. I wasn’t working, which normally takes place in schools and community gathering spaces, so without that contact, I had a hard time imagining how the fires I was tending at home would warm the whole world and how I, though warm from within, won’t die of isolation much less self judgement, oh that wild mind!
Well, luckily that storm has passed. My son and I go out on the town; to work, to volunteer and to connect lots these days, but one of the sweetest gifts I received in those early days in the Mommystery was the gift of Motherkin. Like minded mamas who were willing to drive out of town and wander the lane with our babies on our backs. Mamas who were willing guinea pigs for my tea cake recipes while we deconstructed homemaking in a post feminist time. Mamas who were educated, conciencious, active citizens who were choosing to make change by opting out of consumer culture and attempting to create new culture from their own homes.
Sarah, Kyce & Arina, I am feeling the love and want to say your names for the world to hear, you are my Radical beacons and without our almost weekly conspiring, I would not be as solid, centered and committed to where I am and the work I am doing inside and outside and always feeling at home. So graciously, I thank you for being such Radicals, reclaiming homemaking as a conscious prayer for a new world.
So the story goes on to say, I am not alone in these choices or in my daily practice anymore. In fact I am feeling VERY connected these days. We are building up the fires with a few folks so that our community can grow and hopefully spread out like seeds into a world that desperately needs us right now. So this weekend, come stoke the home fires with us at our first humble Home Fire Retreat. I am so looking forward to us meeting each other where we are at, building our community, sharing ourselves and supporting each other whereever we are on this journey of renouncing, reclaiming and rebuilding a new world together.
PS Today is the last day for Early Bird Registration Fee!!