Saturday, May 18, 2013


Kingman, AZ
On May 9th, I left my cozy perch at Mama Iva's house in Long Beach, bound for North Dakota - spring has swung around and it's time to farm again. After seven months of hanging in LA (give or take a few side trips to Mississippi, Costa Rica, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Nevada City, Foster City and San Diego), I am now at the Niobrara Lodge in Valentine, NE, a small town off Hwy 83.

After leaving SoCal (Bye Mom! Bye massages! Bye In-n-Out! Bye helicopters! Bye smog!), I stayed one night in Kingman, AZ, then on to Albuquerque, where I hung for a few days with Laurianna and her wonderful boys, Wyatt (who just graduated 8th grade) and my godson, Jack, the shortest as-yet-uncredited marine biologist that I know. He's 5. Together, we went to see Iron Man 3, one of the best cared-for action sequels I've ever seen. (They are taking that character to some very human, relatable places without the suit - so smart.)

After leaving my loved ones in New Mexico, I drove to Crestone, Colorado, known as a spiritual vortex of sorts - a small community at the foothills (elev: 8,000) that is home to one of my favorite couples, Bliss (yes, that's her real name) and her husband, Nealio. (Real name Neal but I never call him that.)

Nealio and his two favorite tools.
 There, in the vortex, I was taken to a spiritual gathering where I met a beautiful poet named Istacia (sp?) and a fascinating woman named Helen, among other folks. I held a ceremony to bless my seeds and Bliss and I got slowly drunk on champagne - it was glorious.

Bliss, with a dog named, Bliss
The next morning, Bliss and I hiked to the Tashi Gomang Stupa, the stupa of "many auspicious doors, symbolizing the 84,000 paths taught by the Buddha to reach enlightenment." I'd given three seeds (from last year's bean crop) each to Bliss and I to represent whatever we are trying to manifest these days. My seeds represented Creative Strength, Home and Love. 

After an overnight stay with family in Wahpeton, ND, we will arrive at Second Chance Ranch around mid-day on Sunday, May 19th, exactly two weeks earlier than last year, which is grand. And thanks to some last-minute divine intervention, Kirk is accompanying me on this trip, thank the lord. Not only is he, once again, going to be a huge help in planting but he brought along a water pump too, which will bring me all the way into last century, technology-wise.

My favorite "scenic overlook" - off Hwy 83, over the Dismal River in NE.
It will be interesting to see just how much - if anything - I've learned since last year. Already, it's about 8,000 times less stressful knowing that I have a place to live, an electrical source, homemade sewer system and a far better understanding of what needs to be done. Last year, I was swimming in ignorance - which was liberating, actually.

I think this year is going to be a gas.

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