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A Lifestyle Based in Life
One of the people in the world that I most admire is chef and restaurateur Robert Irvine.
I love watching him on his Food Network TV show Restaurant: Impossible because he takes failing restaurants and in a weekend turns them around and puts them on the road to success. After his whirlwind visit, it’s up to the restaurant owners to continue the successful actions Robert has taught them and established. When they do, the restaurants go on to thrive, when they don’t, their restaurants continue to fail and eventually die.
What interests me about this show is not the restaurant, it’s the turnaround from failure to success. Because the same steps Robert takes to rescue restaurants can also be used to turn around any failing enterprise.
What we need now is “Planet: Impossible.” It’s clear that the actions of industrial society are leading to failure in many directions. We need to turn things around and operate on successful actions.
The way it goes in Life is when we decide we want to be something—like a student at a particular school, or a mother or a ballet dancer or a chef—we embark upon a course and things begin to happen in that direction as a result of walking that particular path. As we take each step and learn more and more, we gain new abilities and understandings. We go, for example, from not being able to read music notation or knowing what the keys are on a piano, to having the ability to read music effortlessly and being able to play a complex piece of music flawlessly.
As Larry and I walk our Lifely path, things have been changing for us.
But this past month—and especially this past week—things have been changing very rapidly, more rapidly than I have ever experienced before.
So I just want to catch everyone up here with what has happened. Because things have progressed.
I just wanted to mark today as the first day of our new intentionally-created Lifely life.
The life I had that was based in the industrial world is over.
Though we have been working on this for a long time, and it’s not complete by any means, today is the “first day” because we have moved everything from the space where we had been living before, and now we need to create our living space entirely anew.
Larry and I have just returned from spending two weeks in our Utopia.
It is very wild and rugged there on the Northern California coast. The mountains literally rise right out of the ocean.
This was our third trip there and each time we explore new areas.
On Saturday we explored a park that we thought just had a lighthouse, but we found a wooden stairway down a cliff to a rocky beach with many tidepools.
We’re leaving our housesitting house this morning after a two-week stay.
One day while we were here, Larry had nothing to do while I was writing, so he just started cleaning the stove. He noticed that the light in the range hood was grimy, so he took it apart and cleaned it. And then he cleaned the burners.
In the bathroom, clean towels had been left for us, but also there were unwashed towels on the rack, so we washed all the towels last night.
This reminded me of something I noticed in Larry when we first met. Larry always wants to leave a place in better condition than he found it.
There are words in our language, which describe qualities of Nature, that we don’t often use, I believe, because we don’t understand the meaning of these words and we don’t see ourselves as part of Nature. “Lusty” is one of those words.
But since everything about our being alive has to do with the fact that we are beings of Spirit dwelling in the physical world of Nature, one of our natural, innate qualities is lustiness.
When we think of “lusty” we immediately make an association with the word “lust.” While in our culture we generally take a negative view of “lust” as “usually intense or unbridled sexual desire,” in fact, there are other definitions than this in my dictionary. Definition #1, which is obsolete, is about pleasure and delight, and definition #3 is about enthusiasm and eagerness.
Today is the Spring Equinox, the halfway point between the shortest day on Winter Solstice and the longest day on Summer Solstice. Today the number of daylight hours equals the number of hours of darkness. But it is also the day when Life begins to emerge in all its glory. I’ve heard Spring Equinox referred to as “the birthday of the Earth” because the plants and animals that have been hiding and hibernating begin to come out and show themselves. New flowers, new leaves, eggs, baby animals all arrive now becuase there is light and heat, and food to support them.
Today is the first day of spring, according to the placement of the sun. I know our calendars say that March 21st is the first day of spring, but ancient calendars based on celestial events have a different pattern.
Instead of the winter and summer solstices and spring and fall equinoxes being the beginning of a season (as they are on our calendars), the solstices and equinoxes mark the mid-point of the season. In old language, summer solstice is midsummer and winter solstice is midwinter.
Debra and I have been housesitting up on the rugged Northern California coast since the beginning of last week. It is very remote with only a general store, so those who live there periodically have to drive over the mountain to Eureka for supplies.
Near Eureka is a small rural town called Ferndale, which has a well-preserved four-block Victorian downtown with shops and restaurants.
We decided to drive to Ferndale to get some hand-forged iron hardware for our tiny house and have lunch, then spend the afternoon exploring Eureka, and drive home before dark.
We went to Ferndale, driving our 2005 hybrid Prius over the famous Ferndale Bridge, through the farmlands and into town. We went to the blacksmith shop, bought some wall hooks, and stopped for lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.
After an excellent meal, we went to the car to continue our drive to Eureka for some shopping for the week.
But the car wouldn’t start. This was odd because it had been running perfectly. In fact we had been commenting to each other on how well the car had been running.
A reader wrote to me asking for help making a decision as to whether or not to get the coronavirus vaccine.
So I thought I would share an edited version of my response to her here.
My personal position on this since the beginning has been to support my immune system and wear a mask, etc. Larry and I pretty much stay within a very small circle in our community and don’t go to gatherings with unknown people. Every day we go to a our small produce stand down the street, and I go to a chiropractor now and physical therapy. We occasionally go buy lumber or something as we build our tiny house, but that’s it. We have very little exposure to others. When we do have to be out and about, we wear our masks.
So far so good.