May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you and the pure light within you, guide your way on "~Incredible String Band

Monday, September 01, 2008

Laying Roots.....

I am happy to report we now have our computer back ! We can now manage our etsy site and begin selling things once again.  This also means I can resume my somewhat regular postings..

When I last  left off we  were  just beginning  our journey north. We went first first in the car, with Moss driving south at a later date to fetch the bus and bring it back up. Our initial plans had been to stay in a hotel while we worked  a local initiative  and saved money to bring the bus up. However, at the last minute we caught wind of a fellow who needed someone to caretake his land for part of the summer . The land was in the Applegate valley in southern Oregon, beautiful, wild, remote and right on the river. 

We stayed there in the bus and used our little car to drive the 40 minutes to Ashland once a week for groceries and supplies. Our chores were simple, in exchange for a place to park, we were to feed the animals, water and tend the garden. The rest of the time was spent immersed in felt making, creating boots , dolls and puppets for the festival and dyeing many pounds of wool . We saw very few people for those two months,  just the thee of us and the birds in a  beautiful timeless world of forest, river and sky.

On June 9th, Sages first birthday, we decided to take a trip into Ashland for a visit to Lithia park. This park is stunningly gorgeous and was designed by the same person who made golden gate park  in San Francisco. Sage had a great time playing in the river and climbing on the playground equipment with the other kids. We were not able to get a birthday ring this year but we did have a yummy carrot cake and I gave her the  doll I made for her which she seems to really like.

In early August our careaking position came to and end and we packed up our camp and headed north to Eugene and the Faerieworlds festival.  We were excited to be moving again but our time in the woods really drove home our desire to be rooted some place.

The Faerieworlds festival was nothing short of spectacular, as always. We met a few regular blog readers and some fellow etsy artisans as well. Two of them wrote up a nice little feature on us, which you can read here and another one here .

 While financially it was not a huge success, we did meet a man, a professional shoe maker who wants to collaborate with us on making  felted  clogs. He makes great ergonomic soles for his leather boots and has been interested in making felt clogs for a long time now. When he saw our boots at the festival he was (apparently) impressed and asked us if we would like to work with him on this project. Basically we will make the felted boot part and he the soles.  It looks very promising and could be a long term production felting gig for us.

Brian, Wendy and Toby Froud were there as usual and I almost fell over when Brian walked up to me and complimented me on my newest large piece, saying  "she really has presence ".. This of course thrilled me to no end as he is the KING of Faerie after all.

We saw many of our old friends which was wonderful, including Sunshine, Dylan ,Timothy and there new baby Lila ! This was the family we met a few months earlier in Santa Barbabra. Sunshine ended up having her baby unassisted in the back of there rig at the Health and Harmony fest. Her birth story  is amazing. You can read it here,

After the festival we went to our friends  farm outside of Eugene Oregon. They are old and dear friends of ours and have invited us to stay for as long as we wish on there land . In exchange we would help out around the farm with the gardens and horses and  pay a small rent. The land is twenty acres of rolling meadow with a small amount of woodland. There are horses (including a pony),  fruit trees, and a  big garden space as well.  We are seriously contemplating staying for a good long while, at least through winter, maybe longer. It would be a perfect place to build that roof extension on our bus. 

Sage loves  it  as well. There is so much to explore and she adores the horses and apple trees. There is also a huge and ancient  grandmother oak tree, many hundreds of years old with a swing tied to it, overlooking a meadow. 

We have looked into a few other land possibilities in the area as well, but cannot seem to decide between them. There seems to be something wonderful and also something lacking in each choice. So far though staying on our friends farm seems to be leading, at least for now.

Although it is beautiful I cannot seem to shake the feeling that it will not be the place. It has many  lovely meadows, but very little woodland for exploring and no riparian area at all. My vision of our home-land has always been something more much like what Moss and I lived on years ago in the tipi. 

I really loved that land. I loved not being able to see any houses or man made things around me, just a narrow old deer trail that meandered from our tipi through the woods and across a meadow, a 1/4 mile to where we parked our car. From there it was a half mile or more drive down a dirt road , through the property to the main road. All this on a few thousand acres only a couple miles from town.

There was something just so right about being able to walk out my door and  keep walking for hours through woodland, forest, streams and meadows, then to return home again without having  come across a single person or man made structure. I would go for these long walks regularly, sometimes on horseback and  often have the feeling  that I was a pioneer, exploring uncharted territory for the first time. 

The interesting thing is, upon reflection,  it was the experience of all these habitats together that made it all so magical, at least in part anyway.

I remember well the dark, mysterious and moss drenched forest beckoning me deeper and deeper into it's depth. I wander the deer trails  lost in a timeless world, my senses all engaged. The smell of  wet earth, the sound of  twigs cracking and birds singing sweetly from tree tops. I  stop momentarily to refresh myself and reflect beside a stream, and on bending down I notice  fresh bob cat scat placed carefully  upon a rock. Nearby I see coon tracks in the mud leading away from the stream. The tracks are are pebbled with  small holes from yesterdays rain, telling me they are at least a day old. I walk on,  emerging  from the darkness, slowly at first, as the conifers give way to broad leave trees and a sun dappled oak woodland. I soon find myself upon the edge of a great rolling meadow stretching on as far as the eye can see, the sun shines brightly as  a red tail hawk circles over head. In the distance I can see clusters of oak hammocks scattered throughout the meadow, and beyond that, more forest, so much to explore...

 Unfortunately, in today's world this type of  rural, intact ecosystem is somewhat rare, with most land having been fragmented into tiny parcels. One parcel may be all woodland, while the neighboring one has mostly meadow and the adjacent one has the riparian area.  We forget it is all really one great whole living entity and each habitat has beauty, meaning and a place in the collective unconscious. The forest represents mystery and intrigue, the meadow, possibilities and expansion, the streams cleanse and renew. Each with it's own gifts and lessons to teach.

Unless one has lived on such an increasingly ( for private rural land anyway) rare and intact piece of land, it is hard to imagine the intimate and subtle experience I speak of. It seems to tap into some sort of ancestral memory of our species having evolved within all these  habitats. Now that I have had this experience, it is hard for me to accept anything less, at least for long term living. I do want to point out however that it is not the acerage that is the important thing to me here, in as much as the quality of the land. Five acres containing a small woodland, a few meadows and a pond or stream would be perfect ! 

The place we are at now is beautiful and magical in so many ways, and I do not mean to sound ungrateful, but Moss and I both feel in our hearts it is probably only short term. As much as we love our friends and the land, we feel this is true.

In other news, our lawyer called a few days ago to tell us that she has officially  filed our  civil suit against the un named  giant  super store ( hint - think "bulls eye"). She says it could take from six months up to two years for this to be settled, depending on if we settle out of court or go to trial. If all goes well with that we can use the money to buy land ourselves or go in with others on a piece of land that really does speak to us. We are not going to count on this happening, but it would be nice...

In the meantime, we will likely remain on our friends farm or in the Oregon region, watch the seasons change, grow some veggies and ground out for a time......

This is how we do our wash, in a lovely little machine called a James washer.
Moss working a pair of felted boots.

Moss fulls and shapes the boots with Sages help
Our friends, Elvolution, a travelling circus that performed at The faerie Fest

A Great puppet at the Faerie Worlds Fest

Everyone comes in costume.

This is one of my favorites.


Anonymous said...

So good to see you back Pixie, Moss and Sage!! I have missed your updates. Sage is getting so big!! My Meghan is now 7 months old...time flies doesn't it!?
I wish I could live some place similar to what you long for...we have good land...but not that much! I want to see and hear no-one, only nature...

maybe someday!
Take care and update more often if possible! :0)

beadbabe49 said...

glad you're back online...I was wondering if you wouldn't miss your lovely home...glad it worked out to bring it with you...

Anonymous said...

WB my friends! Sage! Wow so big now! I just became an aunt again so newness is all around. I totally feel you about having the land but feeling so conflicted. I am also glad to see you still have your green wheels. Things will work out again, folks. I know it. I dream of having my own land not just borrowing some space here or there. Keep that dream alive right so Sage can know the real Earth and Her rich spirit.
Blessed be to you both!

Pippa Hedison said...

Hi to all of you,
It has been a long while since I last posted.
I am so glad that you are all well, and enjoying being three.
I check your site most days and love it when you add new things.
Please can we have some more photos of the bus interior, and maybe a "day in the life".
Your lives are so interesting!

Mindy said...

I'm so glad you're back, and happy birthday to precious little Sage. Your description of your time as caretakers sounded so wonderful and made me long for the woods and some nature around me! Best of luck in your new endeavor!

Jack said...

Just wanted to say that I'm glad you guys are back on the blog. Been reading backwards, amazed at all the cool things you guys do and make. Can't wait to hear more.


SeaMama said...

I think much of what ails our culture and our movement forward is that lack of knowledge of the sublty of nature. Our hearing is lost...I too am looking for that land to listen to again, but I keep wondering if it is really natural to "own" the land, or should I lease it forever, on a sailboat, on a bus...yes to lay down roots can feel important, but is it unnatural to "own" as our ancestors did not imagine they owned the earth, they were truly caretakers (my ancestors, Shoshone indians). I struggle with this...

Lew and Jan Johns said...

Glad to see you Folks back online....Like a Breath of Fresh Air :~) Pixie, I appreciate your Blog and enjoy your Perspective.


kate said...

I want to join in and say I'm glad you're back too. We've never met and I am on a different coast, but I worried about you like I worry about my friends! I'm like, what's going on here, worrying?

You were missed!

I enjoy reading your story and seeing how you work things out. Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

Your description of the woods had me reminiscing about walks with my three little sprites. These walks often end up being less about nature and more about fantastical creatures. The rocks are troll eggs, the moss covered trees are the backs of giants hunkered partially in the ground for a long slumber, and the creaks and snaps of twigs are some unknown pursuer of the wood wanderers. My son has become more rational with his eighth birthday so now we can sit quietly listening and identifying different bird songs. There is never a dull moment in the woods where society sees vast "nothingness". Glad you all are well and content. I look forward to reading more and seeing more pictures!!!

Rima Staines said...

Hello Pixie, Moss and Sage, lovely to hear your news... and exciting news about the felt clogs and new lovely places to stop.
I like your barrow very much... and your washing contraption!
It's a shame we are on different continents.. wouldn't it be lovely to park next to each other and have a cup of tea :)
Lots of love x

Anonymous said...

Hi Pixie, I just found your blog a couple of months ago, and I love it! I love to hear about your unique and fascinating life, and like the above poster, would love to hear more about the "day to day" stuff. Can't wait to hear what's new, and to see some pictures of your lovely family.

LindaSue said...

Took me all day since I went back to the beginning, but I have read and reread all of the blog. When you talked about the "nomad" spirit in some of us I was there. My father spent a lifetime of wandering, much to the dismay of his family. He could and did many time just walk away from his 5 kids and wife. Come home 6 months or a year later,skinny, broke, in dirty clothes. It, you can imagine, created hardships for all involved and a mental discord that left all feeling somewhat inadequate and at loss for something. I always attributed my wandering wants to something "bad" inherited from my father. At 61 it is not worth it anymore. I want to wander for the wandering sake. Because of money I can't, but with your blog and many other's I read I can "live" the wandering life a little. I am a 60's child and always wanted a VW bus to drive, instead I have a little 15 ft. self contained tt and soon hope to get a solar panel or two. Also my pickup tows it without any problem I have been able to take it on over a dozen trips in the last two years. Three with my hubby along. My dream would be to get a bus and convert, but my age prohibits that dream. I want to enclose the back of my truck to store and take my tools and craft stuff and just go. We are in SE ALA now having just moved up here a year ago from Central Florida. Our daughter lived there too, but now lives in Salt Lake City. So my dream of going west is going to take root. My son in law will provide me with a round trip ticket to visit them next month. Then maybe next summer or spring I can hook up my little rig and do a real trip out that way. Money is tight right now so I have to wait. So I read all the great blogs out there and dream. Keep the blogs coming, more often would be great. Linda CreationsbyLSM is my blog. Come visit and post. Thank you for all that you write.

Yarngoddess said...

I am so glad to see you back online! I love all the pictures of your life, and your writing makes them come alive! Happy Birthday to Sage, she is growing so fast! I hope you continue to follow your heart and to write about it, as it's wonderfull to read!
Many Blessings!

barefoot mama said...

Where have you been all my life?? I think I'm in love with your blog! Barefoot Mama