The time has gone by kinda slowly, maybe it's the slower pace of life up here! It's great! I feel like I've been here for months.(that's a good thing!) Here's a summary of the past few days.
Moving to motel, & Interview with Coco (Thursday Sept 28th)
I moved out of the Ashland hostel where I've been for almost two weeks. It was a great place to stay...cheap, ($31 per night) VERY CLEAN! We were instructed to remove our shoes when we entered the house...and it was a house, like a bnb but without the breakfast part. I was in a shared room with 2 bunk beds, but I only had a roommate for 2 of the nights so it was like a private room! The kitchen was well stocked and people left free food on a shared shelf...so I cooked when I could and experimented with things I don't usually cook at home. Like, tomato soup...tomatoes came from someones garden.
Also, on the little dirt road next to the hostel, there was a big plum tree so I gathered yummy plums from the ground the last few days.
I met Molli at the hostel, she's visiting for 2 weeks from Calgary....and since we both had to move out for the weekend cuz the hostel was booked, we decided to share a motel room for the weekend.
After I moved out, I interviewed Coco Waddell about her Farm Wench website...Coco is amazing. She never stops moving! She's passionate about sustainability and about helping others get started on growing veggies and composting or whatever small things they can to...her site will provide tips and she's share what she learned from her mistakes. Then we had lunch and then we peeled scallions from her garden...then visited the horses, and collected eggs from the chickens. It was a lovely morning!
Crater Lake, music, and healing (Wednesday, Sept. 27)
I drove out to Crater Lake...it was well worth the two hour drive, which was spectacular too. The lake was amazing...huge and so blue. The thing I noticed most was the QUIET...once I hiked away from the lodge, all I cold hear was a few birds cawing off in the distance...I laid down on the side of the trail for awhile and just enjoyed the silence. It was really cool.
Enjoyed a bowl of beed stew at a local pub, then watched street musicians, then participated in a Goddess Kirtan chanting event at my favorite place, the Jackson Wellsprings. Inside a yurt. With about 25 other people. POWERFUL!!! (but a bit cold...)
Cowhorn Winery Interview (Tuesday, Sept. 26)
Drove about 45 minutes out to the Cowhorn Winery, to interview Bill Steele for the podcast. Wow, that was so educational and fun! What a beautiful farm they have...they practice biodynamic growing practices...it's very interesting...it's a few steps beyond organic. Listen to the podcast to learn more! (it'll be out in a few more weeks.)
It's been a whirlwind of activities: pot lucks, interviews, feeding the homeless...podcast editing (yuck!) and meeting fun and interesting people who are making huge strides to help the environment. I've been attending as many events as possible, and there are many to choose from! Not everything is connected to the podcast, of course...I've also been going on long bike rides, attending yoga classes, and soaking at the hot springs!
Last night I attended an event and learned about the Pachamama Alliance, a global community that offers people the chance to learn, connect, engage, travel and cherish life for the purpose of creating a sustainable future that works for all.
I also learned about a local group called Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN) who offers a ten week Master Climate Protector course, which teaches current information on the status of our climate and current trends and projections that result from the climate pollution we are releasing into our atmosphere.
Every day I learn more and more about people, community groups, and organizations that are working towards a better future for humanity and the earth.
More to come!
The experience I had yesterday will be difficult to describe, but I'll try...I attended a High Priestess Convergence ceremony at the Goddess Temple here at the Jackson Wellsprings. I had no idea what to expect...but it was amazing!
First, we were greeted by Graell. We were about to embark on a journey...experiencing Death, Sacred Sexuality, and Birth...the three most significant events in our lives. I was intrigued! I wish I had photos to share, but technology was forbidden...
We walked along the path, towards the Goddess Temple, and entered the first station...
Insence tickled my nose...and I felt somber immediately...we all sat on pillows, and gazed upon our guide who sat cross-legged, wearing black, in the front of the tent. Two priestesses, dressed in shrouds, were seated behind a black, sheer curtain.
After a short meditation, we were instructed to write, on a small paper, what part of our lives we were ready to part with...what no longer served us? Next, we took turns approaching the priestesses behind the curtain...we embraced, and let go of whatever we needed to let go of. After handing her the paper, we exited the tent, and contemplated how the death of this thing would affect our lives.
What did I write on the paper? I would like to discard "living my life based on what's expected of me"
Instead, I want to live my life based on what is true FOR ME and what feeds MY HEART...without worrying about what I"m "supposed to do" or what people might think.
Some of you might be surprised to hear this...I am, after all, spending a month up in Oregon, alone! Isn't that a pretty good example of living my life by my own rules? YES! and that's what was so profound about this experience...its like I'm living my life according to ME already!
It gets better...
The next station was my favorite. We entered the yurt. On the floor were mats for us to lie on, positioned like the pedals of a flower. In the center, were various items...feathers, a bowl of peaches, stones, flowers...we were instructed to lie on the mats, head towards the center, face up. Oh, did I mention we were to put on a blindfold?
I think you can imagine what happened next...we were treated to 20 minutes of pure sensory pleasure. Feathers ticked my arms...my mouth was treated to a sweet peach...smooth stones placed in the palms of my hands...gentle fingers caressed my face. All the while, I heard bells, and chimes and drumming...all my senses were activated! I was smiling the entire time! I didn't want it to end.
The last station was outside in the gardens. Two rows of 10 priestesses were lined up, facing each other, to create the womb that we would each be birthed from. Our guides chanted and undulated...as I approached, I was filled with anticipation...I began my rebirth...I was caressed, soothed, hugged, massaged...slowly I moved through the womb, through the birth canal and out into the world...it was a beautiful experience I will never forget.
After a somewhat restless night (it was cold, and my sleeping pad sprung a leak!) I took a walk around the grounds and found some very cool stuff around here!
The best thing was a few wooden swings hanging from a weeping willow tree. I can't remember the last time I was on a swing! Wheee!!
They have an incredible garden here...and further down the path, I came across a few more interesting things. Pictures speak louder then words sometimes...
Then I walked out towards the road, and met two women selling soap made from goats milk! You;; hear more from them later, I'm going to visit their farm this week and interview them for the podcast, as well as two other women selling semi-organic flowers. This dream is starting to come true.
After my walk, I came back to the Wellsprings and had the most enjoyable experience! I ventured into the steam room. A few more people came in, and someone started chanting. Then another person...then everyone followed along! We were all chanting together in this tiny space, in the steam we could barely see each other...but we made beautiful music! WOW! Then I spent two hours in the mineral baths...the sun came out...
Now I'm sitting in the tea room enjoying a cheese and pastrami burrito and home made apricot bar...and I met this guy.
I'm looking forward to an evening of more music and chanting and dancing! More to come.