Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Beginnings

This week has been full of new beginnings. Gaia University Southeast is meeting here on The Farm for their orientation and end of year functions, as well as hosting some permaculture courses. Many of the new associates are staying with us here at the EcoHostel during that time. Their energy is so upbeat and optimistic, which makes it a bunch of fun to sit at the breakfast table with them and listen to the chatter about rain water harvesting, herbal medicinals, and the best way to cook (insert favorite vegetable here.)

Four new ETC apprentices also arrived this week, yesterday in fact. Jessie, Emily, Jordon, and Martin are settling into the Hodge Podge Lodge just fine, and are looking forward to getting to work tomorrow. Today has been filled with orientation for them, as well as a tour of both the ETC site and The Farm. They, too, have a great vibe around them. I know that the next two months will provide them with some amazing learning experiences. Apprenticeships of this nature give you a chance to learn as much about yourself as they do about permaculture skills. They can be both a mirror and a canvas. Every nail hammered, every egg gathered, every weekly community check-in is a chance to get to know your own dreams, your own limits, and your true self.

Paul, one of our apprentices for the June-July session shared this lovely poem with the staff after he left. My hope is that these four new community members, as well as the two that will be joining them shortly, leave here with the same feelings that inspired this.

Looking out the window of an earthen dwelling…
A blue-tailed skink scuttles
along the lumber
A gentle breeze sways the bamboo
A deer frolics far
across the forest

Hearing the conch call in the distance…
Pass by
berries and a blooming red rose
Be greeted by smiling faces
hands around the table

Feeling the magic of a fire at night…
Under a
blanket of stars
Drums intoxicate
Float out of the chair

at the ETC…
Where QOL > GDP
There's time to develop skills
what day it is
Remember what’s truly important...
Being immersed in
Connected to community
A chance to be fully human


  1. Hey, it's christina from last summer! I was an apprenticeship for a month at the etc with you! I love love love your blog. You are an impressive writer, and this post especially is inspirational. Keep it up! I will aim to drop by etc at some point soon!

  2. Hey, Christina! Glad you like the blog. :) Would love to see you, girl! Alayne's the one in charge of reservations, so when you're ready to show your face around here, send her an e-mail at inn(at)thefarm(dot)com.

  3. Sweet picture!!! I lived in the Hodge Podge Lodge before it looked so good! My dad build the floor beneath that beautiful floor. So good to see what has come about! Lots o love**