This post is dedicated to the wonderful and wise women in my life – mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and friends – who have inspired me to nurture a creative life and ensure that their skills are passed on.
My Grandmother and my Neice
I grew up with a very creative and talented mother who grew every imaginable vegetable for our family of five, sewed our clothes when we were young, and made all kinds of our food from scratch, from loaves of bread to ice cream. As a child, I took these skills somewhat for granted, though I did often note while visiting friends that this type of lifestyle was somewhat exceptional. In recent years, I have lamented that I did not make more of an effort to learn these skills. While I spent a lot of time doing my own crafting on the floor while watching my mothers foot press down on the sewing machine’s pedal; hovering over (while, really below) her marble slab while she kneaded bread; and weeding upon request, I never really asked for lessons. I certainly picked up a lot through osmosis but I was never exactly an apprentice.
Our gardening season has begun! The motivating force of the Freedom Project along with the peer support of local gardeners on Twitter have inspired me to give it a lot of energy this year.
My attempts in the past have included very successful container tomatoes, a few flowers, herbs, strawberries, lettuce, catnip and a bed of organic veggies that was cursed by shade and then abandoned for a 6 week summer road trip. (Apparently the peas were good, though I wasn’t around to enjoy them.) We took one cherry tomato plant on the road with us to Nova Scotia – I needed to prove to myself that I could grow food and eat the fruits of my labour, though this feat was attempted under ideal or even normal conditions. The trip was hard on Tiny Tim and we left him to retire in Nova Scotia.
This year I resolve to grow more of the food that I eat – and eat more of the food that I grow!
Transition Shuffle Bus
A few weeks ago I attended an inspirational event, Working Groups: Cultivating Action, hosted by Transitions Victoria. I was enjoying my Saturday morning coffee while reading FOCUS magazine, and looking forward to a day of leisure with my sweetheart. That was, until I read an article about Transitions Victoria. Within an hour I was on a bus downtown to make the 11:45 registration. I was motivated to connect with other people about something I am very passionate about. As a somewhat introverted perfectionist with a few lingering social anxieties, I am not often motivated by an opportunity that involves public speaking, group work and crowds. However, it my strong belief that what we need more than anything else is community collaboration around issues of sustainability, and this belief is beginning to overshadow self-centered insecurities. My cause is becoming larger than myself, yet the ironic surprise is that I am perhaps benefited by this most of all.