bluegrass in the barn

apparently I blog to process previous experience, so i'd like to habituate the practice and hopefully stay up-to-date with what's happening, when it's all happening all the time, at the intersection of here & now. Sheesh.

Blowing in before the storm that hit a nor'easter and caused a misty sog-loop, I have arrived.
I am home. Arrived. Home.

a little over a week on the farm has come and gone.

The cabin is growing into a cozy lil home, nestled on a wooded south-facing slope.  It's footprint is only around 700 square feet, with about 550 interior square feet.  The straw-bale walls, recycled cotton batting insulation and passive solar orientation already help the inside feel warmer, and that's with doors and windows open during the day to aid the drying process.  Plus working with the cotton insulation is like playing with teddy bear guts—so soft. I can't imagine wanting to deal with fiberglass ever again.

Learning the art and knack of earthen plaster plucks the strings of ancestral memories running deep in my bones.  There's something about natural building, especially working with Earth, that feels right.  It makes total sense when you consider that anatomically modern humans have been building in this fashion at least as far back as the Indus Valley civilization, and likely far longer on smaller, more rapidly biodegradable scales.
Lessons so far:
  • There's no such thing as a straight line in curved space.
  • Perfection is an Ideal, not a Reality.
  • When in doubt, trust your hands. They usually know what they're doing when yer brain isn't distracting them.
  • Timing is everything. Find a sustainable pace and the building basically builds itself.

In Querencia on wednesdays, the strawbale and cob cottage on the farm, a meditation circle gathers for an evening of collective mindfulness.  

How amazing it feels to be still. 

Beth guided us on an open-awareness meditation that helped focus the scattershot nature of my quest, my goal, my desire to learn, re-skill, grow and share, my whatever'n'ever, amen.  I know that at times it's hard for me to lock in and enunciate my primum movens because, although my interests are all related and interconnected, they are varied and diverse.  And life on earth is short.  

Like most things in life, there's a trick to it.  In stillness,we can find our center and hear our heart. Don't forget to remember.

What's really wild is how all these seemingly unconnected practices ultimately seem to point the same direction.  Slow down, breathe, observe without judgment or interpretation, root your action in a core of foundational ethics and interactions with the great web of life can be seamless. 

We wrapped up the "work"week with a foot-stompin good time.  Bud's Collective rocked the barn at Capon Crossing Farm.  Good music, good food, good people. This place has certainly captured a bit of my heart.

I'm not sure exactly where these feet are taking me, but if i can remember with each inhale that i have arrived, and with each exhale that i am home, then i'm pretty sure i'll be present for the trip.

& sometimes that's all it takes.

the good life is all around, just waiting to be noticed.


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  2. Oh Josh. that is beautiful. and yes... no matter where you are, if you can follow your breath to the present moment... you have arrived. you are home.

    We love having you bless this farm with your presence for awhile. And we're working on you to make sure you consider WV as a place to lay down some roots :-)

  3. the imagery is woven with the truth of it all...blessings Josh....cannot wait to meet you...you have arrived...you are home.

  4. Nice writing Josh! That inside work is just as necessary as the outside work.

  5. I'm a bit envious. I hope you don't mind if I live vicariously through and learn a few things for my Urban Homestead. Never give up


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