I love Cold Mountain. The book, the movie, the actual place that is pretty close to where I live. I’m not sure what all I love it so hard for… because it is set in North Carolina… because I think it shows the strength and perseverance of women… because it is about struggle… or growing food to survive hard times…. or because it is about all of those things for me. But, I love it. It’s sort of a go to for me when I can’t find anything else to watch or read and when I need to find my piss and vinegar to keep dealing with incredibly hard things. For years now, it would get to the point of this quote, and I’d get all weepy eyed. It wasn’t until a few months ago when I was watching it again for the hundredth time that it settled down into my gut as to why. And this entire blog post tumbled out into my brain in about thirty seconds. Now that I’ve been thinking on it for months, I’m ready to sit down and write it.
Ruby Thewes: Every piece of this is man’s bullshit. They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say ‘shit, it’s raining!’
Y’all…. it’s raining. Talk about a cloud over the land.
Over the last year or so that I’ve been so sick, I have had to try to figure out why it’s happening. Which, honestly, I’m still trying to figure out all of the pieces of. I know more than I did before (Celiac, stupid amounts of food and chemical sensitivities, histamine intolerance, nutrient deficiencies, anemic, low blood sugar, anxiety, thyroid problems that I’m still waiting for a biopsy on, adrenal fatigue), I know what it’s not (diabetes, Lyme disease, black mold in our house, a heart or lung or lady parts issue) but still don’t know enough (there could be more than that going on, but I’m still currently knee deep in doctors and tests). But one thing stays the same amongst all these unknowns, the reaction that folks have to me trying to explain what I’m going through. There is a lot of head shaking and confusion over why I, at 39 years old, would be battling so many health issues. Especially after trying so hard to shift my life into being healthier eight years ago. Is it something I did? Is it the way that we live? Is it stress? Is it all in my head? Or…. is it because I was simply conceived and then born into the wake of man’s bullshit? Because I tell you what I have learned lately, and that is……. I’m sure not the only one that is dealing with these kinds of health issues. Makes me think maybe it’s just the weather they made.
In my mind, I have this really ridiculous image of a bunch of sadistic little kids performing this crazy science fair experiment where they spray everything tip to tail with chemicals, poison the food and water, try to completely destroy the subject’s habitat and then decide that they will just throw every creature that exists back in there and just see what happens. (Then they hop around from foot to foot laughing maniacally saying, I bet we can get them humans to pay us money to ride this ride too! Bwahahaha!) That, my friends, is what the world feels like to me today.
It breaks my flippin’ heart…. every. single. day.
For the last few years that I’ve been realizing and learning about all the many ways the world is falling apart, if I am being honest, I hung out up here on our mountain… gardened… fed my animals… cooked our organic food…studied and practiced permaculture like it was the only thing that could save us… and cried about it like a little child. I was so sad over the whole thing, it ached like nobody’s business all the way down to my toes and back. When I wrote no such thing as a broken heart six months ago, I was trying to find the right way to accept it and move on. (And, just as a side note, it blew my mind just how many of you wrote to me saying you were feeling the exact same way. It meant more to me than you all know. Thank you.) I thought I would write it, make peace with it, put my typical super positive spin on the situation and move on back to my happy go lucky homestead self of years past. But then after I posted it, I quickly realized I didn’t really understand the succession of myself yet. Or what would come next. So, I took some time for myself and stopped sharing my writing.
Sometime this spring….I had been right about one thing, the sadness did start to fade some. The tears dried up most days. And something in this “smile pretty and be sweet now” southern girl…. GOT TICKED OFF. That’s right, I’m angry. And my wife helped me get to a point where I’m finally okay with letting myself feel that emotion these days, since, you know, it’s all about what I do with it. I’m not going to go out and beat anyone’s butt over it. But, what I am going to do is stop hiding the fact that I am…FED THE TARNATION UP. The state of the world these days, in my opinion, is a flipping crap show on so many dang levels and I’m so angry about it I could spit nails. A friend of mine posted a cute graphic pic the other day that said, “Never pick a fight with a woman over forty. They are full of rage and sick of everyone’s shit.” It was awesome. So good. And here I sit, all special like, having already hit that point at 39! 😉
I AM fed up. I hate what is happening to my body, it’s so hard to swallow. I’m scared too, that there may be even more wrong that I don’t know about yet….or that all this work I’ve done on it was just too little too late. I hate what I see happening to the health of my family and friends and their children. I want to totally freak out like a crazy chick when I see someone feeding their five year old fritos and factory farmed pork and sugar coated snacks all day long while they seem to not even consider that there could be some consequences for that. It plain ol’ kills me to see what is happening to our beautiful planet and its plants and animals and spaces. It’s. just. not. right. Lately, I’m finding that what is working for me at least halfway decent in trying to deal with it, is using that anger to fuel getting my wiped out self down to the forest garden to work on whatever and as much as I can. Because I still have such huge dreams of trying to provide healthy, actually affordable, organic food to low income families… and trying to get back to having enough stamina to be teaching about how they could be doing that for themselves too. For now, it feels like a good outlet…. turning rage into radishes and such. It’s what I’ve got, it’s what I’ll do.
And, on top of that…. I figure, it’s time. To run my dang mouth while I still can. On the days that I’m actually able to pick myself up, dust off the not feeling well and pain enough to share or talk to ya’ll. And if you don’t want to hear what I have to say… then you just go on ahead now and unsubscribe because it’s not going to only be all cute bunnies and “oh growing your own food is so awesome and easy” and “permaculture is a piece of cake!” from here on out like it was when we were beginners. It’s cool, it won’t hurt my feelings anymore if you unfollow me! Because It’s permaculture homestead truth time. For this homesteader. For as long as I’m able. I’m so ready to talk and tell the truth about how I feel about all of this….and what my first eight years of homesteading was really like and what I’ve learned… about what happened after I lost all that weight that I wasn’t expecting…about the connections I’ve made about just how much what we choose to put in our mouths and how we spend our time impacts our health…….and I have a sneaking suspicion that I might just have some other friends here locally that might want to get real and talk about all of this too. It does feel like it’s time, to connect to each other and make some real changes before it really is too late. I mean, is it just me or does stuff seem a little tense and crazy out there in the world right now ?!?!
It just keeps repeating in my head and my heart….. IT’S RAINING. And in my opinion, us little guys, we didn’t make the rain. But we sure seem to be expected to have muck boots tall enough to stand out in it and not get swallowed up. Our permaculture instructor from 2016 called it, “trying to learn how to survive and thrive while living in chemical soup”. In my opinion, it is hard to swallow, but it’s the truth…she was right. Our planet, its creatures and plants, everything’s health… as hard as it is to face, and as deep as the rabbit hole goes… it’s red pill blue pill do you really want to start to seek the truth time. Because ignoring it or burying our heads in the sand isn’t going to keep us dry this time I don’t think.
I want to start to reconnect with ya’ll again and find out what you think about all this. When I can and on the days I’m able to. Find out where you are at with your health and your homesteads. And, like always, I have questions… What in the world can we all do now to try to fix it? And….
Who is willing to pull their boots on and wade out there with me to start shoveling?