Monday, June 23, 2008

For the past week or so, I’ve been haunted by a new “past life” memory which I’ve never remembered before, but which of course feels so intimately familiar I wonder how I ever could’ve forgotten.

Where do these come from and what makes them resurface when they do? Always I feel such aching and longing when they do, such sorrow for the loss of a precious way of life.

This memory is of ancient Greece (well not totally ancient because there are already impressive ruins). And it may not be exactly Greece, but at least that area of the Mediterranean. It seems to be a largely seafaring life, or at least the seafaring parts are the memories that are most prominent.

The qualitative feel of the memories is one of extreme well-being and contentment, of having a very rich life full of new experiences. I can feel the strong breeze coming over the prow of boat, feel the warmth of the sun beating down out of brilliant blue skies, see the white rocky coast and the hills beyond. All of those senses combine into the most luscious sense of well-being in my body.

When we anchor the boat, we go ashore and explore the surrounding countryside, finding fascinating ruins that speak of far earlier times and capture my imagination.

It is a peaceful time, a vibrant, healthy time for our civilization. There were few threats to our well-being and it was a time of abundance.

I wish we could recapture that!

I find it interesting that in all of the memories I’ve recovered over the years I have a very difficult time in remembering the people. I have a very good sense of who they were, in a general way, but I don’t usually remember individuals. I’ve heard it said that it would be too painful to remember all the friends and family and loved ones of past lives and I believe that to be very true. It would be overwhelming and sad to have full recall. All of those beautiful individuals, who manifested but once on this earth in that particular form--a product of that particular time and place.

I think it’s enough that I remember the landscapes, the scenery, and the whole “feeling-sense” of each life. I think the land gives birth to the lives lived upon it, so to re-immerse myself in the memories of those lands allows me to grasp what the relationships were like qualitatively. I don’t need to know the details (and I do think they indeed would be too painful) to get the full flavor of the lives lived.

So what triggered this memory now? There’s been something profound in just growing a garden this year--I can’t quite put my finger on it but it does feel like it connects me to the past. It may have been simply the smell of the basil I pinched back on the indoor plants. Obviously, I’ve smelled basil before. I’ve even grown it before and no Greek memories surfaced then. But it feels like right now, that beautiful pungent smell transports me there. And gardening in general gives me a sense of well-being--a pale imitation of the feeling in my memories, but a sense of well-being nonetheless. It’s been so long since I’ve revelled in that kind of overall, full-bodied feeling of wellness.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

So far the garden is doing pretty well, although some things much better than others. I have the following things growing: radishes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, chard, beets, basil, butternut squash, green beans, lima beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, pickling cucumbers, zucchini, and sweet corn all in 100 square feet! I’m probably not doing tomatoes this year since I didn’t start any from seed and the tomato plants at the store were lousy. But I am going to do a fall crop of cabbage, snow peas, and broccoli. Also I’ve got additional basil indoors and I just started some indoor seeds for chives, parsley, cilantro and catnip. Oh, almost forgot--I’ve got a few little sprigs of spearmint growing too.

Next year I’d like to at least double the size of the garden if the landlord doesn’t object. I’d like to try to grow most of my potatoes, plus also onions, garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, rhubarb and strawberries. I know, I’m getting ambitious.

If I owned the house I’d also plant fruit trees and have a grape arbor, and maybe put in some raspberry bushes. And if I had more land I’d do a patch of wheat and oats and maybe some sugar beets. And lots of sunflowers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I’ve just finished two books on food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and The End of Food by Thomas F. Pawlick, both of which were focused on the problems and dangers of industrial farming. I so desperately want to be able to grow and raise all of my food. I find it just unbelievable the type of reality we’re manifesting for ourselves. It’s like something out of a bad science fiction movie. Corporations should just be outlawed--their greed is destroying the earth. There is no accountability whatsoever.

The stuff you buy in the grocery stores any more is not food. Since corporations can manufacture “food substitutes”, which are cheaper than real foods, they do so to increase their bottom line, with reckless disregard for human health. It is so despicable. I just want to opt out. It’s frustrating not to be able to do so fully.

If I owned this house, I would have chickens and bunnies in the back yard, and a much larger garden. But as a renter, that’s not going to happen. So I will have to wait until I move back to Pennsylvania, or else earn enough money here to be able to buy this place.