We had our closing ceremony this morning. Ten apprentices started (one left a few days early to go back to his other life, his wife and new job), three managers, and one elder. Six months together. Living, working, eating meals, tackling the great existential questions of being human. Sometimes you're afraid to ask the questions and sometimes you're afraid of the lack of answers. Other times you're overwhelmed by the only answer, that all you have is here right now and whether or not you know it it is full of love. If you look at the picture above you may see what I see, a family. Our leaders said words of love, like parents, they watched their children grow like the sprouts we tended all season. Tears came to my eyes. Tears of appreciation that people cared enough about 10 perfect strangers to create a space for us to come and study Buddhism and farming.
I learned and saw so much!
- How to harvest apples and pears (apples are ripe if you twist them 180 degrees and they come off easily, pears are ready if you lift them 45 degrees and they pop off, pears have to ripen off the tree);
- I watched a momma duck with ten fluffy babies end up with only two;
- I learned how to sharpen garden clippers and that they will be sharp enough to clip off the tip of your finger;
- I learned to tell the difference between five types of lavender, and which are harvested for their brilliant purple color (munstead and hidcote) and which are harvested for their amazing fragrance (english, grosso, provence) and that their fragrance is strongest right before they flower;
- I learned that bees each make a teaspoon of honey in their lifetime;
- I learned that raccoons like to poop on articles of clothing left in the garden;
- I helped a group of sincere and loving people honor the death of a beloved black cat name Jack as we all faced loss and how it made us feel