Sunday, April 24, 2011

This weekend we took a weekend trip to Ramona falls, which is in the shadow of Mt. Hood. Heather's trusty guide book said that the trial would be open by late april.

We leave the house at 8am. Fortunately we had one of the most glorious days we've had in months -- in Portland it reached 70+ degrees and hardly a cloud in the sky.

As we reached our trail head, there were only 2 other cars in the parking lot. A sign decreed that the bridge was taken down for the winter and had not be reinstalled. We decided to hike the 1.5 miles in the snow to the river and see if we could cross.

As fate would have it there were two logs down across the river right where the bridge would be. We crossed the creek, continuing on our way following the tracks in the snow towards the water fall. Eventually the tracks stopped in the woods because the snow became too deep. We opted to hike in the Sandy River bed which provided an ample dose of vitamin D for these pasty Portlanders.

Hiking, well spending time being alone in nature, is the best way for me to connect with the divine. It puts me in a state of wonder at the mystery of life. It gives me a sense of how small and trivial all of our concerns are. It allows me to glimpse how my many ancestors lived each day -- not hustling from one piece of technology to another, not tuning out to mindless television, but being keenly aware of the multitude of connections between all of existence. For me those connections: the trees, the mountains, the river from snow melt, the spiders, the birds, the deer, the rocks, etc are God manifested for all of us to marvel at in a state of awe.

Monday, April 18, 2011

We Planted!!

This past Thursday we planted our first things in the gardens. Yay!!! A lot of work has gone into our back yard over the past three weeks. I wish everyone could see a picture of what it looked like before we started working on it – but unfortunately we don’t have one. We now have two raised beds – one with broccoli, peas, spinach, and kale in it and the other with tomatoes, peppers, and chard. Let’s cross our fingers and hope something grows. Heather and I wanted 

to be ambitious and plant flowers as well, so we made a flower bed in front of the house and have revamped what must have been some sort of garden in the backyard – that wasn’t looking so great when we moved in.  We’ve also had the pleasant surprise of a few other flowers springing up here and there in our yard. I’ve actually quite enjoyed working in the yard. I’ve never had to take care of my own yard – and I’ve never had a garden before, but I find myself going out in the yard to work whenever there is a glimpse of sun.  I’m not sure if I’ll like the yard work when the

plants actually start growing and we have to kill slugs that come off the gardens. But I sure do like digging up dirt and moving sticks and rocks lol - and I have spent many hours doing so. The weather this past week put a hiatus on the yard work a little bit, but it looks like there may be a few clearer days coming our way. When people say it rains a lot in Portland – they surly do mean it. So I’m looking forward to some more sunshine to brighten my spirit, to be able to do more work in the yard and to hopefully help sprout some newly sowed seeds. 


ps. sorry for the purple background and the weird spacing - I couldn't figure out how to fix it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Tonight we finished another day of garden construction. Gardening is a never ending endeavor where we novice gardeners are blindly trying to take one patch of grass and turn it in to something that's delicious and eco-friendly. It's amazing how far we, as a society have strayed from this pretty historically typical activity. Since humans have stopped being hunter and gathers, we've grown our year's food from the plot of land that we lived on. It supplied our clothes, heat in the winter and the materials to build a shelter. But through our so called progress, we've lost so much generational wisdom on how to survive on the land. Yes life in some ways is easier, we don't have to walk miles to get water, we have indoor plumbing, and for the most part we have food in the fridge. But we've lost our deep connection to that which sustains us. For me the earth, and my relationship to it is a profoundly sacred one. We've lost the understanding that food doesn't come from the supermarket. Heat doesn't just come from the box on the wall or that never ending fountain of natural gas spewing from underground pipes.

We have such hubris to believe that human innovation can conquer any problem. Yet it seems that often we fail to see the long term impacts of our inventions.

I hope that this garden will allow me to develop a relationship with this small part of Portland and take a small step towards remembering how our ancestors eked out their existence.