Let me tell you a tale of good times back in New Mexico.
T’was only three days ago that we were just departing Hummingbird and on our way to visit friends in Prescott Arizona. Makasha, the sagely fellow who had introduced to water healing at Hummingbird, kindly extended us an invitation to visit his son Valian’s home and farmstead which sat just “around the mountain” from the Hummingbird community.
Valian’s home proved to be another inspiring example of the power of intention, connection, and a willingness to pour on the elbow grease. After procuring a beautiful plot of land, nestled in the alpine valleys of northern New Mexico, Valian proceeded to collaborate with his father in law, himself a farmer and incredible architect, constructing a family farm completely from the ground up.
I have always had romantic aspirations of building my own house, and seeing Valian’s home only deepened that desire. Everything in his house was custom built, using materials derived almost wholly from the surrounding land (except for their very nice, Italian marble bathroom), to meet the joint vision he and his wife had for a life close to the land. That slatted ceiling you see in the pictures below? Those are all pieces of wood cut, sanded, and custom picked and fit by Valian. You can’t order that on eBay.
And even if you could, what a sense of accomplishment to be able to fashion something so beautiful in collaboration with friends and family. As we looked out over the land at Valian’s emerging garden and farm, it was inspiring to think of the possibilities for small farmers reclaiming land across the States. It felt like his farm was an example of what change could like look going forward – or as Makasha put it, “a resevoir of reason” in dire times.
We continue to learn that it is often the simple things that matter most when plotting out a garden or farm: where things are placed in relation to the sun, where things are placed in relation to one another. This is permaculture at its most basic level – understanding the functions fulfilled by elements of a garden, and figuring out how to derive and utilize a maximum yield through the intelligent combination and overlap of these functions. The placement of the buildings on Valian’s property blocked out winds from the North, while helping to create a heat trap for the winter sun. These were things that folks building homes knew a hundred to two hundred years ago when these buildings were erected. It would seem that it’s not some much what we have to learn any more, but what we have to remember.
It was an emotional goodbye with Makasha, who left us with the Sufi farewell “Ya na ta”. For the life of me I wish I could remember what it meant, but it was something exquisite and beautiful about following the light, and the light following. The universe feels fuller knowing he’s around, and I know both Than and I feel a deep connection to the folks we met in New Mexico. From there we headed off to Prescott to meet with our good friends Jess and Ali. Farms, friends, fun – this road trip has had it all! Gluten free pancake extravanganza, Day of the Dead procession in Tucson, and harvesting rainwater are next.
All my love,
P.S. Comp is fixed – more posts to come soon!