Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sweet September

Purple Garlic from Provence is our favorite and gives me Fall feels.

Oh, Sweet September, how I've longed for you since August. And now you are finally here, with your chilly and bedazzling starry night skies. I welcome you with full embrace. My heart is happy for a new season and new routine. Last night, Jorris and I slept with our bedroom window closed because it was a little chilly, and I got the thicker wool blanket out, folded at our feet, just in case. Bodhi snuggled by my head; I think to keep warm since the wool blanket, which he had been sleeping on, had slipped to the floor.

The sound of his purring and feel of his soft fur against my ear lulled me back to sleep. I had gotten up to go to the bathroom and upon my return to bed noticed out the window a beautiful night sky, pitched black and sparkled with stars. It had been the first time I had seen the stars in what felt like so long ago. They were literally sparkling! I couldn't believe my eyes, in fact, I kept blinking and refocusing to make sure I was seeing reality. Half asleep, I forced myself to stand just a second longer and marvelled at the beauty above me. I hopped back into bed, spooning mon amour as he slept soundlessly.

This past week had been my first week of no longer working on the farm. I had finished my last day the Friday before. My contract had ended and while I was offered a new one, I felt in my heart and spirit and physical being that it was time for a change, so I kindly declined. We had a team meeting and there I let my voice be heard. We were all sharing our thoughts and feelings. I found the right moment for me to speak, and in French, spoke all that was in my mind and heart. I shared my gratitude as well as my frustrations. I cried, and while embarrassing, it felt so good to be seen and heard. I allowed myself to be vulnerable enough to speak my truth.

Farming Sistas @ Chez Isnardi's field. 

I think it was the first time in my life that I had ever done that, to speak truly from my heart in front of people whom I'm not so close to. Normally, I would just brush things off and "let them go," but I think I have stepped into a new phase of my life where I just want to be authentic and true about who I am openly, even if it makes others uncomfortable or even if they won't understand. While I have always strived to be authentic and true, it was never really important to me to show that to others, but now, I feel it is important. It is as equally important to make ourselves seen and heard for who we are rather than stay small, as much of society wants us to be. Before, it was enough for me just to know for myself how I felt or what I believed, but I think others can learn something as well and we can evolve as a collective.

These concepts of being vulnerable and being seen and not staying small I have learned from Brené Brown, shame and vulnerability researcher and author. She has written so many books on these topics, and I have found her ted talks and books inspirational. I wasn't intending on using these concepts, perhaps they were just in my subconscious and found a moment to be revealed. It was a learning opportunity for us all. I wish we had had more meetings like this. I spoke up for my friend and colleague Indira as well and since working with her I have grown to respect and love this remarkable soul.

Colorful Grape Tomatoes.

All in all, I am so grateful for the opportunity to have worked on the farm. Despite the challenges that we all faced as a team this season, we have grown some pretty beautiful vegetables and fed lots of people, so I am proud of what we have accomplished. I have learned so much about growing food and about life. I am especially grateful to have met Indira, my new soul sister. I believe we were meant to cross paths and learn from one another.

Now that the season is shifting too, I feel so ready for a new routine and this past week has been a great start. Jorris and I went to deliver some honey at Le Country Store and Jean de La Tomate, two adorable stores in Nice where we now sell our honey at. We also pitched some honey sales to a few organic food stores, went to the bank and post office, did grocery shopping, and then made a movie date out of it since we were in the city. We went to Cagnes Sur Mer to watch "Once Upon of Time in Hollywood," the new Tarantino film. It was excellent, funny and entertaining. We enjoyed every moment with popcorn. Did you know that in France they don't put butter in their popcorn?! It's so ironic because everywhere else they put butter except for movie popcorn. My father would not approve. Luckily, the popcorn was fresh and movie was great, so I can't complain.

Made this carrot cake last week for our friends. Can't wait for more baking!

Autumn for me means more time for tea.

It is amazing how changing up your routine can change how you feel and open up your mind in so many ways. As humans who lived by nature, we lived by the seasons and so naturally, we were not always doing the same things. For example when the weather changes and veggies can no longer grow in snow, we turn to other kinds of work, like baking carrot cake. It feels great to live more closely to this natural pattern of seasonality. My body is happy too, for a break from the same farming movements. I've been doing much more yoga and just focusing on opening up the tight parts of my body, mostly my shoulders at the moment.

This was from last Fall 2018 <333 Photo: Jorris

So, here's to September, Autumn, crispy orange and yellow leaves, wool socks, cozy sweaters, more cups of rooibos tea and knitting that scarf for my favorite guy, hopefully with Bodhi snuggled on my lap. And here's to a great season of organic farming in the southern French Alps. A deep thank you to my colleagues and Mother Earth for all their life lessons this growing season.

*photos by me, unless otherwise noted.

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