We were at ‘our’ farm again on Saturday (yes, it now feels like ourfarm, owned by the community of people who are working the soil and loving this patch of land back into abundance).
There is a greengage tree, bowing with the heaviness of the most delicious, sweet fruits. There are blackberry bushes with enormous, lush berries on them. Then we have the seemingly never ending supply of rainbow chard (go back a few posts and you will see that when I say rainbow, I am not exaggerating!). Cucumber plants are dripping with their juicy fruit, which my children pick and walk around munching like candy. Beans…the beans which, when you open the pods, are fluorescent pink, with dashes of purple! So much goodness which is all new, as the farm is only 7 months old, and none of it was there last year…just empty soil, apart from the old greengage tree, which I thank as I pick its fruit. I feel genuine gratitude from my belly – for the soil, the air, the sun, the Spirit – and all that these combined energies have yielded.
As a London urbanite, I also feel a real privilege that I have this opportunity to be so connected to the food I eat. We harvested more potatoes this week. Potatoes which my husband and children helped plant a few months ago. Later that day, we cooked and ate them. You appreciate food – and work so much harder to prevent waste – when you have been so closely involved in the process of it coming to being.
Every time I am at the farm, this thought runs round my head: carve out your bliss where you find yourself. I love the open space of the countryside, yet I live in London, amongst the noise of double decker buses, the traffic fumes, the terraced houses with small, handkerchief patch gardens. I love living in London. It has been my home for 21 years and whilst we have a constant trickle of good friends who are always leaving London (really hard to be the ‘left behind’ ones) we have no reason to leave and many many reasons to stay. So I carve out my bliss where I am, creating pockets of beauty, nature and inspiration that I can go to regularly. We have many spots in and around London that are part of our pockets of bliss – the Southbank, the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park, Merton Abbey Mills (with its working water mill where William Morris made his Liberty prints), Happy Valley, doing yoga at the Radiant Hand, which feels like its own little community of carved out bliss (that I have missed for over a week due to sore hips – need your healing vibes yoga friends…). Bliss in where we go…bliss in what we seek out, what we give ourselves to, the feel of our homes, the rhythm of our lives.
On Sunday (slightly stressed) we made jam and pie with all the fruits from the farm. Within a few minutes my stress had melted away.
Carve out your bliss, right where you are…