Sunday, October 4, 2009
The Introduction to my Blog and My Experiment. WELCOME!
This blog is about one woman's organic process trying to find balance through gardening in a major city, as she maneuvers through the glorious, yet challenging road of motherhood.
I guess before I dive deep into where I've been and where I want to go, I should begin with today. I am 33 years old, married and have a 21 month old son. Oh, and I've got another one on the way...expected around March 30, 2010.
So, needless to say, family life absorbs much of my energy and time. And I love that. Although, occasionally their is the "Melt Down" day or moment that usually arises from a build up of neglect on my part to myself.
But it is tough! I mean, I know that parents out there, whether stay-at-home or working, would agree that journeying into parenthood is a constant balancing act, that takes compromise and sacrifice (usually of self and/or partner time). However, the gifts of parenting greatly out weight the above.
So, despite the "Melt Down" days or moments, we get pregnant with another. And, yet again, are faced with the epic question, "How are we going to do this? And will I ever get a moment for myself again?".
A few weeks back, during one of those "Melt Downs", I sat with myself and wondered if I was insane to have another child, when I hadn't figured out how to balance caring for the one I already have in the world and myself and my husband and my passions and my career and my creativity. What was I thinking when I told my husband, "Let's do it again!"!?!! Ugh.
But when talking with a girlfriend (Ahhh, don't we ladies LOVE to process out loud. Hey, its cathartic and it works!), I was faced with the questions, "What is working for you now? What gives you that extra energy to keep moving you forward everyday? How will you find balance and what will you do for yourself, Amanda?"
At first, I couldn't answer. One, because I was crying SO hard, I could barely breath, let alone speak. And two, because I have been so lost in caring for my son daily for the last 21 months, that I've forgotten to care for myself.
I needed a moment, and that felt scary. "Uhhh..." And then, all of a sudden, like a flood gate had opened, pouring from my heart came the answers, "Staying at home and mothering Jordan, my husband having a great job with good income, healthcare, abundance of family support, access to my maternal lineage in my son's life, food available when I want and need it, living walking distance to my families house, AND MY GARDEN.
MY GARDEN!!! Ahhh, yes, MY garden!!! This revelation was my true awakening!
How will I find balance through this new pregnancy and the ever changing journey down motherhood lane?
It is through linking my garden ( the how, what, and when) weekly, with my current pregnancy and motherhood.
I am determined to reclaim balance, serenity, creativity and passion for myself. And I plan on doing that by using my garden as an intentional tool, where I plant seeds (reflecting the one seed within my womb now), monitor their growth, share step-by-step pictures of my process as a gardening mama, and talk about the care needed for a successful garden and family, in order to find balance as a Hippie in the Hood, Gardening Like a Mama Should!!!
I first want to start by saying, I am no expert. I am NOT doing this blog in order to have a medium in which I can gloat about my accomplishments and great knowledge. I am NOT doing this blog to hear myself chatter on and on about myself and my cute kid. I am, however, doing this blog to share knowledge with and gain knowledge from my greater community. In order to better oneself, I feel it imperative to constantly reflect on ones work in the world. As a teacher and student, I have found the most powerful learning experiences have been through open dialogue that involves critical thinking, active listening and compassionate communication. As a parent and gardener, I have found the most powerful learning experiences have been through myself and others consciously experimenting, reflecting on the results and sharing that knowledge. For me, this is more about the learning process of a gardener and mother. That is why I am also interested in feed back and dialogue from you about parenting and gardening. With that in mind, I am choosing to yet again, step out of my comfort zone and experiment with a topic I have learned a bit about, but not tried a lot of; Biodynamic Gardening.
"Biodynamic farming and gardening combines common-sense agriculture, an understanding of ecology, and the specific environment of a given place with a new spiritual scientific approach to the concepts, principles, and practices of agriculture." (biodynamics.com)
A Biodynamic gardener looks at the rich make up of soil, knows how to improve, amend and maintain it by using raw organic matter, manure and compost. They examine proper crop rotation, proper working of the soil to know the right time and right depth for planting. They structure their activities around natures rhythms; astronomy and astrology, along with geology, soils, climate, plant, and animal life; human ecology; and economy of one's bioregion.
Obviously this is a very complex theory that Rudolph Steiner (born in 1861 at Kraljevec) spearheaded. I first became familiar with some of Steiner's work when receiving my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at Sonoma State University. A term paper, on a topic of our choice, could be written for a Child Psychology course I was taking. I chose Waldorf Education. Steiner is also the master behind the educational theories and philosophies that make up Waldorf.
To learn more about Rudolf Steiner and/or Biodynamic Gardening, go to www.biodynamics.com