Three Little Birds

The Evolution of an Idea

It started as a cheap flight to Stockholm for Spring Break, and then I thought I would travel around with friends from home for months, and then I thought I could work in Europe for months, and then I remembered how much I loved the Earth, and then I realized I could travel around and work in Europe and work with the Earth for months, and then I thought I would begin farming in the Czech Republic, and then I came to Europe and I felt how Italy made me feel, and then I found a place to work on a farm in Italy, and then two days before I left for that farm they canceled, so then I continued searching and I found where I am and have been for the last three weeks, and now I am realizing one thing after another after another that keep leading to the next step.

I was reminded before I left for Europe that a thought is nothing more than a thought, and it can be changed.  It seems like such a simple idea, but it reminded me to not get hung up on anything that I may think is certain, and that my ideas should constantly be modified and built upon as I arrive in each moment that I am actually living. Life is extremely transient, and I also think that everything that each of our personal journeys experiences is perfectly significant, meant to come to us so we can keep evolving and progressing and moving forward into the next present moment.

So when I was in Amsterdam, with two days left until my planned arrival in Rome to head to a farm I had found in the surrounding area, and I found out that, that plan had fallen through, I immediately thought to myself, well I have come this far for a reason, let me figure out why.  I got back online and visited the farm volunteering website that I am a part of, and I looked for other farms in that same area where I would find my place, bringing me to here, an almost fully self-sustainable, family run farm and bed and breakfast in the middle of 360 degrees of mountains and hiking trails and olive groves and vineyards, where the sun has been shining every day and where I have been greeted with new friends from all over the world on a daily basis.

My days are spent working around the farm, i.e. animal care, planting the seeds for the coming season, collecting firewood, learning about edible wild plants, restoring old Italian ruins, picking fresh herbs to make tea,  etc.  We all eat together as a family, which I realize is so important for me, and the typical dinner table consists of four of five languages going on, and constant cultural interaction through our shared stories and teachings.  The farm welcomes volunteers from all over the world to live for free in exchange for a few  hours of work a day, and as I said, it is a bed and breakfast as well, so new people are frequently coming and going.  People I did not know existed three weeks ago are suddenly central players in my life today, and certainly will be important to me in the future.

The shining star of this entire operation here at Italy Farmstay has been Giuseppe, the 67-year-old man who first started the farm in the seventies in search of a more natural way of life.  He has so much energy and love for life, encouraging us to take our time and sing and smile and enjoy and appreciate everything, because life is so beautiful.  He works from sunrise to sundown, slowly caring for the land that he knows so instinctually and intuitively, he has me convinced he can predict the weather. He makes his own wine and olive oil and never has caffeine or sugar or salt or food without integrity, because a healthy body is essential to a healthy life, physically, mentally, spiritually.

He does not speak much English, so we speak a strange mix of Spanish, Italian, and sign language to communicate, making me unafraid of the fact that the family whose farm that I leave to work on next in Germany speaks no English, because people can communicate so easily if they try.  I am happy here, but it will be time to move on shortly, as I am realizing more and more…