Sunday, April 10, 2011

We've come this far/the sky is a wishing well/ the stars are stone's throw away

I sat on my porch step today, cleaning my bee boxes, watching the wind blow the clouds over the sky's arc. A storm seemed to be blowing in. The sky had an ominous color, a yellow tinge on which the bruise-colored clouds rode. Between them, pale rays of sunshine came and went.
For the past week C. and have both been sick with the flu, and so it was glorious to feel the sun on my skin. Every now and then I closed my eyes and listened. Hummingbirds kept swooping by, somewhere in the old-growth a raven was talking to himself. The wind made our chimes clatter and ring. A few bumblebees flew over, as though to affirm that I was on the right path. Encouraged, I kept scrubbing.

The boxes are about 20 years old, and they were dirty, covered in the empty shells of spiders, remains of comb, propolis resin, ancient dust. Dirty and glorious. Glorious because the use of them is free, because they hold the possible fulfillment of a long time dream of being a beekeeper, the promise of bees, of pollination, of bettering a little piece of this earth. If nothing else, they are the first physical step in the long journey of becoming an apiarist.
In spite all the set-backs, all the bad luck, ill will and worldly malaise, that has followed us like a curse in these first few months; in spite this last illness, latest in a long line, I felt rejuvenated. I breathed the spring air. I did my Jin-Shin homework, pressing the points on my body where more energy needs to flow through. I listened to the wind and thought of my best girls gathering together tonight to listen to a band I feel so connected to.

Over these hard months, time and again, I go to the good places, the good people, the things that really matter. And what I'm beginning to realize that this is a time I'll look back at as an important transition, that there are lessons that I'm supposed to be learning, about the things I'm struggling with. That maybe I'm not just supposed to be able to shake it all in one fell swoop.
When I was done, I shed my work clothes, put on some lovelier things and headed to my sliver of the rocky shore of this Pacific Ocean that connects us all. The tide was out. A heron fished along the shore, indifferent to the gathering storm. I followed the tracks of dogs and deer, raccoons and humans.
My own feet were so light I barely left any footsteps behind me. I skipped from log to log, merry in my thoughts of the girls traveling towards their own seashore, meeting, drinking beers, laughing, hugging, talking, dancing to Bonnie's washboard and Brigit's fiddle. Giggling at the jokes the band makes before the next song. Their whole beings reverberating from rhythm of the stand-up bass.
I imagined them looking like flock of exotic birds to the casual observer; a group of colorful calico and finery swirling trough the air. Moccasin-ed feet stomping. In my mind they were already dancing. I felt their physical presence, as though I was embraced by them rather than these fancy frocks they had sent me.
Though I was walking by myself, I did not feel the least bit alone. In the gathering dusk I said a prayer to our ocean and headed home.
Now I'm waiting for my honey to return from woodcarving and a steam, eating apples and peanut butter, (Which has got to be the greatest invention America has ever made!) listening to Elephant Revival and Mumford & Sons (as gloriously recommended by Adie, yet another lovely presence in my thoughts) in turns.
It's hair-washing day. The rainwater has been warmed to a comfortable temperature, the boxes are clean and the girls-they're dancing.

Connecting powers and clean waters and light feet,


  1. are you for real? that was so beautiful. I thought I was just there with you. everything shifted for a moment. thank you.

  2. I love that you felt everything around you, both living and still. It's important for rejuvenation I think, especially after a period of malaise (be it physical or otherwise). Beekeeping! Can't wait to see what this brings about for you! Your own honey, it is going to be delicious. I am so flippin happy to be bartering our own homegrown/handmade is a GREAT feeling. All the best hon(ey). xx

  3. Good luck with the bees! I have that beekeeping dream too, but for one day... a far away day, I think. More happy spring-ish wishes to you!

  4. Oh my goodness, you are going to love having your own personal source of local honey, bee pollen, etc. You will even be able to make your own beautiful candles, lip balm, the list is endless. I can't wait to read those posts. You live in a truly magical place and I am so glad you share it with all of us.

  5. what a lovely post, and i love this outfit. you'll make a darling bee keeper. i want to skip around on the beach in my moc's and my new calico with you. <3

  6. what a lovely post, and i love this outfit. you'll make a darling bee keeper. i want to skip around on the beach in my moc's and my new calico with you. <3

  7. I've been reading for a while, and the more I do, the more I love your blog! It's Mumford & Sons that made me comment, as I've been OBSESSED with them for the last year. I think the way you live is lovely and I was raised that way (with my now gone hippie mother :) I do live a minimalist life, but not to the degree of yours. Thanks for your blog, I love it

  8. Sorry to hear you've been sick with the flu. It's great to hear from someone who is practising Jin Shin! I'm only studying Alice Burmeister's book - I'd love to do a seminar some day - it's really amazing. The bumblebees are stirring over here as well! Take care, Siobhan

  9. spring's a-comin' and hopefully with this flu passing and the changing of the season so will your tough days. observing all that is good surrounding you, even those you can only hold in your thoughts, is one of the very best ways to move out of such things. even if you aren't sick anymore, i still prescribe hot chocolate as a cure all! :)

    beekeeping is a dream of mine; i can't wait to hear more about your adventures with it in the future.

    i need to go listen to some elephant revival! :)

  10. i am kissing my cat out of sheer eruptive joy from knowing you, your musical loves, the girls we've gathered, this land along the shore that keeps imprints of light feet and driftwood.

    you were right, we were dancing. and we were thinking about you too; talking about all the good stuff and we were hugging and twirling with b and b. we were hearing stories about the history of that stand up bass, almost a hundred years old from the ozarks of missoura!

    you bring the sweetest magic into the world. i am tired today, but with that slowing cool-down of a wild whirlwind of girly party love. i feel like i have had a visit from you. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.

  11. Bees! One of my great-uncles kept bees for years. There's nothing more delicious than honey straight from the comb.

  12. my favorite post thus far, Milla. The ocean is breath taking, I felt like, for 10 minutes, I was whisked away and standing there beside you - cold water breeze and storm shadows overhead. I too love apples & PB, Mumford & Sons, and evening ocean prayers.

    Lovely, lovely, and beyond...


  13. what lovliness milla!
    that's so awesome about the bee boxes. at my sister's convent they keep bees. i'm not sure if she's ever worked with them, seems like it would a cool experience. good luck :D

    love the pictures and descriptions of the oncoming storm. just last night i was reading dracula and your words reminded me of what i read, so perfect!

  14. Hi There,
    I'm a longtime lurker - not good at being bold and commenting! But I thought I might brave it to recommend an album to you - Hadestown by Anais Mitchell. It's a folk opera of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. I think it'll be right up your alley.

  15. What a great post! If you wrote a book, I'd be first in line to get it and consume it in one sitting, then I'd emerge blurry eyed and full of hot tea & inspirational words :) You're a wonderfully eloquent writer.

    I'm sorry you are feeling under the weather... many of my students have been sick with the flu these last few weeks. Super excited about your beekeeping. We're actually taking our first class this Saturday... and I am so looking forward to that first crop of honey to come in (and hatching up plans for all the great ways to use the wax). I hear that it takes time and we may lose some hives at first. I'd be curious to read more of your adventures in beekeeping.

  16. Do you mean that you wash your hair with rainwater? Because that's just WONDERFUL!!! You seem like such a wonderfully spiritual person and I have such envy of your beautiful home- I would love to live near the ocean, it would be so magical. Have you ever listened to Nickel Creek- you'd probably like them!

  17. Oh Milla! You always leave me speechless. I can never put into words the things you make me feel. I wish I could be like Heather and just let it all spill out in one glorious burst.
    Sunday night was magical, and you were the divine orchestrator of the experience. All our joyful foot stomps and pretty dress swirls were for you.
    It is so sweet to see this little outfit you've created, and the pin! Oh the pin.
    Glad to hear of the beekeeping progress, sounds like some good n' dirty work cleaning those things. I look forward to future posts and hearing, through your sweet heart and brilliant mind, how it all unfolds.

  18. Yes. What Amber said, exactly what Amber said, all of it...

    It will always bring a smile to my face to see you wearing that rosebud dress too, it was one of the first I ever gave you, wasn't it? :)

    SO stoked for you that the beekeeping is finally HAPPENING. I know how much and how long you've been wanting this, yayyy!

    Yes! Sunday night was pure magic and it really did feel like you were there with us! More details forthcoming, promise ;)

    Hope you and C. are feeling better!

  19. Thank you so much for this post, Milla.. I love your blog and this chapter in particular reminded me that I've been lacking those moment lately when I feel as though I'm in the right place at the right time.. time for a rethink, shakeup, clearout, moveon, hunkerdown. I badly needed the reminder.. xx