Homeward bound

Well, my month here in Eugene is winding down and I’m preparing to leave in just a few days. It feels like so much has happened here, and somehow it also seems like I just arrived.

Being here for the last month has been both challenging and rewarding, and I now have a much deeper appreciation and respect for those who work with the land and earn their living out in the sun and the soil.

I can also say that I haven’t ever felt this healthy, and that my body, mind, and heart love this way of living and right livelihood; there is such a feeling of satisfaction after a long day’s work in the sun, out in the garden or in the bee yards around town, or at the Saturday market in downtown Eugene.

There is so much to learn here, both about beekeeping and also working more closely with the Earth. Coming from the city of Chicago, I have had little exposure to gardening, farming, or anything more strenuous than shopping at my local farmers market or grocery store; witnessing the entire cycle of seed to flower to food on my plate is a miracle in itself. And not just witnessing, but also actively learning and applying the agricultural practices and wisdom that have laid the foundation for the evolution of our entire species.  There is just something so…right…about partaking in some of these most basic of human experiences…tilling the soil, turning the compost, watering the newly planted seeds, and all the other daily chores that our survival depends upon.   

As I prepare to leave, I feel that I am just starting to get a taste of what might be coming in the months and years ahead. Being here, even just through this short month, has been deeply inspiring, and I feel a great motivation to continue this work back in Chicago. Working with honeybees is definitely a priority, and my entrepreneurial mind is already spinning with the possibilities.

I’ll be back in Chicago in Mid June, and then out to Virginia to begin a part-time, biodynamic beekeeping training with Gunther Hauk. I anticipate that Gunther’s training will be very different than this one, and I am excited to learn from and spend time with another experienced beekeeper.

I have heard it said that ‘if you ask 10 beekeepers a question, you’ll get 11 different answers’, which is to say that every beekeeper may have a different take on the same situation, or go about things slightly (or very) differently. Luckily, as I have discovered, the bees are very, very forgiving.

Working with Philip has been great, and it’s also been wonderful getting to know some of the other folk that live here and around town. I hope to make it back here sometime, and also I would love to have more time to explore the area. This is a beautiful part of the county.

I feel like there is so much more that I could write, and a more dedicated online journal may be soon in coming. Until then, I’m grateful to share this here and I’ll keep sharing as things continue to evolve.