Saturday, July 7, 2012

This Self-Assuredly Strange Life

(In this post, I'm including pictures from a dreamy photo shoot I did with some lovely Denver ladies back in March outside of Red Rocks, as promised.  Enjoy.)

The lifestyle I've always dreamed of is finally, and strangely, taking shape.  A nomadic path bridging city and country life, uprooted in order to respond to any breeze or need.  I've been sleeping in a cozy four-person tent, bought cheap from Walmart, in my dear friend Amy's backyard.  Picture her city lot full of fruit trees, elderberry bushes, volunteer vegetable plants and perennial herbs surrounding a fire pit, just before entering the back half of wooded territory, which I have made my little grotto.  I've hung my hammock, although it's much too humid to avoid the mosquitoes.  I have a basket for linens, a crate of clothing, a drum, a book, and a rain fly.  My cooking tools and supplies are up by the house and my bulk herbs are in the garage.  The rest of my necessities are packed down in my Chevy Venture.  

Things as a medical professional are exploding.  I was just accepted to the Office of Women's Health and Women's Health Leadership Institute's Community Health Worker (CHW) training, which admittedly changes everything.  It impacts my doula work in a huge way, as CHWs are essentially public health "doulas" in a more broad sense in that they provide education and advocacy for a variety of different health conditions and populations (not just pregnancy and birth).  This means that I will be able to widen my services to include many aspects of reproductive health.  CHWs also have an interesting and critical role as their work places a heavy emphasis on culturally competent care- that is, providing it themselves as well as enforcing it from medical care providers.  Part of this particular training is getting set up with a supervisor who helps the trainee execute a community project in their home community.  So Sycamore Center will be heavily impacted by this, and it may even prove to give shape to the organization completely.  

I've also started my volunteerism with the American Red Cross.  I have distant dreams of being deployed in the face of natural disaster to set up mobile birth units, and I figure that climbing their ladder and getting trained in mass food distribution as well as shelter management is the best free way to do it (no degree!!  woo!!).

And I've also met the man of my dreams.  There's no other way to put that, really.  He feeds my vision of escaping the troubles of the world to high atop a Black Hill-side, feeding my goats and staring up at the clouds with nothing but the wind to hear.  Waiting patiently for the next mother to go into labor as I cultivate my herb garden, smoke out a hive of bees, or help him haul in the next project.  He calls me his goddess, Nefer, and perhaps someday I will be his queen, yelling at kids from the porch he built.  Through all of the hard work I'm doing these days, I'm walking on Cloud 99.

But tonight, with all of this spiraling around me (and not out of control, mind you, but part of the ever-changing cycle of my life which right now is busy, busy, busy), I am trying to stay mindful of the simple things.  Sage infusing in white wine vinegar.  Slow eating.  Choosing to stay in one place for the moment.  Walking barefoot on the earth.  I need that reminder to be here now, but being on the right path makes it easier to give to myself.  

I've never felt this self-assured of my own joy.  It's pretty wonderful.

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