I met Wild Man outside of the grocery store, I stuffing as much food as I could into my pannier bags, and he doing his best to restrain Big Boy so that the friendly beast of a Labrador-Rotweiler cross wouldn’t escape from the dusty white 2 door pickup truck they were riding in.
‘Where ya from? – Oh yeah? Let me tell you about this one time I was in Canada, and everyone I’ve ever met from Canada, and then – SHUT UP BIG BOY — every cool thing I’ve ever done in my 60 years—‘
‘Cool, cool. Yeah man. Hah really! Swee-‘
‘I have the best swimming hole in the country on my property.’
‘I also have a huge farm – you know what this land is famous for yea?’
‘That’s why I’m here.’
‘Well it’s your lucky day, I have lotsa work, let me grab a few things and I’ll take you there.’
‘Mmm, well I planned on sticking around town for a bit longer *shifty eyes*
how about you tell me where it is, and I’ll come by in a few days? Phone number too, eh?’
And so a new season begins.
My style of logging is not so much to rehash the amazing mind warping past of the weeks that have gone by, the weeks of ‘no internet’ thus no web logging, but to continue representing ‘A day in the life of’, where the long gone days are already stored in the bank of ‘stories I’ll share throughout the years when something of the present reminds me of the past, and I am able to relive it once more while hopefully offering a nugget of insight, inspiration, or comedic value to whomever is present during the time of said rehashing’.
Some key phrases or words of the past few weeks: Forest. Alone and again alone. Revelations, painful. Down to last $20, what do I do? Peanut butter, pasta, and bread. Broccoli, dinner treat. Hiding out in redwood forest, waiting for something to happen. Angels descend, wisdom and encouragement offered. Feeling small and insignificant yet Ancient trees nurturing. So many letters written but never sent. Set up tent, set up home. Waiting till dark. What goes bump in the night? I am supported. I am loved. I am grateful. Simplicity of living. Enlightened sun beams. Tragic bug bites. This too, all of this, shall pass. Aum, connecting. ‘Everything is gonna be alright’ – whistling.
I am laying on a motel bed, the biggest splurge of the journey – omg a room to myself!- the fan is on, attempting to fight the 40 degree heat of the day, and my belongings are scattered, my clothes are off, and the fridge is full of sustenance that are too rich for my pocket, but entirely necessary for one to spend an entire day lounging around with contentedly – a scene of pure cancer-moon comfort. I am glad I can share this in the comfort of the rich imagination of our collective wonderment, you can replace me with yourself, and gain the appreciation of having a comfortable place to rest in after almost 6 weeks in a little tent. This short stay a byproduct of the 4 hour day yesterday of trimming some of Northern California’s biggest underground but totally exposed cash crop.
‘I can’t believe this.’
I came to Wild Man’s land via an old bridge with no railings, an incredible distance above from the creek below – a sure death if one weren’t too careful, the wafts of marijuana plants appealingly pungent and robust with flavour, and the biggest dogs I ever did see, ever, running around wagging tails and barking. 1 trailer and 3 RV’s dot the dusty land nestled in between a steep incline of mountainous trees and the unsightly clutter of equipment and waste all but forgotten in the overwhelming mid day heat.
The tour consisted of a green house, an acre of green green sugary-smelling shrubs, and the disastrous innards of the main house and its patio deck – a mountain of trash, dirty dishes, and mouse turds. I am taken back, but not surprised – I would have been more surprised and relieved, to find a more organized residence of a tall yellow haired man dubbed Wild Man, but alas his property is a reflection of what I had come to suspect in the grocery store parking lot. Totally innocent, but totally awash in a sea of ignorance.
My first instinct is to start cleaning, and I tell Wild Man of my love for organizing. He is appreciative of said love, and I go to work immediately in cleaning off the deck – the trim area, and the area I intend to spend most of my waking moments at. The deck offers tangible demonstrations of the effort I have put in in order to cultivate a space in which I can freely live and work in happily, but as soon as I enter the interior and begin in the kitchen, the next station I imagine myself spending a lot of time in, I balk in terror (what is that smell?fuck) and even the gloves I am wearing do not offer me the protection of mind I require in order to meet my immediate needs, and I find I am on a downwards spiral of motivation, losing all of the naive energy I had once had for this hopeless project. The trailer needs to be bulldozed, any health and sanitary inspector could see the same.
There is no clean water to drink other than cheap bottled water, ‘don’t drink the water from the tap, we found a dead bird in the spring’, and I take preference to squatting outside over using the washroom. I start to feel paranoid about washing my vegetables in water and decide I also don’t want to shower, so I go to bed early caked with thc crystals, dog slobber, and dust.
I spend the night in my tent, with dogs intermittently guarding me, barking, and rummaging through the surrounding bushes. Home? I sleep, some times.
I wake up early, fresh with the question marks of what is to come, and after a quick breakfast of granola and bananas, I am put to work in the fields, armed with a sharp pair of scissors, ‘landscaping’ the big bushes of bud that have been neglected and over-run for months and in critical status, teetering on the brink of moldy death. This is the first time I have ever found myself next to a marijuana plant, and I find that I sincerely enjoy spending time cropping and removing the leaves and foliage that prevent it from receiving maximum sunlight, the foliage that keeps that buds on top from growing to gigantic proportions.
Music is coming from the green house nearby, and the radio is blasting music from the local Christian rock radio station, and after a quick ‘break’ with one of the men also working the field- Mud, I find my self in acknowledgement – this weed is Christian. And Christian rock music is geared towards people who are feeling hopeless and directionless in life, requiring some form of optimistic reassurance that life will indeed get better, and that the pain they live is not lived alone – we’ve all been through loss, grief, indecision, and loneliness. My previous judgements on Christianity and religion in general, is lost in a shed of quick tears and understanding, that those who seek religion are in grief and are suffering, and they are ignorant in only that they do not know that all is god (even this suffering shit), that we are supported, there is no real distinction between any one thing, only perception of mind >>>
I am now covered and sticky with THC after hugging bushes all morning, and my face is beginning to flush from the sun, so I depart the fields and the uplifting god blessed music, to the deck so that I can start trimming the preseason stalks.
After a no-tutorial, I am resigned to a 5 hour fate of sitting in a chair, interchanging sticky scissors with ones soaking in alcohol, cleaning off very leafy bud, bud I would have never purchased my self, and thinking of ways of how to break it to Wild Man that I could not live at his place as it was. I have already found a clean, safe space to stay at – an ecovillage not far from town, a place I had found on the WWOOF site – 10 hours work weeks in exchange for sustainable living education and a place to call home. After getting paid out for the day – $170 total, I check into my humble tent, relieved that I do always have one clean spot in which to relax in.
As night began, the dogs begin to bark, and do not relent – still nobly on guard of my tent within ear range, until the whee hours of the morning, and I am decided, I will leave in the morning.
I offer my services to Wild Man, but from a distant ‘few days/week’, take my earnings and hide out in the motel room where I bathe, and veg out from the past weeks of forest dwelling. The days past, totally worth it for this little piece of gratification.
Tomorrow, I meet the community at the Ecovillage, and I hope that I have found a comfortable spot to live at as I continue to find work in the predominate industry of the county, networking, and making connections with people. I have word from a few farms for October, ones that align more with my philosophies of healthy living, and feel content to be in this area and wait for when work is available.
A new season of work begins, so that a new season of travel come mid December is well cushioned.
~I work today so that I can play tomorrow~
Writing again, soon enough