I have had a lot of questions and e-mails asking why I have to (chose to) leave the place I love.
Before I answer, please read this: "Growing Wild" to see what it is, exactly, I am leaving.
The connecting post was published in Natural Life and Life Learning Magazines this past year.
If you are interested in unschooling or living a simple, organic life check out these magazines.
After reading "Growing Wild", go here: "Leaving What I Love"
I am a better person for having been here; I am grateful.
I am also planning the next wild adventure; stay tuned.
Today I am giving thanks for yesterday's rain, new life, my sweet friends, and the wildness still in this world.
It may be time to buy a new camera. I have been taking photos with my Pentax K10 since 2006; I like what it does, so why change? I feel a bit of pressure from all the photographers around me (all self-induced.) They are using $3000 and $4000 cameras. Mine cost just under $1000 for body and lens. It is only 10mp. Do I need more?
I do like the Canon. But will it make me a better photographer; I don't think so. My vision is my vision no matter what I shoot with, right? Any suggestions? I really don't have $3000 to spend on a new camera. In fact, I really just love my Holga 120N ($25). If you have any ideas or thoughts on YOUR favorite camera, please shoot them my way. Nikon? Canon? Sony?
I would love to hear what you all are shooting with and see some of your work. Provide links to your photos if you can; I'd love to see the work and know what camera made each photograph. Thanks for all your comments and e-mails.
As promised, I have another photo of (what I think is) the Coolest Fort Ever. There is more to it than meets the eye. In places there are four stories to this wonderfully crafted junkpile. I will forever be in awe of what these children built. See previous post for another picture.
Something I will miss (on a daily basis) is the way the afternoon sun hits last year's grass and lights it up. Anyone who has connected to land this way will understand what I mean. And for those who haven't, imagine just loving the sight of anything your child does. That pure joy of watching their joy, or the heart wrenching feeling of seeing them hurt. Loving land does compare to that feeling. It is deep in you; it is part of your flesh.
When the rancher up creek clear-cuts the old growth Ponderosa for his cattle, you feel it in your stomach; your heart.
I am leaving Walnut Creek for my family. My youngest child (whose brothers are no longer home) has needed more than what we could provide here on the land. I am not talking about schooling; though she has decided to go to school after being unschooled her whole life. I am talking about more socializing and pursuing her dreams of competitive gymnastics and playing with a sting band. All of these activities are an hour drive from home. Being in town all day, gas prices, getting home after dark, having my dogs pissed off at me, never seeing my horses, not being able to keep up with my garden, and mostly not being able to do my job here at the Walnut Creek Center; these are the reasons why I could not stay here. I am back for the summer (my last) until the new managers take the position. After that...I'm not sure.
My children are only children for another 8 years or so. I can pursue my dreams after they've gotten a good start on theirs. They lived on this land and close to nature, in very remote and rustic conditions for most of their lives. That style of life isn't for everyone and it never felt right imposing my dreams on them (unless they, too, wanted the same thing.)
In a few years, I will move back to the cabin in the mountains where all I hear at night are coyotes, tree frogs and elk bugling. For now, I will enjoy the last six weeks I have with my Love Land. After that, I will still come twice a week to tend to the horses, walk the creeks and mesas, and photograph the land I love best.
As I settle into my last summer here at Walnut Creek, I find myself wandering around remembering (before I'm even gone) all the things I love so deeply about this place. From the way the mesa looks at sunrise to the way the light filters through the windows in the early morning and late afternoon. Inside or out, I have camera in hand, capturing it all with the intense love I feel for this place. This is my sixth summer here (and my last.) So this summer I can bet nearly all of my posts will be in honor of the Creek (Apache/Walnut) and the Mesa (Juniper) I hold so dear. This, of course, includes things like the way the late afternoon sun lights the bottles I have collected and put on the old window sill.
Here is the same photo before editing.
Yet another photo of my favorite place to BE: looking at Juniper Mesa from the horse pasture on Apache Creek.
Great collection of creative photo work at Lisa Gordon's Creative Exchange