Refuge on the Farm!

The Farm at Sunset

Tonight I find myself at an old refuge of mine, a cliff side cottage at an organic farm in the Sierras. I met the wonderful Kern family many years ago when I’d just started doing Vipassana mediation. They provide organic veggies to the North Fork mediation center and after the course I went to visit their farm …and have visited dozens of times in the years that followed.

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A Crisp Morning on the Farm

Each month I drive about four hours north of LA, past Fresno and through a little town called North Fork. Hidden just beyond the town, where the Fire Station is also it’s library, is an organic farm that I was lucky enough to encounter in early 2010. Volunteers, also known as WWOOFers (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), come to the farm to help plant, harvest and provide general maintenance to the family that lives there.

When the intensity of LA life builds, i find it deeply therapeutic to get a little slice of nature in order to balance it out. Inevitably, after a few days of quietness, the mind calms down and I feel my creativity become more focused.

Some mornings are grey and cold – but today was bright and sun lit as I walked at 7:45am to meet the WWOOFers for the morning brief. What would it be today? Harvesting tomatoes? Gathering leafy greens? Stocking the community store in North Fork?

Whatever the morning’s tasks entail, it will no doubt be rewarded with a grand home cooked meal and an afternoon of solitude and writing. While the world hustles, I know I’m missing out on business opportunities, sexy parties and other social events, and at the same time I’m missing out on nothing; as long as I am fully aware in the present moment then I am a complete being, content and balanced.

Weeding the carrots? What a perfect way to start the day.