A lot has happened in the last few days since my previous post. Perhaps too much to go into detail. We’re approaching the last week here before we head off to Astoria to attend a big reunion held by Rosy’s mother’s family. From there, we’ll be heading down the 101 to a farm near the coastal city of Coos Bay. This last farm will be a short visit, just 2 weeks and it will officially end with a handful of friends, backpacks and a weekend visit to the South Sister.
I’ve had a lot of time to think about my return to Portland. My emotions are kind of mixed at the moment. I got taken away by this stream of dreams that I forgot about the reality I will undoubtedly have to return to. Of course work is the first thing to hit my mind. One option I’ve been thinking about is applying to a plant nursery around Portland. Perhaps with all this farm experience I might have a strong enough resume for that sort of work. To be surrounded by nature of that kind isn’t perfect, but I can continue to learn a lot about plants and build up a ton of knowledge. Even going out to a small nearby farm one day out of the week would be a huge benefit. The Birds & Bees Community was one of my favorite farms I’ve sweated on. I visited this place last year when I was doing farm work part-time to gain experience for the PeaceCorp. It’s run by a friendly couple named John and Bev, two very hard-working farmers that maintain a well-oiled organic vegetable farm in the back hills of Oregon City. Farmer John is your classic farmer. When I first met him he had a somewhat heavy sounding stutter, but I soon discovered a highly intelligent man with a masters degree and wide collection of books from floor to ceiling. I bit my brain’s tongue real fast on the quick little judgement I made of him.
I’d like to remove myself from the world of design if possible. I got an email a few days back from a company in Portland asking if I was interested in a full-time graphic design position. My mind quickly jumped to my student loans and I became instantly tempted to take up the offer. With a good steady income I could work, pay off my loan and take a class on agriculture. With a bit more knowledge I could build an even stronger resume and hit the nurseries with a bazooka full of experience. It’d be a great way to feed two birds with one hand. A logical side of me takes over and says this option is what reality calls for if I ever expect to survive. I’d love to pay off my student debt and never have to think about that damn thing again.
If I wanted to take farming to the next level, these would be a few steps I could take in that direction. With farming, you play hard then relax hard, and if it can afford me the chance to continue down this road, I’m willing to put in the extra effort. Changing my path from the desk to the farm is going to take a lot of hustle and willpower. It will have to be done in small steady steps, and I’m inspired enough by the challenge of doing something wildly different that moving like a turtle towards that goal doesn’t phase me in the slightest. Farming my own food is a priceless reward. I got a lot of life left and fingers tightly crossed.
I’m giving myself the next few years to explore different options and see what sticks. I have to piece together my education slowly for something like this, and of course take care of my responsibilities before making the leap. I’m all of a sudden reminded of an old quote by John Burroughs (via my friend Ashley) it goes, “Leap, and the net will appear." I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without the help of my sweet Rosy Pinecone! The hare to my tortoise. I owe my source of courage to her. When you focus too hard on one thing, you miss a lot because of it. I’ve spent too many years focusing on my life as a designer that I forgot about the rest of the universe, but thankfully, because of Rosy, I found a way to see it all from a slightly different angle and am forever grateful. No exotic travels for me, no fancy expensive lifestyles, just a few rounds in this beautiful place they call the Northwest and my inspiration gauge is on full.