How we use the wisdom of the Stoics to embrace the unknown, and go with the flow

When we embarked on this journey at Raven’s Perch we had a somewhat different image of how it would be. We had pictured a community of tiny homes on the lower area of the property along with a farm. Up top a few more dwellings including our home and the vacation rental. Some of these things came to fruition and some began to take shape but then evaporated into the ether due to arising circumstances.

Through the creation of our vision for this property and how we want to build our life in this small mountain community, we have remained relatively steadfast and continue to move forward despite the obstacles that come our way. When things become cloudy or when the path takes a sudden turn we seem to always return to stoicism for inspiration and strength to keep going.

Don’t seek for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will. Then your life will flow well.

The Epictetus quote above reminds us to guard against having rigid expectations or desires for everything to go exactly as you want. It acknowledges that life is unpredictable, and trying to force things to conform to our wishes can lead to disappointment and frustration.

Instead of imposing our desires onto reality, this quote encourages us to cultivate a mindset of acceptance and openness. It means embracing the circumstances, events, and outcomes as they naturally occur, without resistance or attachment to specific outcomes.

By adopting this perspective, the statement suggests that we will experience a sense of ease and harmony in life. When you let go of excessive control and surrender to the natural flow of life, you may find greater peace, contentment, and resilience in the face of challenges. In summary, this quote encourages a more flexible and accepting approach to life. By aligning your wishes with the unfolding reality, rather than trying to mould reality to fit your wishes, you may find greater peace and well-being.

So, while that dream of building a tiny home community is no longer a reality, we are watching an amazing permaculture farm take form. Emerald Grove is evolving beautifully under Ryan’s very capable hands. To watch the once empty field turn into a productive 1/2 acre working farm is incredible. The farm is Ryan’s blank canvas and he is the artist! Every day we are grateful for his presence and excited to see it all unfolds.

What has evolved is even better than what we had expected or intended. It’s been a great learning experience on many levels and as we continue to evolve our future plans it’s a quote that I’ll make sure to keep close at hand as a reminder.

Is there something in your life at the moment that you are trying to control or direct? How would it be if you would surrender to the flow and allow it to be what it needs to be. Could you accept an outcome other than what you’ve created in your mind? Just a thought to consider, to contemplate. Imagine that “thing” as a leaf on a flowing river and let it go without any expectation. You may be very pleased and surprised at the outcome!

Gardening by Moon Cycles

I’ve been thinking and talking about gardening and farming a lot these days with pretty much anyone I meet and I have learned so much already through these conversations! My mind is actively mulling over the potentials and opportunities that this farming project has to offer.

I find it interesting how, when we put our mind to something or begin to think in a certain way, all of a sudden it is like the answers appear! What we need to know is revealed to us in many different ways, sometimes subtle and sometimes not. Over the last week I have received an incredible amount of information that is helping me to understand the whole process of farming from many new (to me) angles and perspectives.

Yesterday I was chatting with one of my neighbours. After meeting her cat who was shyly circling me at an appropriate distance the conversation turned to chickens… we want to get chickens but are concerned with the local critters big and small (bears, eagles, ravens, wolves, and coyotes) that might want to eat them. We then started talking about gardening and she told me she was just about to transplant a rose bush because the moon was moving into Pisces. To this my ears pricked up … what is this you say? What do transplanting a rose bush and the astrological sign Pisces have in common? When I asked her to explain she proceeded to tell me about the moon cycles and how they influence gardening activities – when to plant, harvest and even build or mend fences!

When I got home I checked it out on the Farmers Almanac site and sure enough, there it was – information about Gardening by the Moon. So exciting!!! I love this stuff.

As I went down that rabbit hole it took me to a site about Biodynamic gardening, a philosophy that “works in rhythm with earth and cosmos” and how farmers that follow this holistic method understand the “subtle ways that the environment and wider cosmos influence the growth and development of plants and animals.” In 1924, the philosopher and scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner offered lectures to farmers that “opened a new way to integrate scientific understanding with a recognition of spirit in nature.” More to study and absorb!

In the past few days I have heard through various unrelated people and conversations about the organization called WWOOF World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. In their mission statement they explain that this organization is part of a “worldwide movement linking visitors with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange thereby helping to build a sustainable global community.” Perhaps this is something that we will be a part of in the future once our farm has been up and running for a few years and the infrastructure is in place.

Spring is a time of growth and transformation. We see it in nature with the trees, flowers, birds and animals coming to life. In early spring we can feel on one hand ready for action but on the other still awakening from the quiet time of winter… It is common for people to feel as though a pressure is building up within but they do not yet know how it will manifest – only to be revealed for example once the tight fern frond has fully opened to it’s ultimate form and shape by mid-spring. I for one tend to feel an underlying sensation of impatience at this time of year.

“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows by itself.”

Matsuo Bashō

And so for now, I will enjoy the process of doing little and absorbing much. The field in it’s current state is such a lovely place to walk and to be. Watching it change with the seasons offers much information that we will need when we start planting and growing.