Farm life has a different relationship to time than city life. The fireworks and New Years celebrations here were at 10PM, I was out cold dreaming by 11.
On New Years, we had a great time celebrating with fireworks, champagne, and dancing. I am at Rancho Margot, a self-sustainable organic farm, community, and hotel. it is a beautiful place at the base of a volcano (Arenal) and they are doing some incredible work. We set off fireworks at 10PM because people have early bed times — in order to wake up at sunrise and begin working: feeding the goats, milking cows, harvesting from the garden, shoveling compost, and monitoring the hydro-power generator. There is so much going on here in terms of food production and farm work, it is impressive. a mix of volunteers and paid staff work here. They are all extremely proud of their hard work, and they should be.
Rancho Margot is an eco-lodge, meaning it generates income by housing guests in a hotel as part of the farm. All guests go on a 2-hour tour of the ranch, which is a great way to educate people who come through about self-sustainable communities, organic farming, etc. Three of my favorite things about Rancho Margot: The wood – fired pizza oven, for thin crust pizza with homemade, raw milk cheese, the methane generator, a microorganism tank which turns horse and pig shit into methane fuel which is used for cooking, and the beautiful river, which generates all the electricity used here and also is an amazing swimming spot. I am so grateful to be here, and have had a great time. I am staying with my family in the hotel, but they leave tomorrow, and that will begin my time traveling alone!
I am taking a bus to Puerto Viejo, a cool town on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, where I will visit Punta Monta and Finca International. Punta Mona is an eco village – meaning a farm, residential community, and environmental education center practicing cutting edge self-sustaining practices, such as being off the grid and producing almost all of their own food. Finca International is a smaller permaculture farm growing mostly spices and fruit. I have no idea what either will be like, but I am excited to visit those communities and check it out! I think I will learn a lot and meet some amazing people.
New Years is usually celebrated by making a resolution. I have no idea where this tradition started, but to me the idea of a resolution seems a little harsh — I HEREBY RESOLVE is a very strong, heavy energy with which to set out to do something.
I prefer intentions because setting an intention is like holding a vision of what is possible, but welcoming the unknown and unexpected. Setting intentions – for life, for a trip, for a relationship, for a project, or anything — is important to me.
I sat down on New Years and created some intentions for the next year, and especially for this journey in Costa Rica. I intend….
~to experience life in loving, thriving, sustainable communities
~for deep and meaningful relationships and connection, with existing friends and new
~to listen to my intuition and make spontaneous decisions
~to often pause and feel grateful
~to learn about permaculture, and to work on a farm
~ to grow as a facilitator, friend, learner, lover, and human being
~to let go of my judgements of others and of myself
~to travel, get tan, laugh, play, and experience new places
~to find something within myself to contribute to the world
~to discover what makes me come alive
~ to meditate every day
~to welcome and embrace change
Feel free to share any intentions you have for the new year, and may it be a year of growth, love, peace and joy for everyone on the planet!