By Wayne Vriend
It’s been a couple months now just about since arriving at our destination: Rancho Amigos, though my sense of tracking time is way off from what it used to be. It sure doesn’t feel in any way like January, sitting here at 9 in the morning in shorts and a tee shirt on the veranda of our ‘guest house.’ I occasionally glance at the date on my cell phone, when I’m using it for it’s main purpose lately: the Spanish English dictionary app. I haven’t received a call on it for months now. It feels new and strange to not have reason to track the date, or the time of day for that matter.
We have a 250 watt solar panel, an inverter, and 4 very heavy batteries, that works great to power our laptops, run a few kitchen appliances etc. It’s kind of like camping on steroids. The blend of technology on what feels like me to be the edge of civilization provides quite the contrast. I tell myself to enjoy while we have it, because we don’t have the means to replace this stuff when it gives up. Thank God my 8 year old laptop isn’t complaining.
As I write this, I can feel the question of ‘Why am I writing, what am I wanting or seeking?’ or does it have more to do with contributing, giving back? I’ll keep feeling that as I write and see where this goes.
The last several days have felt intensely full. We moved from our tent camp on the ranch into the guest house after the workers completed some bathroom and outdoor kitchen tiling and plumbing connections. It all had to ‘hand bomb’ our stuff up a hill, as part of me likes to call it, as the ranch truck is waiting for a part from town. Then we planted our 900 square feet garden. The garden has felt like such a lifeline. We’re hoping to drastically reduce the amount of fruits and vegetables we buy in town on our weekly trip, in keeping with our budget predictions, more or less.
Back to the questions above: I can feel a part of me hesitant to write, not sure what tack to take. Shall we share the content of what life is like and what is changing externally with some commentary on the internal changes that afford that? Why bother writing about it at all? Is anyone being helped by it? Is part of me hanging on to an old identity of a blogger, writer, and healer as a steadying handrail in the midst of so much change? The questions are all here and baking in the oven so to speak. The answers aren’t clear.
I can so feel the surrender that it has taken to choose this path over the past year, and how that has been a continuation really of the past 10 years…letting go of the familiar when it feels time. When something feels complete in your life, staying any longer inside of that place has a signature feeling of you stagnating, of dying. Something wants to die all right, but only to make way for new life. Death can be so full of life, if we surrender to it. It is actually the refusal to surrender to natural deaths in our lives that brings on a kind of death we were not meant for.
Surrendering into an unknown is avoided for the fear it brings of being with the questions the unknown brings with it. Why am I here? and Who am I? What makes me fulfilled? I’m really curious at this point what another year of this so much simpler life will bring in terms of meaning and fulfillment, how I will perceive myself, and others, how I will perceive my own power in the world around influence or money?
Unanswered questions are the best, so I’ll leave those to bake and yield whatever insights they may. Maybe when all of our questions are answered, the quest of life itself is no more. And whoever came up with the idea that God himself, herself or itself actually knows the answers? What if us questing with our questions is god just goddin’ through us? Huh? Way cool shit man. Way cooler than the ‘to hell with you if you don’t get it figured out right shit.
Letting go of the contextual quest for the moment and just being okay with the sacredness of the content…the changes here and now on the ground, in this phase of life I live. Can you feel the difference? Do you know the part of you that can get lost in content, all the doing of life? And the heart and soul part of you who seeks to rise above it? Both are necessary and need to be baptized into the sacredness of a whole-some you.
As I was saying, about the content:
Internet: Getting the Internet here on the ranch is a $3,000 satellite installation away I’m told, and we’re not so sure we actually want it, even if we could afford it. That leaves us two hours drive away from the internet cafes and means that it has to fit into the trip to town day which has meant for me 20 minutes on line for every 2 weeks. It continues to open out for us how big a step it is to get out of the internet grids 24/7. It makes space for returning to our essential beings, being in nature and in our humanity. It’s kind of like those weird kids of my generation that grew up without TV, and how they were the most creative kids on the block.
Money: I did the last of my painting contracting days in August of last year in Canada, earning crazy good money. Doing something for 30 years enabled a finding of the best situations as far as easy money was concerned, but it also left me in a frequency zone of being a painting contractor, ready, willing and available, that was becoming less and less of who and what I am. Not that I’m real sure of who I am as I said earlier, but oftentimes, it’s about letting go of who you are not, or who you are not any longer. We alchemized and pooled all the money we could for this move to Mexico beginning when we decided to come in May of last year. We have about a year or more of money on hand to buy necessities if we live very simply, and partake of the yields of the garden, as well as the many fruit varieties on the ranch.
There isn’t any money income coming our way that we know of or expect. That’s an ongoing adjustment for me, at times that has felt totally scary, but each time, as I feel the fear and what’s behind it, it opens out into a trust and a rest. It births a trust in who we are and the value that we bring to life and others that will translate into our needs being met, but probably not so much through the fiat currency channels as the means of exchange that we have all become so entrained in. Today for example, I just brought a very welcomed coffee to the construction workers and one of the workers promised to bring me cocoa plant seedlings next week. Another promised me something yesterday from his garden that I didn’t understand. The energy of being in exchange with people feels like the natural and necessary future for us.
Social: Our English works well of course for the four of us on the ranch here, but that’s the end of it. Everyone else here is a Spanish speaker at the moment. The other ‘members’ of the ranch that have homes under construction are still waiting to move in and only visit here occasionally. So we practice our growing Spanish every day with the 4 ranch workers and the 6 construction workers that either camp out for the work week or horseback it daily here. It’s a bit of a euphoric experience to speak English with anyone outside of the four of us.
Pausing here in the writing for now, other things call in the moment….mostly life to be surrendered and responded to.
Wayne Vriend is co-creator and facilitator of the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life.