gather and grow

Homegrown, hand-spun living in the city

IMG_2669A year and a half ago, when we became a family of three, I promised myself that Gather & Grow wouldn’t become another mommy blog. Even another eco-friendly mommy blog. Not because I have anything against such blogs — I read some of them: high up on my list is, for example, SouleMama, which I was reading regularly long before I had kids or even thought I wanted to have kids. It’s just that I wanted this space to stay focused on the topics I’ve been focusing on from the start: home-made organic living, making from scratch, permaculture, simplicity, sustainability, crafts and among them natural dyes and fibers in particular. I wanted my readers to sort of know what they would find here. Toddler antics or discussions about nursing products might not be it.

But what this means is that there is a big part of my life that I don’t share here. Because of it, I don’t post as frequently, or ambitiously, as I otherwise might. Because of it, I probably also don’t get as many home-made projects finished (or started) in the first place as I otherwise might. Much of my day is spent playing, and singing, and reading the same story over and over, and running around in the park. Just being. (Something that my daughter is very good at and I am not.) I don’t blog about that. I don’t Instagram every moment. My days are very, very full — and not the least because I also have a full-time job — and sometimes intense and heart-breakingly amazing and I don’t share that here… but THAT is the true center of my life right now.

And yet I’ve come to realize that my attempt to keep Gather & Grow and my life with my daughter somehow separate is quite artificial. For all that I share in this space, all that I do — well, first of all, she participates in it. Bouncing in my backpack carrier while I go foraging for dye plants or wild edibles. Coming along on field trips to alpaca farms and permaculture events. Watering the garden and hanging up laundry with me. Some crafts I have to do after she’s gone to bed — candle-making or soap-making, or blogging, for that matter — but for others, I’ve worked out a system to get them done even when she’s in the same space. She finally lets me knit without obsessively pulling the yarn and getting it all tangled up. We’re working on the same with the spinning wheel, but it’s still far too fascinating to not touch while it’s going round and round.

And secondly, the truth is that I do it all for her. I want to be able to share with her the immensely gratifying arts of slow living and making from scratch and knowing how to grow that I write about here as she grows older. I want to instill in her the confidence that she can create and collaborate with nature to meet her needs. I want to be very deliberate about the kind of home environment Dan and I create for her, and all the aspects of Gather & Grow that I mentioned above — let’s see, what did I just say? home-made organic living, making from scratch, permaculture, simplicity, sustainability, crafts and among them natural dyes and fibers in particular — are the building blocks of that home.

No, I still don’t think this will become a space focused on motherhood and raising kids. But I wanted to come out and give you a slightly fuller, slightly truer, picture of my life beyond this particular virtual nook.

2 thoughts on “This girl

  1. Dawn@CCH says:

    First off, she’s adorable. Secondly, I find it very hard, personally, to separate my family from the rest of my life, even my blog life. They are present in some way in everything I do. To tell nearly anything without the mention of one or more of them, leaves the story lacking in many ways. Personally, I enjoy hearing about people’s families.🙂

  2. Tasha says:

    Even though I don’t have kids, I know it can be a tricky balance deciding how much personal/life stuff to put out there. I love the thoughts you shared here, especially “I want to instill in her the confidence that she can create and collaborate with nature to meet her needs.” A beautiful idea and well-expressed. If including a little more about your daughter and your life leads to a fuller expression of what you’d like to say in this space, I say go for it!

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