An other-worldly paradise garden hidden away in the scenic Colestin Valley provides us a glimpse of what life could look like in the new paradigm.
Not long after I moved to Oregon, I was taken out to a party in a remove valley south of Ashland. The lady who lived there, I was told, had create a true space of love, a garden paradise representative of what people can do when they develop a deep relationship with the land and use their creative energy to maximize the beauty and productive capacity in a balanced, harmonious-with-nature kind of way. The idea is, essentially, inherent to human nature, but for many it has been largely forgotten. A series of books titled The Ringing Cedars of Russia by Vladimir Megre has awakened this idea in the hearts and minds of a great many people, and the reason I moved to Oregon when I did was to join a community of people who were attempting to develop a community around these ideas of reconnecting with nature and creating spaces of love. (Indigo's land was featured in a documentary made about the Ringing Cedars group, featuring Indigo herself discussing how she came to create her own space of love, long before she had ever heard the term, or before the books had even been written yet. The part featuring her is about five minutes in.)
When I first walked through the wooden gate and entered Indigo's garden, I was in awe of the power of the space she had created there. Indeed, it was a living work of art, alive with vibrant colors and scents, and filled with so many varieties of flowers, fruit trees, herbs, and berry bushes.
Every year Indigo throws a large party in the spring, when her many irises are in full bloom. It was for this iris party that I first visited the land, and just this year we attended again. The place was just as beautiful as ever, and we were delighted to run into many old friends and meet many new people of like mind.
Our girls were totally in their element, going right for the water, swimming in spite of the relatively cool spring weather. They also enjoyed going out on the canoe, taking turns with other kids.
At one point I climbed up a tall tree to get an overhead view of the land. It was quite a climb, and I actually got myself into a bit of pinch, being in short sleeves (which makes bear climbing rather painful) and struggling to keep my camera bag from snagging on branches. I managed to avoid falling to my death, though, and I got some great shots.
The iris party is a potluck, so there was no shortage of really awesome food. And the flowers! So many varieties, and so many colors! I walked through the extensive gardens several times, seeing new beautiful spots almost every trip through, stopping to pick some raspberries or blackberries here and there.
What a delightful evening! The food, the company, the atmosphere... so heavenly. There was even some great live folk and bluegrass music, played by the same ensemble that played at the Ashland Seed Exchange.
Being at events like this make me wish I could just live this way all the time, hanging out in the grass, smelling the sweet scent of pollen and herbs, taking a dip in the pond, gazing out on the glorious greens of creation. The Colestin valley is spectacular, with epic views of Mt. Shasta in some places, and with little encroachment of modern development.
I really enjoyed reconnecting with a good friend, Curtis, who is Indigo's nephew, and who also lives out on the land. I met Curtis when I came to my first iris party seven years ago, and I was blown away by all the off grid technology he was working on back then. He's been busy since then, and he and his wife have been working to create a really awesome space that will eventually be a great spot for gatherings, healing, and retreats. That will be covered in another article, ore several others, probably. I recently did an interview with Curtis about off grid homesteading, and we also went to a cob plaster workshop that they hosted recently.
I am excited to share all of that material I am putting together on these projects (I have more pictures and several videos), and to continue the discourse on what it looks like to redesign our world. People like Indigo and Curtis and Willow are leading the way, creating beautiful life supporting spaces and showing what is possible with patience and persistence. My wife and I very much look forward to the day when we have our own land to craft into our own space of love, but it is becoming clear to us that we have other work to do before that is possible; mainly promoting ideas that will transform our society and help make life on the land and in community more accessible to more people who begin to yearn for similar dreams.
So onward we press, knowing that a bright, beautiful, happy future awaits us, if we but keep focused on what kind of a world we wish to create, and continue with the monumental task of clearing the way for such a world to be possible.