March 31, 2017

Hi! Hello!

My name is Katie, and I come from the Bay Area, California. I'm really enthusiastic about onions, hats, and things that are blue, and some of my passions are teaching, making music, and speaking foreign languages. I also love running--I spent eight years competing in the hurdles in high school and college.

I graduated from Pomona College in 2015, and after spending last year teaching in France, I wanted to dive back into environmental matters, which is mainly what I studied in school. I'm interested in how the culture of simple living fits into the big picture of sustainability--on a micro and macro scale. Many of Windward's core philosophies and goals lined up with the ideas I was reading about and pondering, so it seemed like a great place to live and learn. Shared resources, unique perspectives on how one spends time, community living, intentionality in relationships, living simply, permaculture, agroforestry... so much to experience firsthand!

I like to explore different perspectives of the world.

I've been working a lot with Andrew, learning about agroforestry and permaculture design. I enjoyed propagating comfrey to plant as a mulch and soil conditioner around the fruit trees the other week, and this week I participated in the permaculture course that Andrew hosted. I also recently read Bill Mollison's Introduction to Permaculture a few weeks ago, and that got me all jazzed about ingenious home and garden design. I'm only beginning to learn about permaculture, but already I see in it the potential to transform our culture's relationship with land and food.

I've gotten to spend some one-on-one time with each of the six Windward members currently onsite. It's been wonderful to be welcomed into a community that makes time to build relationships with one another--and with me! I consistently look forward to thrice-weekly morning walks and group nights. Our go-to activity lately has been anything-goes Scrabble, which is good for a laugh. I appreciate the presence of each community member, and when someone leaves for a few days, I truly notice their absence.

Living at Windward has been an adjustment in many ways, but one that has not been difficult so far. It was thrilling, really, to run in shorts past the banks of snow--something I don't get to do in California. My living space is a tiny permanent yurt named Acorn, and it's delightfully cozy. Living up in Wahkiacus is much different living up in the city somewhere, simply in terms of how I spend my time and the people I see. I haven't really left the property in four weeks, and I'm OK with that! I've been focusing on slowing down to watch what is happening in the forest and gardens as the seasons change, and on taking time to simply "be" in this place and take in all it has to show me.

Windward is such a multi-dimensional place, with so many people and ideas that pass in and out of it--both in body and spirit--that I can only hope my efforts during my apprenticeship will bring it a little closer toward reaching its vision of sustainability on a village scale. I'm coming to see how my time here can fit into a larger picture, and that perspective has been a blessing.

The last of the snow melted this week, and the early daffodils are gracing us with their yellow brilliance. I'm stoked because the flowers and trees were in bloom when I left California, so when Washington's well-deserved spring rolls around in full force, it will be my second one! It's not every year that I get to savor two springtimes.

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