“We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” ~Paulo Coelho
I have been on an incredible journey of unexpected expectancy these past few weeks. I am learning to trust the process of life and gaining wisdom from what’s going on in my own body. I’m also gaining wisdom from great women friends and from teachers like Karma Cloud So Wisdom, Jamie Sams Earth Medicine, Kris Carr Crazy Sexy Cancer and Louise Hay You Can Heal Your Life. I am learning to trust the process of life and to give myself plenty of love everyday! No, I’m not sick… well besides a little morning sickness.
That’s right! I’m expecting!
The feeling started when Jamie’s daughter put her teddy bear in my jacket pocket. We were in an italian grocery store. She put her hand on my belly and proclaimed to everyone, “Emma’s having a baby!” I laughed nervously. On the car ride home, I actually began to crave the classic pregnant combo: pickles and yogurt! Yep, she was right! And the test confirmed it the next day. Amazing!
Since early last year, I had been having dreams and getting signs from my future child. Crazy, right? He was showing up as a bear cub and I would see signs of him often. I felt deeply connected to his spirit and knew he was coming home soon. When we got engaged, the little guy must have seen his opening chance: “Alright you two are committed… let me in already!”
Of course, this changes our plans and ideas about the future. But, hey, I’m great at being flexible when life throws me curveballs! Thanks to many mother friends and my grandmother, I feel relaxed and secure in becoming a mother (most of the time). I am learning to, as Mark Nepo puts it, “ask for what we need in order to practice accepting what we are given.” My priorities have been quickly rearranged. I ask for a calm pregnancy for myself and the baby, and I lovingly accept whatever comes our way. This is a life changer alright, and we’re ready!
Sometimes life gives you a little piggy.
When we told my parents about a neighbor’s little pig, Jamie spontaneously let out the news about the pregnancy with, “we’re expecting a little piggy of our own!” To be honest, my mom was shocked and a little unnerved. At first it must have felt more like she was losing her daughter rather than gaining her first grandchild. I felt hurt, but I learned a lot from the experience. I know my mom wants what’s best for me. But ultimately, as many of us have to do on this journey, I had to stand up to what’s true in my heart. And that truth is simple: this baby is LOVED because I know LOVE. No matter what. No questions asked.
And funny, my homeopath called the baby a little pigglet this morning, and she didn’t even know the story!
I am happy. We are happy!
Jamie and I are celebrating this as a gift everyday. We’re so excited to accept this baby into our life. We’re excited to introduce the baby into our community of friends and into our family. Sure, I was terrified, nervous, and even baffled at first, but now I’ve found my flow and I intend to stay here. I am ready to fully experience this little miracle.
So what’s next?
We’re planning a fun pop-up wedding with our families on April 9th and, thanks to my generous parents, are flying to Spain with my family on the 11th. Then we’ll have an amazing dance celebration when we get back at the end of April. The baby is due in August! We’re staying positive, connected to each other, and continue to accept life’s lessons one day at a time.
Oh yeah, in case you were wondering, baby is the size of a kumquat today!
“The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”
― Oscar Wilde
We went to PR to visit my grandparents and to reconnect with the land I left when I was 11-years-old. I have always felt a connection to the island, and I went to share the history of my ancestors with my beloved. My grandparents own a beach house in Rio Grande on a bay called “Las Picuas.” I grew up visiting the beach, combing the shores for shells and romping around in the reef tide pools. I made friends with the urchins, starfish, and crabs. I helped my family collect coconuts. I watched my uncle fish. I cleaned up the beach with my grandmother, Mama Alicia. She and my grandfather, Papa Victor, built a home together here for their family. It is a sacred place. Jamie and I spent the night here during our visit. We danced together in the candlelight, the bohío adorned with conch shells and dried corals.
In the morning, Jamie cut us coconuts and we walked along the beach, the ocean calm and placid, seagulls and pelicans jet diving into the waves for their breakfast fish. This “paraíso”, as my grandfather calls it, is surrounded by mangroves and a backdrop of cloud-crowned mountains belonging to El Yunque National Rainforest.
For years, I’ve been uncertain about my return to Puerto Rico. I’ve felt a deep desire to live on the land in Picua, to care for the house my grandparents built. I sat watching a small white boat, belonging to an elderly fisherman, bob at the edge of the reef. I felt wealthy in spirit, all possibilities opened in that moment. I closed my eyes to meditate, inhaling with complete gratitude. Jamie joined me as we sat in stillness for several minutes. Our meditation over, Jamie went into the water with the coconut. “One last dip, with a sip!” he called to me brightly. I joined him.
Floating in the shallow crystalline waters, I drifted gently in the tiny waves. Jamie held up the coconut and said, “The last sip is for you, amada (beloved),” pressing it on my mouth a little too hard. I laughed unsure of what he was doing. Amused, I jokingly splashed in his face. Just a baby splash. He gave me the very last sip, tapping on the coco. An emerald ring slipped out onto the edge. I grabbed it excitedly and slipped it on to my finger. A crackerjack coconut surprise!
He said to me, “From the banks of the Río Grande in Texas, to the beach of Río Grande in Puerto Rico, I am more in love with you than ever. Will you marry me?” And I said, “Sí!”, kicking giddily in the sea.
That night, we celebrated our engagement at an amazing restaurant in San Juan with my half sister Issa who I haven’t seen in 19 years! We danced and laughed and Jamie continued to practice his Spanish. November 1, 2013, a day of goodness and cheers!
Who knows what our future will be? Only the Divine can tell…
If uncertainty is truly the essence of romance, then bring on the surprises! I want to gasp and giggle with my partner in life’s every day romance. Happily ever… every day. Yes, please. Thank you. I do!
If you know any youngsters who are yearning for the country life, then here is their chance to get their hands dirty and grow organic produce that will benefit many people in our community. This year Essex County 4-H’s farm program has expanded from the community garden on Miller Street to an additional… Continue Reading →
Montclair Community Farms is looking for excited, engaged youth ages 11-17 ready to learn about sustainable agriculture and healthy food production March-August 2013. We are also seeking college interns to serve as lead farmers during the growing season.
We will be farming in Montclair and in Irvington with Essex County 4-H Youth Development. We will learn about raising chickens, growing produce to donate to senior residences and emergency relief programs, and we will sell eggs and salsa at the farmers’ market!
Anyone interested in volunteering should contact us today! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
In 2011, an inaugural local farming project for youth to grow and sell vegetables at affordable prices was created on Miller Street. With its expansion in 2012 to the Montclair Historical Society at 108 Orange Road, we are now called Montclair Community Farms. During 2012, we engaged local teens in growing nearly five hundred pounds of vegetables in a 2,000-square foot lot owned by HOMECorp. We donated the vegetables to local emergency food programs, low-income seniors as well as being sold well below market rate at a farm stand at Montclair Child Development Center on Fulton Street.
Montclair Community Farms was founded with a seed grant from Partners for Health Foundation. The Foundation once again funded the youth farming endeavor last year, and as the project expands to a new site, so does support from other institutions. This year, we’ve received grant award funding from Garden Club of New Jersey and Montclair Rotary Foundation, which will be used for seeds and supplies at the new farm site at the Montclair Historical Society.
Farming the Montclair Historical Society plot will quadruple the land to be tended by youth farmers, and Montclair Community Farms seeks young people, ages 11-17, to participate in the growing project from May through October. Youth interested in learning more about the opportunity and receiving an application, which must be returned by February 28, should email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our mission at Montclair Community Farms is to empower youth to grow healthy, affordable, and sustainable communities. We are a collaboration of Essex County 4-H, HOMECorp, Montclair Health Department, Montclair Historical Society, Montclair State University, TerraNoble Design, and United Way of Northern New Jersey. Vegetables grown by the youth are donated to senior housing sites and emergency feeding programs. This year, the youth famers will also tend chickens and make salsa from harvested tomatoes, and we will sell the eggs and salsa locally.
Follow Montclair Community Farms on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MontclairCommunityFarms, and join other local residents and businesses in supporting the project by making a donation to HOMECorp, 1 Woodland Avenue, Monclair, NJ 07042, with a note that the donation is designated for Montclair Community Farms.
I recently attended a beautiful Full Bellies harvest feast benefitting SWAG Urban Farm Project in Newark, NJ. The event was organized to raise funds to continue the program into its 3rd year of teaching youth how to grow food organically and serving the community real, healthy food. Elder Simon and Alexandra Payne, founders and collaborators, were there to welcome guests with a huge smiles and wonderment at the bounty of fresh food volunteers and community members grew during the 2012 season (1,000 lbs. so far!) Speaker Stephen Ritz of Green Bronx Machine was there to share in the enthusiasm filling the air and to encourage us all to continue our path toward healthy, sustainable communities.
From public schools and charters school, businesses and faith-based organizations, SWAG Farm is doing its best to raise awareness for hunger justice in Newark by including community members from all walks of life. SWAG is now trying to raise $4000 for their project at IOBY (In Your Own Backyard). They’ve raised a little over half, and need your help to raise the rest! Give the gift of real food to the community this holiday by contributing to the cause or by volunteering. To find out how to volunteer please contact Chantrice Barnes at email@example.com.
More about SWAG: Continue Reading →
Montclair, New Jersey—On Saturday October 27th, we held our first annual “Spoon-A-Thon: Seasonal Soup Celebration” for Food Day. Local restaurants served up soups made fresh from local ingredients. Visitors sampled the steamy soups from compostable cups and voted for their favorite with stones. The participating restaurants were Fitzgerald’s 1928, Let’spoon, Terra Café at Isabel Rose, Uptown 596, and Comfort Food Kitchen. Fitzgerald’s won the competition with their exquisite butternut squash soup.
Montclair Community Farms is a collaboration of Essex County 4-H, HOMECorp, Montclair Health Department, Montclair State University, TerraNoble Landscape Design and United Way of Northern New Jersey. The Montclair Community Farms collaboration was established in 2010 as a youth farming program at Miller Street Farm to teach teens how to grow and sell vegetables. Montclair Community Farms launched a 3,000 square ft. site at the Montclair Historical Society, and the Spoon-A-Thon was a fun “friendraiser” event to get people connected to the urban farming cause. Continue Reading →