How ‘I-Turns’ Help Us Return To The Land & Ourselves

Ever since the term planted itself like a seed in my mind back in 2017, I’ve been subconsciously and now consciously figuring out how to make an I-Turn myself.

And last year, I finally traded in city life to move to rural Southern Oregon where I live 35 minutes outside a small town and along the way have eaten so much humble pie that you would think humble was a fruit that grew abundantly on trees. I moved to a place where no one cares how many Instagram followers you have, what fancy education you received, how stacked your resume looks, or what brand of designer jeans you’re wearing.

Rural living and farming come with an entirely different set of challenges than urban living.

For me, at this time, I’m ready for the lessons and challenges of connecting deeper to the rhythms and cycles of the Earth, even as it gets harder and more unpredictable with climate chaos. I’ve delved into permaculture and seed saving. I’m currently saving up in the hopes of buying land to steward and in the meantime, I’m studying everything from forestry to herbalism and eagerly receiving any mentorship I can find. I’m trying to piece together a way of life that once was on land that is not my ancestral land, but rather land that was taken from people who once tended it with love and care. 

I think a lot about what environmental activist Winona LaDuke’s father once told her, which she shares in a TedX. He said to her, “You know, Winona. You’re a really smart young woman, but I don’t want to hear your philosophy if you can’t grow corn.” That’s how I feel. My work falls short and empty without the earth-based skills to back it up.

Maybe these are famous last words, but I believe that we find our purpose with our hands on the Earth, not on a keyboard.

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