Season of New Beginnings
by Arjuna da Silva
In Oriental metaphoric tradition, Spring’s direction is East, its color yellow (or green-yellow), its quality innocence. The time of day is sunrise, and it corresponds to the Wood element. Its animal image is an eagle, flying high over the landscape. Spring is a time of many possibilities, and springtime energy brings openness.
Spring begins with the Equinox, a few days’ relative balance of Sun and Moon power, the days once again as long as the nights. Here in Western North Carolina, there is the likelihood of warm temperatures and the potential for snow (of which we’ve had very little this year).
By this year’s Spring Equinox, Lenten Rose, Crocus and Daffodil had already flowered. When I knelt down to smell the Hyacinths (swooning), I saw the Irises already fanning out their broad, flat green leaves. Robins were everywhere, nests and birdsong appearing literally out of the blue.
On days like these, the heart leaps up to see the trees and bushes budding, while the mind sends a flash of fear for them and the weather they may yet have to survive. However, at press time, we can say that Spring temperatures stuck around and all the buds were saved.
In general, the last frost date for the Asheville area is May 10th, but Earthaven is tucked into the edge of a iso-thermal belt that runs through Rutherford County, so we often have frost-free nights several weeks ahead of Asheville and Black Mountain.
This Spring at Earthaven is definitely a time of new beginnings! Just come up to the end of Camp Elliott Road and see the cleared, graded, soon-to-be-seeded “big sky” reality at Gateway Ag Field. Major food production planned here for years to come, with several of our young men earning “sweat equity” during the establishment of the farm. (See “Sweat and Ye Shall Receive” in this issue. Gateway Farm will be featured in the Summer newsletter.)
Continuing along Another Way to Rosy Branch Creek (second crossing), you’ll soon be driving over our second bridge. On the far side, turn right to Imani Farm and meet new residents Carla and Hijo, a ewe and her lamb. (Don’t forget to say hello to Bridgit the cow, now almost a year old.)
More surprises: arrive in the Hut Hamlet and discover that ag field in its new incarnation as “Finally Farming CSA.”
And those are just the obvious things. Interiorly, Earthaven members are creating and recreating our community with every conversation, meeting, decision, and with a revitalized Strategic Planning Committee that has begun actualizing visions that have been nurtured for more than a decade.