with our own two hands

Well shit, things are heavy in the world right now. I woke up in the middle of the night last night imagining things I’d rather not imagine. Things I’ve read about this summer. You know the stories. The senselessness and heartache of humans murdering other humans.

The parts of the ocean that are so deep we can’t find the bottom? I think those go straight through to the way to the other side of planet. Like, we all see the same water.

I’ve wanted to write about it. About my fears and hopes, about how/if to talk about it with kids. In our home we’ve talked about prejudice and racism with our daughters and we have not talked about people gunned down while dancing and police killing people and people killing police and big trucks driving through gathering families. But I have not written a thing, I’ve just been thinking and reading. Studying and listening. Talking to my friends and family. Wanting to do more than just talk. I have a lot of questions and very few answers.

Mama? Nature is in charge. It’s the most powerful thing. More powerful than you or the president. Really, it makes ALL the decisions.

Of the few answers I have ideas about, I feel sold contact with the following:

  1. Loving the hell out of people. I am not doing self checkout at the market ever again. I am making eye contact with humans and asking them – and meaning it – how they are doing. I am spending time with the kids that irritate my kids. I am high fiving strangers when I feel like it.
  2. Being the best mother I can be. Giving and exhibiting the love, guts and compassion I want my children to carry on well after I’ve sipped my last breath.
  3. Supporting initiatives and organizations – financially and physically – committed to peaceful, loving, inclusive proactivity. More on this soon.
  4. Experiencing and making beautiful things. Nothing is too small to form a meditation, a comradery, a ritual of the heart. We need to write poems, paint murals, sing ballads, sculpt clay, make clothes. We need to make art with our whole hearts.

I wonder what it feels like to be the earth. I bet it feels hard.

I think all four of those tiny objectives overlap a lot; we can fold them into just about everything we do. I plan on paying attention to just that.

I went to a yoga class this morning and dedicated my practice to a family member who is hurting. While on my mat I thought a lot about hurt. Down dog into pain. Bridge into divisiveness. Warrior One into grief.

Sometimes when I snuggle with Mabel, I like FEEL Alice. It’s like she’s there. Inside Mabel or me or something. 

We made garlic braids. I always appreciate working with my hands, connecting to life and kin. Garlic is one of my favorite things to grow. So easy and surprising, the first to come up every spring, a hardy stock of spicy and explosive flavor that lasts until next year.

My daughters and I created a little video of braiding garlic/braiding love into food and experience and the world. xo

with our own two hands from Nici Holt Cline on Vimeo.

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Summer on a String: Marigold Garland

Amidst the:

Salad every night, snacking on sun-warmed peas, all those green tomatoes wiggling bigger every day…

Bouquets of mint, oregano, chamomile, dill and lavender drying, waiting to season the winter’s tea and soup…

Are the flowers!

I always tuck marigolds into my vegetable garden. I like the neon orange waving from the tones of jade, mint, emerald, sage, lime and clover.

Marigolds are also a good friend to vegetable gardens. Their nectar feeds beneficial insects that eat harmful insects and they are also known to deter some insects from vegetable plants. Honestly, I think you’d have to plant gobs of them to make a real difference so I mostly plant them because they are jubilant.

And they dry so beautifully! I made a garland last summer that has been in our bathroom ever since. The color has really held up and in the midst of winter’s 4:30 sunsets and grey skies, I committed to make MORE marigold garland this summer. Continue reading

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the immortality of make believe

Two years ago my daughters wrote a letter to a potential fairy and left it out on the deck. She wrote back. Her name is Lavender Fawn. The girls stitched up beds from fabric scraps and fashioned sofas from soft leaves, they set out itty portions of banana and pea sized bowls of jewels.

Those who’ve been reading here a while might remember my discomfort with Santa etc because I couldn’t shake the discomfort of lying to my kids. So how did we get here? Where I wake at 6am to craft tiny notes from a tiny fairy who cares for fawns in western Montana in the spring and lives in Nicaragua during our winter and took a sabbatical to help the moon fairy with the tides last summer? Continue reading

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Artful Homestead at Windrush Farm

I’ve been home for over a week now and my suitcase remains packed, including bits of California grass, Pacific scented sand, exotic leaves and seashell shards my daughters carefully collected and studied. We’ll get to it.

The first ever Artful Homestead took place on Windrush Farm in Chileno Valley on May 28. When my best friend first asked me to be a part of something with her there, I spent a lot of time imagining what that might look like. It’s fun to day dream about Windrush Farm, about collaborating with my old friend, about pushing myself into something new.

Paige’s mother in law owns the farm and Paige has hosted many photography workshops there. Her husband, Arann Harris, is a musician and leads Continue reading

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Switch turned on. Or off, which ever.

Ah May! You’ve zipped right by. I caught you by the tail just as you were walking out the door. Full of company, rain, baby chicks, green grass, soccer games, raging creeks. The arrival of hummingbirds, dandelions, ticks, tank tops, salad at every dinner. No offense, I am ready for June. The end of school, the beginning of the dog days. Continue reading

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