Tag Archives: squamish

A fork in the road

A change of winds indeed, I’ve come to a crossroads in my life–the first of many, my friends tell me–an unexpected, but interesting job offer in my own territory and an acceptance letter from a gardening program I dreamed of getting into. Both overlap in time, both are things I’ve always wanted to do.

The first is a job with a fisheries research company in Squamish: a town I’ve always dreamed of living. I’d be counting the young chum in the spring time, full-time, for four months. I’ve also planned helping a friend with her field work for her Master’s during the same time; taking a Skwxwú7mesh Language class; learning more about our traditional native plants, salmon– our main food source– and the territory of the Skwxwú7mesh people. Not to mention the canoe journey that will hopefully take place again in 2011.

There’s also the opportunity of working with other First Nations youth who are doing restoration work on the island, as well as educational funding to get the proper training to work in fisheries–besides going to Outdoor School when I was in school, I know barely little about salmon and rivers.

Downside is, I don’t feel super excited about squeezing into some neoprene coveralls every morning. I felt uncomfortable and anxiety was super present when I wore them. And feeling is everything to me. I have a lot of them.

The second is Linnaea Ecological Gardening Programme on Cortes Island. I applied in October, honestly thinking I wasn’t going to get in, until the day after I came back from a job shadow of the position I’d have with the research company, I got the acceptance letter in my inbox. I was shocked I got in.

Last year, when I read Derrick Jensen’s Endgame and Taiaiake Alfred’s Peace, Power and Righteousness, I started thinking about what kind of life I wanted to live, especially in terms of my career. I felt gardening was the best choice when I began to think about our dependency upon oil and industrial agriculture. After I applied, I read Jared Diamond’s The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race (http://ow.ly/3k7XV), which completely changed my mind about agriculture and gardening. It got me thinking about my values and what I wanted to do with my life, once again. Linnaea didn’t seem, or feel right after that but now it seems like I’ll have one of the most exciting experiences of my life there. I’m utterly excited for living on Cortes Island for 8 months, growing vegetables, tending to cows, and picking fresh mushrooms for grilling. I’m excited for learning and eating, as well as living with 11 complete strangers and getting to know them.

I just don’t know if I should. If agriculture, even small-scale organic permaculture is destructive to the earth as Jared Diamond’s argument is then it would go against my values.

I also didn’t get the funding I thought I would get. I will have to work my butt off in the next four months to pay for living expenses and the program itself. And it is super expensive. When I come back, I’ll be broke and homeless– without a doubt, my room at my place will be gobbled up by some other relative as soon as I leave, which in ways doesn’t bother me.

Either way I choose there will be other opportunities out there for me. One of the things I like about the business class I was taking was the tools it gave me. Most of them could be applied to everyday life, like the idea that even if you don’t come to an agreement on something you wanted, there’ll be another opportunity in the future. A few were slightly manipulative and things I wouldn’t use in my personal relationships, or at all. But there was a lot of good ones. That’ll be a post!

I also know I could easily learn gardening without going to a fancy program. It will just be harder work because that program is a package deal. And sometimes harder just means more fun.

That’s my life right, now. I’m off to my friend’s clown birth, which is not as my mother though a woman giving birth with a clown in the room. It’s a graduation from clown school! Yippie!

Post more soon!

-Cheyenne