My final Monday at Little Mountain Farm was spent entirely on food prep.
(Breakfast: banana bread and toast with olive oil.)
Monday food prep:
- Cut sprouts that Shoshanna grew in trays with scissors
- Help Yudith pick green & yellow zucchinis
- Run 1/2 of the pickings through a shredder
- Put shredded zucchinis into plastic freezer bags
- Label freezer bags “zucchini”
- Slice other half of zuchinnis
- Clean up bakery & kitchen after above tasks
Lunch: Leftover pizza from the festival.
I also had some tomatoes and tasted a pickle the community made. It was alright – not as salty as the ones you get from the grocery stores. The amount of sodium in store-bought pickles is crazy!
After all the food prepping, which took the whole day, I went down to my room in the basement and started packing my things: rolled up my clothes, stuffed my toiletries into my backpack, and did a double check to make sure I had everything out of the room.
On Tuesday, I woke up ready to go to the deli, as that was my ride into town.
Breakfast: oatmeal, scrambled eggs, and a piece of toast.
I said goodbye to whoever I could at the farm. Abigail asked if I’d come back to visit them again.
“I’d like to,” I said.
“I like her,” Abigail said. “She’s honest. A lot of people will say, ‘Yes, I’ll come back to visit.’ And then they never come back.”
Haha. It’s definitely true: I’d like to visit the community again someday, but I couldn’t say for sure that I’d be back.
Anyway, outside, I kissed Nahara’s baby daughter Abigail, and Daniel (Benyamin’s baby son) goodbye. I hugged Nahara, and she seemed like she was really going to miss me. She was such a sweet woman.
I went inside to say bye to Hacida, and went back out to hop into the van. As the vehicle started, I saw Shoshanna. But since I was already inside, I had to just wave goodbye.
On the way to the deli, I had an engaging conversation with Benyamin. It started because he suggested I might become a broadcast reporter, which would require me to wear makeup.
“It’s funny how girls spend lots on makeup and guys spend lots on the gym, all to impress each other,” he said. “It’s all external, though. Why not just be yourself?”
He basically said that spending money on those things as a means of impressing each other is superficial, and is a cheap and shallow way to do it.
Our talk made me think about the merit to what he was saying, especially because I was initially weirdly uncomfortable when I arrived at the Twelve Tribes. As hard as I tried to suspend judgment, it was challenging for me to stop thinking they were unusual, especially because of the way they dressed.
But once I got passed that (and I had to, quickly, because I was going to be there for a week), it was amazingly refreshing to grasp how beautiful each and every one of the members is. In fact, I think the fact they dressed the way they did made it easier to focus on their spirits, because there weren’t any distractions (ex: cleavage, shirtless guys, etc).
As always, work in the deli consisted of food prep. That was the bulk of my volunteering in exchange for a roof over my head during my stay. It’s interesting and nice how much you bond with people over food preparation and consumption 😛
Benyamin prepared some iced tea for me and wrote a long identification on my cup:
Cutting lettuce was the first task I performed to help out at the deli on the first day I went there. For some reason my name and “lettuce cutter” on the cup made me smile a lot.
- Peeled yam
- Snapped green beans
- Chopped cucumbers and diced them
I saw a sweet roll and asked how much it was because it looked appetizing. Rivkah just gave one to me and insisted I don’t pay for it because they don’t do that with guests. It was just so nice of her. She also explained that they use maple syrup and agave sugar so it’s not overwhelmingly sweet. Rivkah went even further by giving me nearly half of a ginger cookie! Boy, was I well fed here. I didn’t even each lunch because I was full from these (healthier than normal) sweets!
I spent the remainder of my afternoon washing dishes and packing more tea samples with a man named Shemuel, who joined the community in 2012.
I was so immersed in my work that when Lev came up and said we had to leave, I was shocked. Everything happened so fast, and I didn’t even have time to say bye to everyone in the deli. It was hard to believe it was time to go. Just like that. It was as if someone yanked me out of an enticing conversation.
My next stop was Toronto, and I decided on getting there via Greyhound bus, even though I swore I’d never do it again after the 30+ hour bus ride I took in 2011 to and from Washington.
So why did I do it?
Mainly because Hendrike sounded really convincing when she explained why she’s fine with busing around: she gets to see other places and she gets to sleep along the way.
So I figured, why not? Why not try another 30+ hour bus ride, this time between two Canadian provinces? How bad could it be? Just as long as nobody abused the toilet on board, it should be bearable, I thought.
Lev dropped me off at the station, and I gave him and Amotts a hug goodbye. My bus didn’t depart until the evening, so I killed time by securing my belongings in a locker and walking several minutes away to grab Subway for dinner. Unfortunately, there sidewalks were inconsistent in the area, so my walk wasn’t too pleasant as my socks and shoes were frequently invaded by pestering blades of grass.
When I returned, I found a spot on the floor against a wall near some outlets. I plugged my phone and mp3 player to charge them up for the long ride ahead, and popped my earphones into my ears. I hadn’t listened to music in awhile, so it was therapeutic.
Several minutes later, I saw Lev bust in through the doors. It was a pleasant surprise, as I wasn’t sure when I’d ever see anyone from the community again.
He was looking for a WWOOFer coming in from Spain, and thought she could’ve wound up at the station. He asked me to call the farm if I saw any Spaniard-looking female with luggage, and I agreed.
Then he looked at me sitting on the cold floor and said, “I hope you’re comfortable there.”
I lifted my devices to show him I was charging them.
“Of course. Always gotta be plugged in.”
I smiled back, and we both exchanged goodbyes.
That final encounter with Lev made it seem as if I had “plugged” back into “my” world.