Year Recap for Half Hectare Homestead 2020

What can I say about 2020? This year had been a whirlwind for all of us. Devastatingly so for some. For those of us still here, we can be grateful for our chance to continue influencing the world around us. We can continue to learn from each other and use our shared experiences to bring about change for the better.

From Then to Now

This year began with me in ignorance. We care about a lot of the world’s issues here at HHH. From racism, prejudices against our communities, to environmental abuses, and more. We have always strived to learn about how to better our influences on them through conscious living. Yet I was still unprepared for facing the depth of those issues as they rose in escalation throughout this year. Further unsettling was our discovery of just how close some of those issues were to us hidden within our friend groups. These were hard yet important epiphanies to embrace.

Picture of Rimakej with applied henna designs on her face and hand. Facial henna is a Native American design of lines and dots down her chin and across her face under her eyes. The hand design is of the Black Lives Matter fist symbol surrounded by a lotus flower with artistic flairs of spirals, suns, and dots.
BIPOC Solidarity Henna by Rimakej Valentini.

Fear Year

There was and still is a lot of worry, insecurity, and fear involved with the current pandemic. I had my own bout of illness (on my birthday no less) lasting longer than any I had previously experienced. I am saying illness because my Covid-19 test was taken early enough in the development of my symptoms that its result was negative. My background in science keeps me fully aware of the probabilities of false negative results with any test. I belong to the percentage of people who had negative test results yet still experienced all of the symptoms.

My symptoms included the telling one of sudden loss of taste and smell. I have always had sensitive senses of smell and taste, so abruptly losing those was very fear inducing for me. Cristophe’s completion of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine course in herbal immersion gave him the knowledge to support my immune system. My body was healthy enough to overcome the illness within two weeks without reaching a need for hospitalization.

We also both experienced the fear and powerless feelings brought by hearing about loved ones, and loved-ones of our loved-ones, falling ill. It was especially difficult to handle knowing that Cristophe’s knowledge of herbalism and nutrition could help others, but that sharing that knowledge was hindered by multiple blocks. Most people don’t want to accept the lifestyle changes and internal examination needed to maintain long-term health. If the knowledge isn’t falling on willfully deaf ears, it’s hindered by the systematic lack of availability to medicinal plants. But, that’s a point to be discussed further on another blog.

Saying Our Goodbyes

Picture of a large senior black and white Labrador mix dog smiling at the camera while sharing his dog-bed with a little senior brown and white Chihuahua/Terrier mix dog.
Rest in Love Sirius (Labrador mix) and Coffee (Chihuahua/Terrier mix).

This year was the passing year for three of our non-human family members. Two of whom, Coffee and Binx, had been with me since I was in high school. The third was our dog-nephew, Sirius, we took care of on the occasions when his mom needed us to. Although we miss all of them, we are happy that they are now free from the pains of their old-ages. They left us carrying our love with them.

Picture of a senior black cat lying on a red chair with Samhain (Halloween) decorations in the background.
Rest in Love our Samhain Kitty, Binx.

We then had to say goodbye to the many animals and plants we love and shared our previous homestead with in order to embark on our current journey. It was difficult to accept our need to part from them. Especially the barn cats, Dies and Noctis (Latin words for “day” and “night”). As soon as the plans were set for our departure, Dies even decided to take his leave of the land first, while Noctis stayed to care for it. It pained us to feel his absence before we left, but he saved us from the even harder task of having to leave both of them behind. For all of our other beloved plants and animals, we took solace in securing them continued good lives, either by them remaining on their land, or by them gaining new land to roam.

Picture of two young brother cats sleeping on the back porch steps with their heads resting on each other. One is mostly white with black spots on his head and a black tail, and the other is mostly black with a white underside and face.
Dies (mostly white) and Noctis (mostly black). Their opposite colorations is why we named them after the Latin words for “day” and “night.”

New Year Hopes

This year has been full of difficult transformations, but I know at least for us, they were needed. We are now even closer to those of our loved ones who have grown with us. We are more aware of the obstacles in this world that require a growing need for change. Also, we are closer and even more dedicated to fulfilling our goals. Through these trying times, we still continued to experience and learn more ways to better our connection with nature and the world. This blog marks the last one of our first year sharing these lessons and experiences with you. We thank you all for reading and following our journey. Many more to come! Blessings to you all for the new year.

Picture of a beautiful roaring nighttime fire with licking flames contained in a small metal pit burning through logs and pine cones.
Our 2020 Yule Fire burning pine cones containing written hopes for the new year.

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