Saying Goodbye Saying Hello


During the months from November through the middle of June I traveled from the Pacific shores of this land that sustains us to the Atlantic and back again.

soccer 047  Mt. Baker, Bellingham

middle december 032Lk. Superior

IMG_9440Green Mountains, Vermont

Last Friday, the morning I left Bellingham, I was enjoying the book Growing Roots, the New Generation of Sustainable Farmers, Cooks and Food Activists. While Phoebe played her violin and Matt played his guitar I was envisioning bringing chickens and bees into the permaculture environment in Traverse City. I was also thinking about the meal I’d prepared the night before from Crazy Water Pickled Lemons, the only cookbook I’ve packed.

Earlier that morning, Zeb, 6, said, “I found a house for you to buy. Why can’t you stay?”

That’s a good question. That night I dreamed I’d left a baby behind and was walking in an unknown place in the dark. Someone was following me but meant me no harm. It’s not only the money, I thought, but also the other costs of staying in a safe place. I need to join the network of people who are taking chances to create a sustainable lifestyle, promoting permaculture.* And I need to be making art.

I’m giving up my old stories and finally claiming my year-old doctoral degree. Tomorrow I leave my sister’s nest here in Kalamazoo. I’m ready for the next phase of my journey into the land of sharing resources – continuing to create a map of living open heartedly. *

“All we have is one another to sustain us. Community is not magical. It means people are willing to be human beings together. And it means they are willing to pay the price for being human.” ~Daniel Berrigan

*What is permaculture?  Here’s the adult definition, shared by Claudia Joseph: “Permaculture is more than just good gardening. It is a life long approach to analysis, action and social structures that results in better relationships, more functional systems and a clearer understanding of everything necessary for human communities to thrive.”
For younger folks: Permaculture is an introduction to observing and mimicking nature or learning nature’s language(s).”

*My Doctorate of Ministry dissertation is titled One Can Hear Only With the Heart: Creating a Map of Living Openheartedly.


About Marian Methner, B.S., D.Min.

Polydox: accepting that we are many labels, I am mother of 4, mother in law (love) of 4 and grandmother of 5. My life is a collection of bits and starts. I was recently on the road for over a year exploring ideas of living in shared housing. A recent summer course in Permaculture design, solidifed my interest in "social permaculture" or ways we interact not only with our Earthly environment but also with each other. I am back Bellingham, Washington, in a small rental house, owned by my ex husband, talk about shared housing, practicing living in community with family, and friends. My doctoral dissertation A Map to Living Open Heartedly, centers around making art as a way to healing. Paradoxiclly, a recent diagnoses of heart failure (cardiomyopathy) expands this exploration...
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6 Responses to Saying Goodbye Saying Hello

  1. Carol Huntley says:

    Marian, this is fabulous! I’m assuming it will be Traverse City? I was voting with Zeb. Sigh.
    Well, I can’t imagine a more wonderful thing to do. I was deeply involved with permculture when I had the 6 acres of land on the Stilly River for 24 years. Gerald and I left that when he was dying
    and after his death, I never found a substitute.
    Creating a Map of Living Openheartedly is an incredible thing to do. I am very proud of you.
    Carol Huntley (Cohen)

  2. Louise says:

    Another great article Marian. On the subject of goodbye and hello I am reading a book by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot entitled Exit: the Endings that set us Free. It is a series of “stories of leaving” from people across the demographic spectrum. Available via Amazon.

    Keep saying “HELLO”!



  3. Sarah says:

    you say hello I say goodbye, so simple yet so complex. words we use everyday that you have made richer. thank you dear marian. I LOVE the first photo of you …taken in Donna’s kitchen if I am right? i wish you an easy transplant to your new roots.oxos

    • Ahh Sarah. Thankyou. Penny has so lovingly prepared her apartment for us and Rosa the big black cat brought a chipmunk breakfast for me… all is well and good. Love M

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