By Elora Overbey, Phase II Fellow
On Halloween morning, the Phase I Fellows packed their bags and headed home.
The next morning, I returned back to the Mountain, to an eerily quiet home.
For the first time in six months, the only thing I could hear was the wind sweeping through the trees as it continued its journey into the valley, crashing like waves on the mountaintop, and spilling leaves in its wake.
It’s been a few days now, but there’s still a vacuum in this space that held so much intensity for the past six months, six months that I spent working, living, celebrating, and processing daily life alongside seven other brilliant individuals.
It stings deeply to hold that space alone but in their absence, it’s clear to see the magnitude of the work, passion, and growth that has taken place in my own life over the past six months.
I came to this Mountain Farm a little over a year and a half ago with very few expectations. I knew I wanted to put together a toolkit to better serve my community and learn how to grow food. Food is, after all, my way of connecting with both my environment and my community, my way of managing my health, and my general love language.
I’ve been incredibly privileged to be a student of many different living and learning environments: from the mountains of New Mexico, the hollers of Virginia, the wonderland of the PNW, the rich vividness of Ghana, the glacier-studded dreamscape of Cordova, Alaska.
These past 18 months feel like a culmination of all those living experiences put into daily practice: from navigating challenges that beckoned me to rise to the occasion when I didn’t think I could; to the incredible celebrations of connecting with others from many, many different kinds of life paths; to learning that the idea of living in abundance (of resources, talents you have to share, and the love you can give to yourself and others) begins with a paradigm shift within yourself and only then flows outward to your community.
In two months, the Phase II Fellows will return for their next chapter and I can’t wait to witness the ways these incredible individuals give back to their communities.
In two months, I’ll be heading out on my next chapter. What it holds I don’t quite yet know. However, what I do know is that toolkit I sought out 18 months ago feels full to the brim with possibilities that I couldn’t have dreamed of before.