Mamma’s House (Living in Upper Left, USA)

Drinking my daily coffee, peering out my bedroom window from my Mom’s two-story house, I sit overhanging a cliff to look across the wind-licked waters and snow-capped mountains on the horizon. The first snow of the season is falling and leaving a delicate sheet of white dust peppered across the ground. You can’t help but pause whatever you’re doing to witness the smoky purple sunset, over the dreamy distant peaks, through the bushy emerald greens of our coniferous forest.

I often forget how tall the trees are until I come home and have the same realization over and over again. Taking a deep breath outside, you’ll inhale a strange sense of familiarity, something that feels so comfortable and natural, like you’ve perceived it all before. Arriving at twilight to this lush wooded aroma, I’ve actually had a boyfriend break down into tears because of the nostalgia held by this natural world. It’s such a marvelous scent, much taken for granted. I realize here that I need to appreciate more. A lasting WILD frontier forever implanted in my mind. 

The forest is always reminding us to breathe, and to savor the sweetness of each inhale.

The piercing yammer of bald Eagles billows through the air as they call each other back to their nested home among the giants. They built their home in a massive Tamarack next to our house, and have coupled-up there for as long as I can remember. 95% of bird species remain monogamous their entire lives, making them the most loyal members of our animal kingdom. How wonderful to feel the absolute freedom of “flight,” while still returning home at the end of each day.

Warm pie, pear preserves, and pickles always leave their essence in the air as we’re often using the goodness we’ve gathered from our garden throughout the year. Here, we’re quite close to being self-sustainable–raising chickens for eggs and meat, growing vegetables for fresh use or making winter soups, canning juice and fruit for a dose of antioxidants during the long frosty months. Living with mamma taught me the importance of growing my own food. She passed down the “green thumb.” I’m so motivated by seeing seedlings burst through their containers, catching the first little bud connecting to a tiny new fruit, or collecting all the goodies to make garden salsa or green salad.

We share everything with the natural world. This year, our potatoes didn’t come up because moles dug complex tunnel-systems in the soil below. They also popped carrots and beets backwards through the ground, leaving only a mysterious missing-veggie hole. Birds prey from the sky, grubs and other little monsters squiggle from the ground. Even our domestic-chickens scavenge, hopping the fence to access our private zucchini and squash stash. We participate in the environment simply as passerbys. No chemicals, no traps, no waste… the ground was made to be shared!

Out here, one can’t help but relax. Times are innocent. Life is easy as you forget about all the unnecessary commotion created by the over-agitated, all-too-“civilized,” human-world. Out here, you wouldn’t know anything inherently “bad” is happening unless you turn on the TV or check your phone… Knowing “all is well” when I don’t stare at a screen makes me want to refrain from the media forever. There is total simplicity in taking a step back from the world, doing only the intrinsically important things that we “need” in life, like cooking, cleaning, loving, reading, teaching, and eating. It’s good to be home.


Alena Horowitz (Miss Potato)



Leave a Reply