By Gabriel Merithew
The exchange of energy is a universal language. In a single day, many interactions occur without words, and often without awareness. There should be awareness. When I first set out solo with my converted cargo trailer camper in early July, I did so because I was yearning for the exchange of energy between myself and good people. Promptly, as if on cue, the currents of the world took me where I needed to be, but only once I’d consciously initiated the mental shift to give in to its power, to allow it to carry me. Three weeks later, I get to spend my days here at the Yellow Barn Farm, surrounded by amazing people who are the very energy sources that drew me in. But there was something else, and it took me some time to figure out what was missing. The earth was calling to me and at the same time calling me out for sitting passively on the sidelines while it suffered under the strain of a human race that doesn’t listen. Something in my mind clicked. I’d been communicating with the earth through the exchanging of energy my entire life, but I’d never stopped to contemplate what it was actually telling me.
When I first met with Azuraye Wycoff after getting connected by a mutual friend, she shared the vision for Yellow Barn Farm / Allen’s Farm. Together we pored over the illustration of the “Master Plan” that she’d put together with Nick DiDomenico of Drylands Agroecology Research, and I started to not only agree with her mission, but I also connected with it on a personal level. She told me that Yellow Barn Farm is in the process of becoming a vibrant centralized hub for local small businesses to learn how to take action to reverse climate change, and that we would be leading by example by actively practicing regenerative land stewardship and social ecology. Here was someone telling me of their desire to essentially save the world, but she followed it up with a plan, simple and effective. I wanted to be a part of it. If I could invest myself into the project I would no longer be sitting on the sidelines, oblivious to the voice of the earth. I was ready to listen. Here was the opportunity I hadn’t realized until this point that I’d been waiting for.
The currents of the world have a way of bringing the right people together at the right time. The Yellow Barn core team, now eight strong, was composed of exactly the kind of people that I’d been seeking. This delighted me. Kind and focused, open-minded and strong-willed, each individual contributing to a greater whole, the energy of these people pulled me in. As I began to integrate and seek out areas where I could slot myself in to strengthen the whole, I had a conversation with the team that helped put into words what I was feeling. It became the inspiration for this blog post.
There was a whole other level to the Yellow Barn Farm vision, and it pertained not only to the core team and our farmland but the entirety of the local community and every living being. Much like in James Cameron’s Avatar, or pretty much any Hayao Miyazaki movie, the connection between all living things is illustrated in such a way that the concept is easily palatable, and it’s through the exchange of energy that these connections thrive. But it’s as if we as humans have forgotten to listen, not merely with our ears, but by allowing ourselves to be open to incoming and outgoing energy. And that’s when the connection with the farm was tied back in. When I’d been told that it was a centralized hub for budding changemakers, I hadn’t realized the extent of the potential there. On a more granular level, Yellow Barn Farm would become a safe place where people could learn to connect with themselves, each other, and the earth, through the exchange of energy.
Three weeks later and the first public event on the farm is fast approaching. The farmer’s market vendors, artists, and musicians are lined up and ready to roll. A new stage sits in front of the rustic pole barn, with hay bale bleachers ready to accommodate guests who want to support local talent. It’s an exciting time. But what’s most exciting is that this event is one of the best opportunities to form connections within the community and communicate this greater vision. Most everyone is interested in a brighter future, but this interest clouds the ‘now’. On the farm, there is a vision for the future, but everything is grounded in the now. And right now is the best time to build mutually beneficial connections, to listen deeply, to love truly, to remember what is most important. Unless we can figure out how to live in harmony with the earth, we won’t be able to enjoy its beauty and abundance for much longer.
Coming to Yellow Barn Farm has been a breath of fresh air for me, and the experience has provoked some additional exploration into this mysterious form of communication through energy exchange. In the book ‘The Alchemist’, the universal language of the world is referenced often. Santiago sets out in pursuit of it and returns with a greater understanding. What I wish upon those who visit this humble farm in North Boulder is to spark curiosity into similar pursuits. Maybe it is that simple to change the world in a focused, deliberate way. All it takes is the will to understand and the strength to act in accordance. When this vision for Yellow Barn Farm becomes a reality, then it’s no longer just a farm, is it?