Lisa By: Lisa
If there's a heaven, I hope it smells like basil and dirt.

a year of mornings 121/365


That is my great hope.


* * *


I'd like to also try to say something else. I've always thought of myself as someone who nurtures other folks' creativity. I see this as my main gift. It wasn't until very recently that I gave much deep thought to my own creative process and skills.


A number of changes in recent years have forced some new thinking here. For one, I left work that was explicitly about nurturing other people's creativity and confidence. As gorgeous as my life is, I'd be lying to say I haven't felt a great emptiness, too, since that has ceased being a part of why I wake and act during the day. Another reason I'm thinking about these things is: hello, farming! It's all about creating. We make things grow, and we also are building a business, and thinking about the kind of voice we want and the kind of community we want to build around this yummy food. These are all creative acts. And of course, there's this whole Flickr thang: it's a community of creative souls, and I'm here, here quite a lot in fact, which suggests I'm thinking about and struggling with and celebrating my own ideas of what it can mean to create a thing and put it gently out there into the world.


If y'all haven't seen Elizabeth Gilbert's talk over at TED about creativity, work, and the value of showing up, please find a quiet 20 minutes in your day, make yourself a cup of tea, and go watch it. It's very, very powerful and wonderful.

  • Amy Jo Woodruff (sweetrubydeer) 6y

    We've watched Gilbert's talk a few times. So inspiring. And, yes, farming is creative. Where would us cooks be without our wonderful farmers? I really see the relationship between the two as collaborative. It really is a thing of beauty. I am blessed with many friends who also garden, so we do quite a bit of sharing--seeds, plants, produce, and food. It feels like such a healthy thing to build relationships on. Thank you for sharing, again and again.
  • Leslie 6y

    Such a beautiful photo and lovely thoughts as well.
  • Leaca 6y

    I love to grow things. There is something so rewarding about planting something, watching it grow, and finally nurturing your whole family in ways you can't comprehend. The place we live in now is very limited on what we can do because we rent but I was watching ole Martha the other day and she had this salad table that solved all my problems.

    I am so excited to do this. Now I can at least grow salad and herbs.

    I loved your words today, very inspirational and coupled with that picture just sealed it all.

    Heaven, is going to smell good but a delicious scent I have not smelled before.
  • graygoosie 6y

    Awe, thanks for sharing and for the link. :)
  • DimSum,Bagels,and Crawfish 6y

    I share your hope about basil and dirt. Thank you for the inspirational and sincere words. I keep meaning to check out that clip...thank you for the reminder. Happy Spring and Happy Planting to you!
  • carol 6y

    i have a friend whose southern italian nonna only eats fruits and vegetables that she or her neighbors grow themselves. her whole life. during our last visit she told us (in italian, of course) that the earth will never fail you. i almost cried.
    and the basil?? i totally agree.
  • radiant reflections ~ kylie 6y

    Your writing is so honest and open and inspiring. I don't know what to say except thank you Lisa for helping me, even though you don't know you have. :-)
  • Eunice 6y

    i agree with your idea of heaven, though i would like to add honeysuckle. i don't think i can go through a growing season without smelling these.
  • acadia62 6y

    I just bought a basil scented lotion. My BF thinks I might smell like pesto.
  • marthasnail 6y

    i love your thoughts here lisa.
  • The Bunny Project 6y

    Everyone has to find its onw creativity. Farming is, ha, so beautiful!!!!
    Your words are so inspiring to me, right now :) , then thank you!
  • Wesley Satterwhite 6y

    Lisa, I am so often inspired by your creative vision in your photos and your short writings here and the life you're building that I cannot help but think of you as a creative person. You wouldn't be feeling creativity's lack if you weren't actually a creative person.
    I'm reading a book right now about the psychology of creativity and it brings to light something folks don't often talk about and that is that there are natural ebbs and flows to creativity and that it'sreally about engagement, so that when we feel the ebbs we should not so much think of ourselves as lacking or as less than (which we tend to do) but should think of it as part of the process. The author also says that fully engaging in anything is stimulating to us creatively--so fully engaging yourself in your farming is likely to get your creative juices flowing in other areas of your life. I'm not saying this well, but hopefully you get my meaning.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts. I do love the Gilbert talk.

    And the smell of dirt and basil.
  • Wesley Satterwhite 6y

    By the way, I really think you should write a Molly's (only about your own life, of course).

    I would so buy one. or three.
  • radiant reflections ~ kylie 6y

    I know Im not Lisa but I just wanted to say thats really interesting wesley_jeanne. I really liked the part "You wouldn't be feeling creativity's lack if you weren't actually a creative person." I think what you wrote was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you :-)

    And I would also buy a book, possibly one for every family member for christmas!
  • ArtistofLife7 6y

    Beeaaaaaaaaaaautiful. :) Your words, heart, photo and inspiration!
  • semiplume 6y

    I would buy that book too Lisa!
  • Wesley Satterwhite 6y

    Madelynsmummy--You're welcome!
  • Tea 6y

    Brilliant--your words and images, Gilbert's talk, and the idea you should do a book! I am so excited by this thought. I hope you are taking notes about all that is happening with you and the farm! (in all your copious amounts of spare time, of course:-)
  • Sally Parrott Ashbrook 6y

    Elizabeth Gilbert's speech was just what I needed. Thanks for linking to it.
  • Stephanie Caldwell 6y

    Mmm...dirt and basil. Or dirt and lavender.
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Taken on March 31, 2009
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