Transitioning

Ayla and I working on the Peace Bus

Ayla and I working on the Peace Bus

Hello, my name is Wanda Halten and I am a native to what’s known as the Berkshire / Taconic region of the northeast. Part Berkshires of Massachusetts and part Taconic Mountain range of New York. I have been a farmer and gardener my entire life.

My father was a Norwegian Sea Captain, my mother and her family with German roots. Both left their home countries for different reasons to make new lives in America. I was born, raised and spent most of my life on a 300 acre European style farm. Being a first generation American, I was brought up with traditional values and was fortunate enough to have an extended family including my German grand parents who taught me many things as a child. Looking back, through my life, I always reflect on the unique relationships and the lasting impressions left by having the influence of a mother and a grandmother. People often commented on the three generations of woman, as we were often seen together. Two different perspectives, from two different generations, each with their own values. As well, living with animals teaches us great respect, responsibility and compassion. I feel I had the best of two worlds and see the incredible benefits of a multi-generational influence on the raising of children and a country life style of raising and harvesting food, fixing and being responsible for your own things and developing critical thinking skills. In addition, I was exposed to older friends of my grandmother, which opened me up in later years to seeking out that older wisdom, long after my grandmothers passing.

Change enters our lives, throughout our lives. Change can be inspiring, refreshing and allow us a better perspective. However, there is also traumatic change something my German family, like many thousands, endured, and today such things as the housing and financial melt down. Traumatic events can be debilitating, turning your world up-side down for years and creating displacement trauma. Being taken away from your place of origin with out plan or preparation can lead to many years of re-inventing yourself. Often you are not dropped of in a familiar place after the tornado sweeps through your life. This requires you to dig deep and find replacements for your loss while re-shaping your identity.

One example in my life which produced very positive results was the death of my mother {a traumatic event} when I was in my 30’s and my daughter just 3. At that time her father had also gone and so I was left to raise her on my own and play the role of mother, father and elder. This worked for a few years and then I began to see the need for other influences to round out her development. Coincidentally I was working with a local Shaker Museum site through my work with rare and historic livestock. Not having child care she came with me often. Here began the pattern for her that had shaped my life. The Shakers were a community of elders who took in orphans. The elders taught the children as parents and grandparents rotating through the different farm and domestic tasks with them. This museum operated in the same way in an effort to show visitors the lifestyle of this unique community. As my daughter grew in age she began going off on her own, working with different departments on the site. Eventually I began to work there and she was interning by age 8. She learned many values and skills from these surrogate mothers, grandmothers and uncles. Some of which I did not have. I saw how the positive influences; work ethic, team work and support from a variety of people shaped the woman she has become. This is an example of creating another reality to replace one which has gone.

This is where I see the crossing of crealitation or what I refer to as transitioning within our lives. Changing environments are continually happening around us, some of which we have no control over. In order to have happy lives we must learn to create our own happiness and contentment. We must learn to nourish our lives and remember that with loss comes opportunity. My transition began when my mother died. She was my best friend and we worked daily with the animals, plants and land. I took my devastating loss and channeled it into a rare breeds farm park for livestock preservation. As my daughter grew I saw the opportunity to incorporate education programs for children, drawing on my past and growing experience. Taking stock of your life experiences is one of the most important things you can do when creating a new future. It is who you are as a unique, one of a kind person in this world and it is how you market yourself to others.

In order to learn new things, to expand on your life, you must be willing to step into unfamiliar territory without being afraid, because something can always be learned, and sometimes you have more experience than you think. That was the case with my work at Camp Now this summer. I was called upon to establish the initial set up of the Creality Market, which progressed to my writing of a market guide, with help from G.E. Fox, including logistics of merchandise, efficiency in packing and inventory, preparing for weather, and an overall a-z of how to manage the market. This process culminated at the Creality Market and Musical Tent Show, where we were able to assemble all of our hard work together with great success. Though I have had previous marketing experience, this project required news skills and learning around the nature of a pop-up market. Currently I am working on the early stages of property development for the Camp Now gardens and Art Farm with a stationary market on the property. This role combines previous skills and knowledge from past positions.

The Creality Market

The Creality Market

My experience with crealitation is short only working in this community for a couple months, but my experience with creating new realities for myself has been going on for many years under a different name. Where ever you are, whatever you call it, you can start a new chapter in your life and no better time than today!

Myself at the Creality Market

Myself at the Creality Market