We haven’t been able to afford any spare time lately. And despite working all the time towards those days when we don’t work, we find we have neither the liberty to enjoy time as a family should we happen upon it, nor monies enough to make it reasonably enjoyable if we did.
After completing events in Wynwood last December we moved North to a large canal front property in unincorporated Miami Dade. BUT after meeting the neighbors, setting up composting, doing some landscaping, putting in a grey water filtering pond, and walking around at night smiling, hand-in-hand with visions of a neighborhood kids’ book swap tree house, code enforcement slapped a fine our host’s landlord and we, for want of a better option, fired up the bus and made a move into the agricultural lands to the South West of Miami. The happy, average life we had come so close to in our dreams had in a moment been replaced by familiar trends of uncertainty and accompanying familial disquiet.
First we stayed with the Sutton family, the mother of which Sam had met through her involvement with farmer’s markets – Sam managed two markets in Miami, initially filling in for a woman she was providing doula services to in February, then until recently as a private contractor for a youth empowerment non profit. They lived in an area known as the Redlands and are in the process of turning a piece of farm land into a fruit tree orchard. There was a canal nearby and the family had two children Mateo and Harper’s age. Much more quiet than Miami the initial shock of feeling truly excommunicated and logistically persecuted subsided with the easy rural charm of the place, the detached way of life it encouraged and the warm, black nights serenaded to the point of deafening abstraction by chorus upon chorus of inexhaustible insects. We felt cozy, began home making again, bought a Mercedes for Sam’s 30th with help from my parents, and even got a dog (Magic).
Though, seduced as we had once again become by the boonies, time at the Sutton’s was always temporary and so it seemed that no sooner had we forged a hiding spot in a field of 12 foot high grasses than we were staring at a well yellowed imprint, with that ‘starting all over again’ feeling in our chests, giggling our backs into action.
We are now parked the furthest South we have ever been. Somewhere between the tip of civilization and the Florida Keyes with the belly of the Atlantic somewhere East of us, and seemingly endless swampland stretching out to the West and South. The very end of the line.
The land is owned by an indefinable gentleman who acted as a consultant on our community project in Wynwood. During the course of our meetings he divulged his ongoing renovation of vintage trailers and dream of opening a sustainable resort/meditation retreat in the Everglades. Questions begot questions, the answers to which saw us drafted in as advisers that very naturally morphed for the foreseeable future into caretakers. The site will be something like a lush sub-tropical version of www.elcosmico.com with self-contained vintage trailers and facilities ranging from coral lagoons solar powered air conditioning and an organic kitchen garden to meditation huts, outdoor well-water showers and open-air sleeping terraces.
I still commute to Miami a few days a week to work a part time art handling job, but we definitely feel by moving out here that we’ve moved on. And up, although down. Blazing a trail to nowhere to make it a somewhere. And despite not being our own property, we feel a suitable sense of ownership of the overall project and shared hand in its development.
We are 2.5 acres tentatively, if not ironically titled Everglades Surf Camp (ESC) located about 5 miles from the entrance to the Everglades National Park and now open for camping. Make a reservation through info at transitantenna dot com!