Early one Saturday morning in August, I ran away to Cyclops Farms to reconnect with myself, after my heart had been hurt. I came to reconnect with my friend Luke Girling, the owner of Cyclops Farms and to reconnect with myself, to heal. Indeed I found much more than healing, I found hope, a bunch of new friends and inspiration!
I first met Luke at a Slow Money event , two years ago. I was instantly taken by his absolutely gorgeous veggies and then, by Luke himself. At that time, he was growing produce for two North County restaurants on land that they owned. But, Luke had big dreams that one day very soon he would own his own farm, Cyclops Farms.
I visited him several times during the following year, picking strawberries in his back yard farm with Luke's wife, Frances and his children. During another visit, Luke took me to a vacant lot in Oceanside, CA. The lot was filled with trash and as we peered through a chain link fence, Luke told me about his plans for Cyclops Farms, in detail!! Throughout the next year, he kept me updated on his progress and I was thrilled to have Cyclops Farms participate in the Berry Good Night Dinner 2015.
Months after the BGN Dinner, on that Saturday morning, I came to his farm without any expectations of what I would find. Immersed in my own woes, I had come in search of beauty and heart healing. What I found, made me weep! I wept for the miraculous progress that Luke had made at Cyclops Farms. In a very short period of time, Luke with the help of his friends and family had converted the empty lot into a flourishing farm. Witnessing Luke's heroic efforts and the fact that he doggedly had made his dream come true, inspired me and propelled me forward.
On that same day, as we sat on the newly tilled earth, chatting about my hurt heart, Luke told me about his "hurt" heart, physical heart, that is. It seemed that there were a couple of large tumors surrounding Luke's heart, which would require surgical removal. He would have to undergo risky open heart surgery. Although I recognized how grave his condition was, oddly, I never was afraid for him. I knew that he had way too much to live for and that he would emerge from surgery just fine! I knew that Luke, like me, has had many personal struggles and challenges. He has conquered them all! I also knew that those struggles had made him a strong warrior and a wise one, beyond his young age. I knew that he would be fine. I also knew that I would help manifest that outcome. I would throw Luke and his farm a fundraiser!
Fast forward to today. Luke sailed through his surgery and his tumors were benign. I've long healed my hurt heart. For you see, It was through the process of creating the fundraiser for Luke and Cyclops Farm that I in fact found the most healing. It was through the process of creating the fundraiser, I ventured out of my comfort zone! Through that process, I met and connected with a ton of new friends, stepped into new culinary circles and found new inspiration, love and joy, all along the way!
As I always say, I am a blessed and lucky girl. Today, I am grateful that I know Luke Girling, his friends, his family, his farm and his community. If you'd like to get to know him or Cyclops Farms, there are still tickets available for the fundraiser! If nothing else, I hope that my story with Luke will motivate YOU to take your heart, venture into new territories and create new possibilities in your life today! I know you will find the healing, joy, love and hope, just like I did!