Love, Dare, Grow Part Four
For part four of Love, Dare, Grow I interviewed by neighbors Megan and Eric. Megan grew up in the Midwest and spent the early 2000's on the East Coast before heading west. She has a longstanding commitment to California’s health care safety net, including almost a decade spent as a lay health worker at the Berkeley Free Clinic. Pre-pandemic, Megan enjoyed hiking adventures and seeking out swimming holes, practicing bikram yoga, and winning stuffed animals out of claw machines. These days, she still gets in (almost) daily hikes in the East Bay hills in between Zoom calls and spending time at home with her family. Eric was born & raised in Atlanta, GA, and has spent the past two decades calling the Bay Area home. He pays the bills sourcing oysters and keeping honey bees at a restaurant along the waterfront in SF and also proudly serves on the board of directors for The Watershed Project in Richmond. He spends his time hiking (preferably with a canine friend), foraging, gardening, music-making, and, in general, exploring.
Introductions: say three things about yourself and one about each other family member.
Megan: Midwestern at heart, lover of swimming holes, claw machines, and hiking up in the hills
Eric: Hospitable explorer of sights, sounds, and places
Fanny: spirited and loveable four legged mutt with one deer print paw
Fern: red-footed tortoise, like your favorite houseplant but walks around
Who is family?
Those individuals we’ve chosen to build community and life with and alongside. Those whom we love and love us regardless of how we show up each day.
How do you know?
They are relationships that are time and adversity tested.
What is unique about your family?
Relative to how our families were growing up and how our siblings’ families are, we’re following a path of different priorities and roles.
What do you think is the same about your family and other families?
Even though we don’t have (human) children, we organize and bend our time as individuals to balance between everyone’s needs, making sure that all members are supported and taken care of.
Why is family important to you?
Many adventures in life are not as rich unless you have someone or several someones to either share the experience or share tales of the experience with.
What does your family support you to do that you might not otherwise be able to do?
When we choose to put our head in the clouds, it’s important to have someone holding on to our feet.
What does home mean to you?
Home is where we get to live, act, dress, and be in a way that mimics eating comfort food. It’s also our launching pad and sanctuary for/from exploring the world.
What does home look like to you?
Home is a super happy medium - extra comfortable and relaxed without being too sloppy or messy; fun and inspiring but not too ridiculous; just the right amount of space and stuff to be contented and free but not overwhelmed or overburdened; bright but not blinding.
What is it like for a family making a home in this place?
This physical space/address is the first place that all the members of our family have shared together and will thus always hold a special place in our collective memories, and with that “firstness” comes many a shared success, failure, scary thing, and joy.
What are your dreams for your family?
To continue to grow as well-supported individuals and also a happy team, in ways that are both unexpected and yet familiar.
What about your fears for your family?
I fear a stagnancy with my family and our progression. Many families have one or more children whose growth and evolution gives them a sense of direction through time & space. By not having that, we must work to find different ways to observe and celebrate the passage of time.
What kind of support do families here need?
Families need to look out for each other, just as the members of a given family look out for one another. Also, families are the building blocks of community.
What’s your best family story?
Not so much a story but more of a best memory from a moment in time - last year on a beautiful Summer afternoon, the backyard apricot tree had sprinkled fruit all over the yard. Eric & I filled our mushroom-foraging baskets with orange fruit from the branches above while the dog and the tortoise circled the trunk and gobbled piece after piece off the ground without any prodding or instruction on our part - a family harvest.