Meet Synmia Rosine.
Herbalist, doula and mother of @thepeoples.farm
"I'm born and raised in like the California brick city. I wasn't raised in nature, so to speak. I had like a nice backyard at my grandma's house, but that was about it. And then you go to the neighborhood park and I feel like we are birthing and seeding very emotionally evolved little humans.
Nature has been the perfect anecdote for us. And now I've seen such a difference."
INTRODUCE US TO YOUR FAMILY.So, there is Kyoko. She will be six in July. Her pronouns are she / her. She will let you know. And Kyoko is mama, you know, since day one, she's always been mama. That's something that I was a little weary of her taking on that role at such a young age because I took on that role at a young age, but you can't stop what you're predestined to be.
Ossie is our middle. He will be four in September. His pronouns are he / him we think. He says mama, I'm a boy. Ossie, he's our protector, our warrior. He's always got a sword or some sort of like slingshot or thing because he's just master protector. He really comes in like Maui. I don't know. I mean, I'm sure everyone's seen Moana. He's very much Maui energy, very goofy as well.
And then Hakeem, they will be one next month. Hakeem is the sun, you know, through and through. Since day one he's so smiley, so receptive even in my belly when I'm doing photo shoots. People would be crowding around us and asking questions he would position himself to make my belly protrude out a bit, and then would start moving around, letting everyone know like, hey, I'm here. Since day one, he's just been super present.
And me? They’d describe their mama as…Squishy? Um, cozy. Every other word is like, mama, why are you so cozy? The dragon mama comes out sometimes. It's very much needed. Boundaries, healthy boundaries. But I'm kind of like goofy and I like to dance and we sing and just, you know, being the presence.
They say that is good and cozy. And at least we're not hard. I think even on a deeper level, as mothers, we are supposed to be malleable, you know? We're supposed to be squishy. We're not supposed to be hard and dense. Like sometimes our more masculine or papas or fathers - that figure, that archetype - is a little bit more rigid, whereas the matriarch, the mother, we are supposed to be kind of fluid and squishy and soft and all these other things. When I've had enough, when I'm over touched, I'm like, please don't touch the squishy anymore, okay? You know?
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
One of the questions that has really been sitting with me, is how do I move through my creative world as a mother and with them? And that's something you know I'm struggling and dealing with every day.
And struggle not in a negative sense, struggling with having to constantly work at it. I feel like we're doing something that our ancestors and even humanity has never had to deal with and juggle before.
We've never had so much. So many things that demands our attention as mothers or as birth givers or as people raising humans. So intersecting all of those things in all those worlds.
I'm just trying to categorize everything...
We just got some alpacas. We are in the process of building a new home for chicks that we're hoping to re-home this weekend. So my social feed is nothing but parenting, homeschooling, farming. It's growing season, it's seeding season.
We involve all of our kids. We put Hakeem down on a blanket in the middle of the garden and are constantly monitoring if he has bark in his mouth, but allowing him and giving him that freedom to explore. Giving Kyoko duties and responsibilities in the garden. And same with Ossie.
It's very important for our family structure and hopefully for their integrity as far as what work is like. We understand that we're super privileged to be living on a mountain and starting a farm. So, with that, we want our children to understand there's also responsibilities that come with that.
...The Book of Children and it's supporting the freedom and intelligence of a new generation. So all those things I feel are super important for families today for the betterment of our planet and the future of human beings.
And I'm really excited about this book is by Lisa Rayner.
It's Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains, A Guide to High Altitude Semi-Arid Home Permaculture Gardens. I love this because one, she's female, two, she is BIPOC, and three, she specializes in an area that I live in which is hard to find information on how to have a sustainable farm when you're in high altitudes. We do get seasons up here in Idyllwild, but we are a mountain in the middle
of the hottest place on earth so it's a bit tricky and I've been using this as a guide and it's been super fun to be able to reference what she's got to say in all her work.
So yeah, it's basically just parenting and farming over here.
HOW HAS FARMING IMPACTED YOUR CHILDREN?
It's super important and I mean, especially with self-regulating our emotions, especially amongst our littles, you know, I really see it firsthand. If we're inside all day and emotions are getting a little crazy and we've got cabin fever and it's feeling very, ‘the shining’ inside like it was this winter, as soon as we step out, Kyoko goes, “wow, mama, I feel great. I feel so much better. The sun is shining. Do you hear these birds?” She really comes back to reality.
It just goes to show that no matter where we are in the world just make that conscious effort to go to nature. Even if we don't have a backyard, if we're living in apartments. I've been there, but I've also realized, okay, I'm in this space, so I need to schedule out nature time. And it's been a super important thing to consciously schedule that out, and then that way the kids have something to look forward to, and they really start cultivating their own relationship with how the natural world responds to them and how they respond to it.
Creatively, I get a lot of my inspiration from my kids, and just creating a world for them that is inspiring, that is nourishing, that leads to their own creativity. Like I said before, we're doing something that the human race, hasn't done ever. We're having to juggle so much and there's so much in demand of us outside of our relationship, our home and our family and our own self-love, our work, our social media - that there's these whole other worlds that are actually demanding as much from us as our children demand from us. So, I've been playing around with this idea of just like slowing down. I've noticed that I cause a lot of anxiety for my kids if I'm rushing. And I've actually been asking Kyoko to do every task with me.
HOW DO YOU INVOLVE YOUR CHILDREN IN YOUR CREATIVE PURSUITS?
Our creative pursuit is our family. To me, I feel like this was the biggest art installation we've got going on, is starting a family. I didn't have the privilege to be able to stop working or stop doing whatever it is that I do for monetary resources. So, a lot of Kyoko's childhood was just bringing her along and wearing her all the time.
We don’t do screens, but recently I've been inviting her to take a look at what I'm doing on the screen or on my phone. Like this is what I'm posting, or this is the video that we've made today. Just to include her in the creative process a little bit so it's not so much as a thing that's taking me away from them or that's triggering me to be stressed because these things are stressful for us.
And we've been doing it for maybe 14 days now. And I've seen such a huge difference. I've seen such a huge difference and she's getting really excited about things. And she doesn't feel like I'm being taken away from her and she feels like I'm paying attention to her...
...it's been really beautiful to watch actually.
It feeds their curiosity in a more intentional way. My view is if I'm at least showing her what I'm doing, the videos that we're making or the posts or what we're talking about in the posts, that'll hopefully inspire her when she gets her own device to do the same thing instead of the mindless scrolling.
WHAT DO YOU USE TO CONNECT YOUR FAMILY TO FARMING?
We're plant-based and we really do care about the planet and our impact on the planet, so a lot of our things are secondhand. When we shop, we have like a 10-year minimum when it comes to purchasing clothes or things for our kids. I'm also not a gadget queen, so baby wearing is my only thing.
My baby carrier is the only accessible gadget that I will take outside of a car seat. I love this carrier. It’s the Explore baby carrier with the Sultan linen by Oddbird. One, because it goes with everything that I wear. I love the color way, it's very neutral. I'm a neutral person. Sometimes I like a little pizzazz, but mostly I just like things to just kind of fall in with the whole color story that I live my life in - it's very neutral earth tones. So, I picked Sultan. Love a striped moment. I think it's easy to pair, you know? Sometimes if you wanna be dressy, it can give off a very dressy classic look, or if you're just on the land like we are oftentimes, I love how it just pops against the the scenery. But what I love about this carrier the most is that it's cozy.
I've had three babies, so I have a number of carriers. I've tried out a number of them. We're a very active family. Lots of hiking, lots of garden work, lots of doing things. And I found that this carrier has been hands down the best. One, it's easy to put on which is super important for me. Especially if my partner's not around and having two other littles running around, I have to be able to like suit up in under 30 seconds safely. Two, the ergonomics of the carrier for me, I'm a bit small framed. I also hold a lot of stress in my neck and my lower back. So, I found that it really supports me. And I have heavy babies so it kind of relieves some of that pressure and redistributes the weight in a way that I can carry them longer, which I love.
It's been my go-to carrier. It's hanging up right now. Like we've just been using the mess out of it because it's just, it's been great.
I love that it's linen. Linen regulates our body temperature. We want to help our littles regulate their body temperatures and not make them too hot. My kids run very hot. So, it's just another added plus for us. I'm not trying to say all these things because I'm in this interview. I really do believe in this carrier. It's been so great.
And I also love the pocket. The pocket is so essential. I was sold when I saw the pocket. And I mean, for a baby carrier, I don't carry around purses. I don't, I just, I know this is gonna sound silly, but I'm a chapstick addict, okay? So I need a place to hold my chapstick. I don't put my phone in there just because of EMF. But things like money or my chapstick or my keys, it's so nice to have that there.
WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING? WHAT’S YOUR “WHY” TODAY?
Our children are sentient beings. They have this pure veil over them. I believe they are the bridge to this spiritual realm or this unearthly realm, right? I can imagine Kyoko when she sees me on my phone. I can imagine what she sees. She can probably see our energy being sucked from us and literally the bliss and the joy being drained and sucked into this device and then we look over at our children and they have to kind of deal with our stinky attitudes because this device has sucked all the bliss out of our bodies...
Creating a creative space and a workspace that is outside of technology is what we're trying to do here. And hopefully it works. Hopefully she doesn't grow up and is like, I hate farming, I hate plants. I don't think so, but you know, you just never know. So we'll see. These are the tools that we're trying out. And our kids and us are guinea pigs. We're all guinea pigs in our own learning experience.