Small chillies and big dreams.

Lys Lily Wild
4 min readAug 26, 2023

My journey beyond the cancer shores.

I guess my place is where my place is and pushing against the river never really gets you anywhere apart from soaking wet and mighty frustrated.

So I have been in a flow, weaving my way through the experiences of a summer in the UK. From beach to festival field, each place helping me to piece together the next bit of my journey.

Ironically it's through movement that I find the still point of my next move in life. Something about new horizons and dear friends both old and new that most inspires me.

I have inklings stirring and a sense of big moves over the horizon. Before big C I was on a trajectory with my living scenario which led toward an off grid life. I lived in a cabin on an unintentional community and now I wonder what intentional living in this way would be like. I'm a renter, in the great divide between those with property and us without there has always been freedom on my side. Freedom to choose my path and place. Though now there seems little freedom in a rental market that requires an astronomically large percentage of your earnings.

I’ve always felt strongly about the housing situation. Shelter is a basic human need, and yet we are all squeezed one way or another regards this. Something needs to change. I am still lodging with the friend who took me in and nursed me through cancer. A home I’m grateful for, a home I can afford. And I am planning and dreaming.

Yesterday I leaned on my window sill gazing outside, contemplating the many adventures of the summer and glad to be on home turf. I was also pondering why my cat Taz had ceased to sleep there surrounded by a dozen or more very hot chilli plants. That’s when I looked harder as I scratched an itch on my arm and the truth was laid bare. Bloody aphid city, all over my plants. Superhero mode ignited and you can imagine the rest of my morning cleaning leaves and repotting.

This is a metaphor for life if ever I had one. The small stuff stops play and changes a landscape. That's the reality of our lives. In the context of things the tumour found in my breast was only the size of a golf ball, but set that against the largess of a life and everything alters. The small stuff is always the game changer.

Let’s flip that though for a minute and look at the other side of things. If small things can crash the mighty in life, then so too can they underpin the creation of a dream, the building of health or the foundations of a new life. I for one have been tussling with the big stuff about where to live, what to do with my life this side of cancer, and I missed the obvious. It’s about consistency of focus, and doing a little every day. Whether that be dreaming, planning or in my case visiting intentional communities it matters not. Just that you invest in the small steps. That’s how you build the dream.

If I let my imagination soar I see a version of me with a cart and two capable horses, taking community grown vegetables to a local market and picking up folk and news along the way. Living in a sustainable home, with a mezzanine floor (I have a thing about them) and getting together round a community fire after a day of planting, weeding, building, baking, cooking or whatever is needed, to sing and laugh with community. That’s a life I can feel invested in. So now it’s time to call it in little by little.

To that end I will be visiting a few communities. And I have embarked on a training in equine shiatsu. Its the small steps after all.

Interestingly I have no idea what to actually do with my collection of extraordinarily hot chilli's. I just wanted to grow a few plants and all the seeds I planted took root. So I have a collection of scotch bonnets, datils, yellow pod jonahs and red, orange and yellow tail scorpions to contend with. My exotic family of sorts. Please feel free to throw me a suggestion or two on this matter!

I like the thought of my community of chilli's adventuring forth into the world.