the year in review
(Photo Gallery and Poem Below)
It has been a ridiculous tumble and bumble year at Lucky sheep. We no sooner moved (‘we’ meaning ‘I’ mostly) the entire business to a new location before a surge in orders began. I kept trying to catch up so that I could go on a weekend backpacking trip. My two part time employees could not do it all, so I was behind the sewing machine a lot of the time. My dream was to hit some trails in the Great Smokey’s and search for some new swimming holes. That never happened.
The orders kept rolling in and I kept getting them out so you could go on your adventures. The ironic thing is the more success that came and the more of you that kept having nature adventures the less for me. Some of you hiked trails including the Michigan Trail and the Arizona Trail. Some of you attended festivals and some of you simply slept in your yard or on your back porch.
I appreciate each and every one of you for contributing to the introduction of a new idea which will eventually become an icon for the New Earth, a gateway to get people away from synthetics and establish a sustainable Herd Economy. In the New Earth our camping gear comes from the earth, helps build the soil, helps the bees become the new normal instead of DRW (durable rain wear) chemicals, and offers an alternative to the toxic chemicals being spewed into the air, soil and water.
I never complained and I vicariously experienced the adventures through you. For most of the time I was elated and overjoyed to get more orders out as I worked ferociously to keep up with at all. And there was a lot of readjusting in the new space reorganizing and buying new equipment.
I also had some things in my personal life, the death of my beloved big sister Rosaleen Salvo who entrusted her end of life affairs to me, and the coming and going of an amazing kitty cat that I named Sassy. Rosaleen was one of my biggest fans as she helped critique my work for many years and offer feedback and guidance on my many endeavors. With her background in World History we shared a common interest in a deep way. Part of that process was her final rites when a friend poured Rosaleen’s ashes into a waterfall as I chanted the Hindu Liberation Sutra and played and played and sang some more Hindu chants on my banjo such as Shiva Shambo. In many ways it was the end of an era for me..
Eventually toward the end, day after day almost without stop, I realized I couldn’t keep living this way and the next step was to somehow get ahead, hire new people, get more organized and up scale the business. (Please forgive me, those of you who had to wait so long to receive your order).
After an exhausting and exhilarating year I am ending on a great note with a restructured workspace, four industrial sewing machines, cutting tables and shelves ready to hit the trail running next year. WHEW! During the off time my holiday plans are to finally go on that long-awaited backpacking trip. I actually don’t care how cold it is because whatever happens that will test the Lucky sheep gear. You will see the complete rundown on what happens in how the gear holds out.
I am reflecting back on the miraculous adventure I have had which lead up to Lucky Sheep, when I was simply curiously experimenting and re-discovering a new way to enter the outdoors with my homemade natural fiber camping gear. Below are a few pictures from the beginning days when I pieced together a set of backpacking gear using my first wool sleeping bag and coupled with an antique wool blanket which were some of the first wool items to enter my life. I like how the blanket in the pic was a link between the old, almost forgotten days when wool was at it’s heyday and played an important part in world and American history. When synthetic fiber was introduced and took over the marketplace over the span of a few decades, wool almost completely lost its presence to the point many of us have never even experienced it. Then I had this idea to make this fiber into a sleeping bag and go against the grain of society which had all but rejected it. I knew there would be a ton of negativity directed towards me and the idea, and I was ready to handle that. Being the pioneer I am, I stuck through the whole process of introducing the Lucky Sheep sleeping bag and kept working on my vision carefully plodding along building awareness and refining the design and the branding.
The Lucky Sheep wool sleeping bag is the result of a stellar combination of passion, luck, hard work, careful testing and tweaking, a team of super coaches, and customers who believed in it and supported it through their purchases which have made it a prized possession the world over.
Below is a poem I wrote in 2013 along with pictures of on a camping trip showing the rag tag gear I had developed.
Thank you for being a part of the Lucky Sheep flock, and peace and keep your light shining brightly!
Only What You Can Carry
by Patrick Clark
It twirls and swirls
It whirls and whines
It twirls and swirls
It dies down but suddenly picks up
All the trees are shaking
Sun goes over one side of the mountain and the day
The full moon pours from the other side
I feel everything, the cold icing it’s way
Through my clothing
The air piercing my nostrils with it’s bite
I get my tent pitched in the nick of time
A little food cooked in the dark
And sit spooning soup and melted butter into my mouth
I am warm. I am safe.
I walk around camp feeling everything.
I howl at the moon
The wind howls back like a pack of wolves
The wind and ice
My tent and bed ready for evening
Staked tightly to the ground
It twirls and swirls
It lifts and rifts
It whirls and whines
The moonlight pours
Onto the mountain
Through the trees
Who are yelling and swinging
Playing and swaying
Ferocious, just the sound alone
Would turn most people away.
Through my canvas tent
I cover my eyes.
And listen and feel
I feel the inside and the outside
I feel a stillness no one could see
It is what I will take with me
When I die
Only what I can pack into my backpack
And carry on my back
It is what protects me from the winds of life
And right now makes me feel full
Even though, this is all I have
Shields me from imbalanced emotions and wrong thinking
Both the guilt and the blame
From judgement and the need to judge
It is the stillness and the emptiness
Having just enough
Because too much won’t fit in the pack
And too little, you wouldn’t survive.