“Love Letters from the Land” — #1

Billimarie Lubiano Robinson
For Every Star, A Tree
4 min readMar 24, 2024

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I love how apocalyptic the rain can be.

I’m putting t-posts into the ground. Four posts around an empty chicken coop.

My daughter is inside the Skoolie. She’s listening to music and playing with toys from our neighbor.

There’s a cold, vicious wind. It’s raining in LA, so I know it’s only a matter of time before it passes through the mountains and makes its way to the land.

I stop digging and look up. Half the sky has shifted from beautiful white puffs into a single rain cloud.

When I look close, I catch wispy trails of it drifting down to the earth.

Like little grey lightning bolts made of dark air.

In the Spring, no animal is free.

I’ve reached out to folks around the desert, trying to see who is getting rid of their chickens.

No luck. Everyone is selling.

My mother asks if I can find the same breed as our first hens — Shakti and Perla, who free-ranged in our backyard during the day, then roosted on the fence at night.

In the meantime, we’ve planted four trees. There’s a few more to go. I’m thankful for all the donations we’ve received, because that means we can pay for the trees and the soil and the mulch that go into the ground.

I’m still puzzling out how exactly one “extends” a forest in the right way. I’ve come down to two paths: either we extend it like a ring, or we add to it, like drawing a circle next to another circle.

No one in the forestmaking community seems to have an answer. This is fascinating because it seems like a question someone should have answered a long time ago. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the non-answer.

I miss the sharp spice of the desert when it rains. You can see the dark rain cloud blanketing the sky, but you can’t smell the creosote.

I didn’t like that scent, at first. But now, I associate it with the feeling that something is on its way.

When you’re in the middle of nowhere, that’s a the best kind of feeling to have.

Something — or someone — to look forward to.

Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this, I encourage you to donate a tree to our forest journey. You’ll receive letters like this every week.

You can also start reading our story from the beginning. This series starts with the conception of our forest dream and will one day end with its completion.

You might enjoy this old piece I wrote in 2015: “Thinking About Pipe Dreams.” It gives a bit of little insight into my motivations and programming — especially back then, when I was a 20-something year old vagabond.

Billimarie Lubiano Robinson is an artist and writer.

From 2011 to 2015, she traveled around the U.S. with her pink 1950’s Royal typewriter and typed hundreds of spontaneous Free Poems for strangers on the spot. Well-versed in the art of reckless wandering, Billimarie has backpacked Hawaii, hitchhiked the West, lived in a Parisian bookstore, and survived a Swedish winter alone in the remote wilderness. Her work has appeared in FIYAH, the Newer York, the Northridge Review, Marías at Sampaguitas, Pussy Magic, the Eastern Iowa Review, as well as on her websites: Billimarie.com and TypewriterPoetry.com.

Since 2021, Billimarie has planted trees and maintained a tiny forest on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

This is For Every Star, A Tree.

You can help it grow by donating directly to the nonprofit. You can also plant a tree by booking a stay in Billimarie’s tiny home and art studio, the Starry Night Skoolie. (Airbnb, Hipcamp)

Every booking plants a tree.

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