Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Today a cold front blew in...



Today a cold front moved in with absolute presence and the fire and I became intimately acquainted.
Having stood on my reading glasses, less and less time gets spent reading.
More and more time just being with what is right there.
Found a huge bucket of fennel seeds. The plants thrive here.
The wood was wet and was not taking so I scattered some of these seeds on the logs.
It took a while, but they sort of exploded into life and fire and burnt for a surprisingly long time. And the sound effects were rather profound.

Looking out the lounge window, the almond and peach trees have slowly unfurled parts of themselves to become blossoms.
It must have been whilst I was sleeping.
The jasmine has reached out with such fierce abandon that she releases her aroma down every street, and across every field.
It's an eternal aromatic feast.
The amygdalas flip forwards in sheer ecstasy.

The swallows never left this year, as last year they might have sensed the huge transatlantic storms. It has been a mild winter and the mosquitoes have not died out this year as they have in the past. Likewise flies and ticks. They are still around, albeit less.
So I guess that signals that there was no need for these birds to migrate because there was sufficient food here. It had nothing to do with storms.
Just another story.


About 8 weeks ago , Siyabonga (Xhosa for thank you) appeared at our doorstep.
And neither India nor Sunny objected.
He had been in a squatter camp some distance away but wanted to return to McGreor.
But he did not like the process of working as a gardener in different gardens each day of the week. Never actually becoming the space.
No, he wanted to be in this garden daily and could we let it happen.
Since he has been here, we have cleared, chopped, burnt, sawed, pulled, fed, watered, planted, sprouted, fed some more, and watched with delight as the energies returned. I swear this being is a creator.
And life sent him this way.

The hok (chicken run)was completely rejuvenated.
Became rabbit proofed as well.
The hens started laying in particular places at regular times.
We were actually getting eggs for the first time.
The nettle was pulled up and used to make supercharge feeder with a cow pat thrown in for a few days soaking.
Indeed it looked as if someone had come in with a wand.
We planted sweetmelon, leeks, radish, basil, watermelon, butternut, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, shard, spinach, brocolli, grandilla, strawberries and of course the flowers to enhance Krishna's smile - calendulas. Oh yes and trying pineapples. Although it will take two years till the first fruit - it does not appear I will be going anywhere.
And after all this work - of course there is the resting.

Today the kids decided that they wanted to try grafting. A spelling test had been lined up (just so that I could feel responsible and all that). But they know if they can originate an idea that will get them moving and creating, I will always forfeit lessons.
A young pecan sapling presented itself. They informed me that unless it was grafted it would take 15 or so years to bear nuts. Yet if we grafted it from one of the mature pecan trees, it would bear nuts very soon. So they studied "Self Sufficiency" by John Seymour and discovered the techniques. They know where all the good fruit is in the village so they returned with pure potential and happily set about the splicing and joining.

We now have four guinea pigs again. I was preparing food one night and it pained me to put the parings into the compost. Whenever a meal happened we would always set the scraps aside for the eekers. There was a complete absence without them.
They are for socialistation reason kept in the new refurbished hoks, except of course when they come into the fireplace for an evening visit.

So somehow there is this harmony and clarity in this space. And the beauty is that I can't take any credit. It just happened.
For those who know the story, hear it afresh....
Now many years ago there was an elderly dame who lived in this ramshackle, rustic house. And this woman planted this garden. The fruit and nut trees. She had many chickens and geese. .
Often when people walk around here they speak of the presence of elementals.
It passes me by.
Cynthia had a stick pile which used to serve as refuge to snakes.
recall snake dreams).
Many people in this village will opt to chop a serpents head off if they see one.
Deal with fear by killing.
They always say it is to keep the children safe.
And yet the snakes keep the children safe.
One day Iona and Tao went to get firewood from an adjoining plot. She got arms length away from a puff adder and Tao very calmly told her to come towards him as silently and smoothly as possible.
And she did.
And of course the snake did not strike, she knew they would not harm her.
But alas they are fair game here. So here was a stick pile and cobras and others would harbour there.
Many years later our guineas would inhabit and make tunnels in these piles.
Anyway, I am rambling.

So Cynthia dies in her 90's. Her ashes get spread in this garden.
And by the time they get scattered it has become a loved, productive space again.
And the birds sense it because at lunchtime, I lie on the fucked up, falling to pieces couch outside and watch the light filtering through the various greens.
And when I close my eyes, the birds come to attention. And each day there are new sounds and calls, and concerts.
And yet today they had a visiting tenor, and several sopranos from fields afar.
I am so totally entertained by this space that desire has become less and less scratchy and demanding. It hardly arises at all.

There was a lunar eclipse yesterday morning. Earths shadow on the moon.
And on Sunday there was this massive sun dog around the sun.
We were on the volleyball court and it was really like being in the presence of something so significant and profound as to make the experience mystical.
And then we played and laughed under its luminous intensity.

It was just before lunchtime. Earlier on we had dug up all the weeds and devil thorns off the courts, and tidied up the lines. Things got a bit tense over line calls if the game was tight. So there are 12 of us on the court under the atmospheric dog when a black eagle starts circling around us. Right in the village. Enormous. Going round and round.
Endlessly.
His shadow falling on us.

And today suddenly the blue sky turned white and ice arrived.
Outside my window it looks cold and bleak.
And yet I know that out there in the darkness the jasmine and sweet peas are in flower.
Everything is waiting to burst back into life.
The energy withdrawing from the roots and moving upwards and outwards.

And despite the times being trying, and the systems collapsing, there is a stillness in our midst.
It is in that space that our beauty and perfection is reflected.

And on a totally silly note:
Piglet and Tigger meet up in 3 acre wood. And Tigger being his usual boisterous, bombastic self leaps up and down and tells Piglet that he is so fierce that all he has to do is roar and creatures run and Piglet tells Tigger "hey, that is nothing. I just have to sneeze and the whole planet shits itself".

And still we dance..........
And still he reappears off different memory cards.

11 comments:

john said...

Cheers Susana
It sounds like the garden is coming on good there, a lot of good planting done.

On the bird front, we still seem to be over seagulled here, noisy buggers. Our garden blackbird couple have now been missing for a few weeks, presumed gone for good which is a shame the songs being so much nicer than the squawking of gulls. cheers for now

nina said...

Just because they are small, close to the ground, runners in fact, visible or invisible, doesn't mean they are not God. They are with us always. Not even "gone, but not forgotten", they stay where they are needed, knowing us so well.

Its kind of amusing you're getting reminders. But "amusing" is his style, wouldn't you say?

chickory said...

lovely. lovely. i like how you are living. systems are collapsing so there seems to be an urgency to getting in as much beauty as possible. before, well, i dont know what. like, siege maybe. struggle.

hoks. now i can add that to my chicken glossary having added "chooks" from a friend in australia.

i have a nest of black king snakes that live in my attic. they keep out the field mice. the snakes are good medicine. i do miss them in the winter - when there is scratching in the attic once again.

my bird delight is there seems to be more and more goldfinches everyday on the sunflowers. my eye of design wants to pull the dead stalks out - they are brown and slumped...and i want order. but im learning about the other order and so i try and be patient.

su said...

John,
A few blocks up from us there is a retreat center. Beautiful space and people come to do the seeking bit there.
They have a family of peacocks/peahens. Some of the guests complain bitterly because of the discordant persistence of these birds in expressing what could only be pain and others say it added to their practice by making it impossible to sleep past 5 in the morning.


Nina,
Yes, now the omniscient amuser.
Just noticed if you swopped the letter m for the letter b you would get abuser. What a difference a shape makes.

Chicory,
Yes, I too believe this is the resting period prior to upheaval and transformation.
I am not a pioneer. I would be quite happy to bail out when the push comes to shove, but these beings that call me mom, are not going to go without a fight and no way will they let me either.
So I rest as much as I can, and dive into the inner world which will one day be my form of sustenance when the external world fails to deliver.

I know what you mean about order and learning the other side.
These kids I was telling you about are all zen masters in disguise. They rubbed disorder and chaos so far up my nose (and impermanence of stuff) that eventually entropy became my best friend.
And as beautiful as the disorder there is, a freshly turned bed with fresh green shoots appearing, must be the closest thing to nirvana.

Jj,
Where are you????

Pangolin said...

Up here the crows are forming great mobs between raids on the walnut trees. The redtail hawks are perching so low to the ground I feel like I can almost touch them riding by on the bike.

The figs have come ripe, and alley grapes are plentiful and free. Though I do believe they are conspiring with the goatheads who have laid great swaths of mines in their yearly war on cyclists.

In the end, what else is there to do but tend one's garden?

su said...

Pangolin,
Indeed - tend one's garden and nourish one's soul.
Thanks for stopping by.

chickory said...

su

i saw your message at chickory. i dont know why ninas blogs are down, but i hope she comes back!

Pangolin said...

If you never ever watch another youtube video watch this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOhf3OvRXKg

It's art. It's new. And fantastic.

Pangolin

nina said...

I made a note to you from your profile, it did not carry across the seas, twice, I said she isn't lost, all she must do is try mine, on my profile, IF she can get out of the hammock today. I wouldn't blame her if she put it off until she felt like it. Especially if she was contemplating Cavadaii fur patterns and how everything in the universe reflects those patterns repeating in never ending ways. And especially if Thank You was serving her mint julips with little patterned umbrellas. I wondered how she might converse with Thank You.
"Hello, you are?
"I am Thank You."
"Oh, you're welcome, but ..."
"Thank you"
"Oh, you are very welcome, but"
"Thank you" and so forth.

Pangolin said...

Nina's channeling Pooh bear.

again?
Oak will tell
galls and acorn
listen

su said...

Norman,
Metaphorically.
Open waters, no sound, building up speed.


Jj,
am humming whilst the strumming captures the aliveness of the moment.

The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Buddha