Sunday, 24 August 2014

A Place of Power

I have been cleaning up the yard a bit at home. I suppose now that we have the farm, I have little excuse left for turning our sub-urban backyard into an ongoing agricultural experiment. We have veggies, fruit trees, grape vines, Tilapia, a duckweed pond and a chicken run. I am under pressure to move the chickens, the grape vine, the tree nursery and the Tilapia hot house out of the back yard and on to the farm.

But its kind of sad. I know I am making space for bigger and better things, but I still have a vision for this backyard, that will now remain unfulfilled. I would have like to have completely taken out the lawn and replaces it with a tree nursery or chicken forage. I would like to have drained the pool, roofed it into a Tilapia aquaponic garden hothouse. I would have liked to have gone further with rainwater harvesting, composting and grey water systems.

But in clearing out the yard, I am also taking stock. I am clearing out the rubbish that has accumulated. Burning those short bits of timber I thought I would use here and there. Its funny, its almost as if all this stuff grows to have some power over me. And as I burn it I feel the power return to me. Too much stuff! That's the real problem. We get more and more of it and it begins to mess with our minds. It begins to take my personal power.

I am not sure that I know what I mean by "personal power", but I have come to see that inside me there is a personal energy or "power". Some days it is stronger, some days it is weaker. I can feel it change sometimes. If, maybe somebody close to me says something hurtful. I feel my power diminish. If I am doing physical work, I may feel tired, as if though I cannot go on. And piles and piles of disorganised stuff has a similar effect on the energy. This "power". It makes me feel weak and discouraged.

This realisation is behind my drive to simplify, to live with less. I can see that living with less will give me greater vitality and greater strength. I have go no idea why, of course. But, the mechanics of this phenomenon are not as important to me as the absolute knowledge, that for me, in my life, the less clutter there is, the less noise there is, the less stuff there is, the stronger I feel. And, what's more, I notice that its like some sort of spiral effect, because the stronger I feel, the more I am able to do to rid myself of those things that are making me feel weak, so I, in turn become stronger again.

My quest , and I suppose, many of yours to, is to find my strongest self, my fullest self. All else flows from there. My ability to love and give. My ability to lead and contribute, all of these are by products of a strong self.

So, as I step back into the work week tomorrow, let me remember the feeling of power and strength I hold today. Let me carry it with me to the meetings, in the proposal and the reports. Let me remember that the place from where I come is a place of power.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Some Perspective

I went out to the farm with my mother on Sunday. She helped me identify some of the trees that I don't yet know. But also by her just being there with me it helped me gain some "lifetime perspective".

My Mom

A perspective that helps me see that its OK if things take the time that they need to take. Its going to take a lifetime sculpting this land, this giant garden. The task will never end. My learning, I am sure will never end. I see this time now as just the beginning of the relationship. The "getting to know each other" stage.

I wish I could tell you more about what has been done, since last I checked in, but to be honest, I have been really busy in business. I have been toiling, mostly mindless toiling, the kind that I just have to do to keep afloat. The kind of toil that makes me wonder if there is a different way, a simpler way, perhaps a more beautiful way for me to live out my life. A direct way. A way that cuts straight to the chase. A way that does not see everything as a means to and end. A way that is the end in itself. 

I spend so much of my time doing stuff, not that I want to do, but what I am required to do in order to achieve an objective and so much of the time even the objective that I am trying to achieve is not actually what I want but rather just something that helps me achieve another objective which is not what I want but helps me achieve the next objective. Yes I can see the insanity in this cycle and you can see the insanity in your own life, but just because I know the question does not mean I have the answer. I can see the treadmill that I am on, but that does not mean I know how to get off. And without wanting to push the metaphor too far, I can see that it really is possible to fall quite hard once you realise you are on a treadmill and look around, take your eye off where it should be and loose a footing, tumbling face forward and head over heals.

I tried not to think of these matters while I was out in the forest with the trees and my mom, where we found a tree that I very much hope is indigenous, but looks very much like
What tree is this?
the Australian invasive Acacia Mearnsii (known here as Black Wattle). As far as I can see its an Acacia Caffra, but some of my clever friends think is could be Peltophorum Africana. 

Its not that I have a facination with latin sounding names or the classification of each plant and tree, but rather just that I would like to know if they should be chopped down or not. If they are invasive, then they are just going to cause me more work over the years as I have to keep them out of areas I don't want them to be in.So if anyone reading this blog can identify this tree or perhaps knows a internet group or forum that is likely to be able to, please let me know.

My mission in the next few weeks is to get going with planting potted trees that I have been moving from my house in Walmer. My mom tells me its late I should have planted in autumn already. Here I was holding on until spring, but I will plant anyway. 

The other project that is becoming urgent, is for me to move the chickens to the farm. Two of the chickens have turned out to be roosters and have taken to crowing early in the morning, I am sure upsetting the same neighbours who complained last time I had a rooster. So watch this space for chicken coop progress.
The Mystree tree