Sunday, November 23, 2014

Flow

Dynamics - flow... Keeping the balance right involves going with the flow but intervening when necessary.  At least, that is the way in which we must interact with nature, if, as is the case here at the Várzea, we are limited in the resources available to put into the system to make it function.

It' a restraint which was taken for granted in the days before cheap oil blew the balance apart.   It is not an easy one to take on board, or re-orientate to, for a generation or two unfamiliar with it. Talk is so cheap!  So, what have we been doing?

Medronho picked, acorns planted!  Here are the south-slope swales, autumn 2014....

    

... green and nice with lupins and grasses, with tank in place for next summer's (occasional) watering.  And the garden's filling up nicely with winter vegetables.

Now I can focus on the rest of the stuff on the list...  This week I shall start on the construction of the rabbit house - here it is at the moment...


 ...we did actually have a roof on a few years ago when we kept the chickens here, but the role as rabbit house is somewhat poetic, as Dona Alzira, the lady who visited us last summer, introducing herself as having lived at the Várzea from birth to 23 years old, told us that the ruin used to be where they kept rabbits when she was a girl.  She's 73 now so this was over 50 years back.  Update pics in the next blog!

It's been warm and wet and the land has gone from growling to crazy. Maximum green, and you feel sorry for the deciduous trees - it rained very early, Sept 7, then got hot, and the young fig trees especially went from leaf-fall to full-on re-foliation, the plum and loquat trees to blossoming, way way out of season, and this sunflower's a wee bit confused too...



....pretty though.

Good friends and neighbours Silvia and Paul have a new son this week.  Tamo makes the under-8 population of our little valley 23... this is up from, when myself and Kris came to Várzea da Gonçala 8 years ago, zero.  Pretty quite something, eh?  A whole new generation up and running!

And 50 years ago the whole generation upped and left....  this is where we come in - and it's a big deal to make the whole point of being here meaningful to this new generation just learning about the world and life. No doctrine, but a connection to the real stuff.  What is real? Well, nature is real, the land and water that sustains everything is real - at least, these are the realest things I can think of. We are living antennae for what is real....


 ...just need to be open to it.  I hope we can create a place where most will want to stay, or to come back to, at some stage.

By way of showing how our little valley is coming back to life, Arturo and Daphna, (who recently have been engaged in teaching the PDC part of our internship) and  Lian and Alma....



... (sharp-witted blog readers will remember them from the summer)... - are now owners of matching yurts...


...and nearly ready to move into them, at our neighbours, Miguel and Tiffi's place a couple of 100 metres up the valley.  Incidentally, Daphna is expecting their third, and valley child number 24, at some point in the early spring!

It rained yesterday....




.. and our neighbours' bridge vanished (this is where it was last seen)...



     ...FLOW!       Até já!  (until soon)

PS.. We are now also home to a pair of donkeys - but more on that in the next blog....  









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