Sunday, August 9, 2020

Into High Dry Summer 2020

The mood, the activity, the weather, the relationship with the land, all change when we go from May into June.  The transition from spring to summer is like an out-breath, which is definitely mirrored by the mood of the land.  Moving into July completes the process.  

This year there is an added dimension of drought, as we hit August with less ground-water in our valley than ever before.   We had a little rain at the beginning of June, which kept our river running through the land for another week.  It still runs a further up the land,  at our "nibble-fish pool", where  normally continues all summer, Perhaps not this year.

Onset of summer also marks the ending of the planting time, food being available from the garden from the spring plantings, harvested at various times through summer. 

June was pretty chilly, particularly at nights..  Hot times have come and gone since - the weather here is thankfully influenced by the ocean, about 10km away, and in general, if you go inland another 20k,the temperature is regularly 5 to 10 degrees warmer.  

So much depends on trees - in a forest it is always refreshingly cool.  That's my long-term plan for the Várzea - every year, as the trees grow, and occupy more space, underground and above, they increasingly ameliorate the effect of the sun and summer heat.  

me and a tree

If all goes to plan, the shade they bring will become a big factor in the next five to ten years, and we will start to feel the change in the climate of, the place, and the water needed for irrigating should begin to decrease, eventually to zero.

Right now summer is here, full-on, and these 2 big summer months of July and August are when the land hunkers down above ground and below.  Growth is over for the trees, and the grasses are generally seeded and brown. Apart from the marvellous sudan-grass...  (modeled by neighbour Dan),   energy-saving mode is activated.

So it is with us humans.  The main activity is harvesting fruits, drying, preserving, wine-making.  And irrigating.  Not too much water, so the trees and bushes get "soft", not too little that they get stresses and the underground root and fungal systems can't develop.  It's a subtle balance.  

Otherwise, when the heat goes 30-plus, we seek water - river pool or beach, practicing balance is Pavel (he's pretty knowledgeable with nutritional balance too

The mood here is convivial and good.  

Aga is about to have her baby daughter - any day now in fact...

Downside...  Krissy broke her leg - falling off the platform on which she was working - and, after discharging herself from the hell-hole of hospital, is being cared for by the good people here - that's her son Ben, Xander, Karen, Damon, Pavel, Megan and myself.  She´s in good hands and improving pretty fast.      Here is Krissy with Megan...

Xander is an excellent acupuncurist with 12 years' professional practice....


He has been treating Kris too.  Karen's been administering comfrey compresses. 

Aga and Rob backing up - yes, it sure does sound like a "community".  Good healing food abounds  Rob is making great fermented concoctions from the garden and other produce - Kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir - all GOOD STUFF!
We've zillions to dried pears, the latest fruit after the plums , tomatoes too.    As the dogs sleep, the geese miss their pond, fed by river-water from the upriver pool that has already run dry.

My brother John, osteopath and author of the highly acclaimed "A.T. Still - From the Dry Bone to the Living Man", just went back to Wales after 3 weeks, not very willingly, to the make-believe land of paranoia and quarantine. Not that Portugal is without restrictions, but here at Várzea da Gonçala minds are free!
Brother John (Jonalog to Megan)
Some musings on the current global predicament...

Our mental disconnection from the world, with which we are deeply inseparable, is the source of the weird and negative psychology presently denying us so much of what makes life enjoyable. 

Life is fully intelligent. The whole of life. Intelligent in the dimension of time, in which, it doesn't take a lot to see, we, as a species, are manifestly incompetent.  Nature works in millennia,  and completely holistically. People, in years or months, without any holistic thinking. 

Little Alvin, here with dad Holger, will be my age in 2085.  I think we should be thinking very hard how what we are doing now might influence lives in 2085.  

Disease, viruses, bacteria are always, past and future, at the core of life, and fear of disease is fear of life itself.  This fear is propagated in every restriction that our decision-makers impose and everything our media puts in our faces. Why?  As Isaac Newton replied, when asked what caused gravitation, "I frame no hypotheses".

But the medical profession knows, that physical contact and exchange of breath, between people, is needed to maintain a healthy and vital immune system in society, to guard against the next disease doing the world-round. 

So why are people not told this?   Instead, de-humanising is the key directive. Friends meeting in masks, sheepishly touching elbows, in the name of "being responsible". Really quite pathetic.  Schools to restart with mask-wearing children made fearful of physical contact.  Awful, awful, insidious, criminal. Jesus would indeed weep.  (By the way, Megan will not be attending her school in these conditions - instead we have a group of free-minded families who will be sharing home-education)

Life is an inherently positive force, and will always find and re-find balances and new more advanced order in an infinitely complex system.  This is manifest all around us to plainly see, so the intelligence is not logically deniable.     One has to be humble in the face of this infinite wonder.  To think we can control it shows a dismal failure of understanding reality, and an absence of wisdom.

What is wisdom?  It is a deeper understanding, an expression of closer, more holistic, connection to the way of nature.  What are people being told right now by our chosen leaders?  To abandon that which connects us to the natural world that sustains us - and to be afraid of it.  

Fear is quite easily installed in people, not so easily taken away.  This also is known, but not said. 

We all have an innate ability to see and act on what is right or wrong, good or crap, sense or bullshit. Whether to believe everything we are being told or to use our own judgement.  

Choose today what path you will follow.

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