Preparations

The weather is getting slightly colder but not quite. And it is time again to think about our big trip.

Part of the excitement is all the preparation  beforehand . I am not quite sure whether I call that excitement or a lot of thinking before going…anticipation. Well it is going to be the usual taking care of the house taking care of the chickens and the cows, ensuring that the hay has been ordered and delivered. Taking care of the dogs sorry the dog. I had almost forgotten that Sam had gone last year.Taking care of the veggie garden. Planting the a few seedlings that will (maybe) be ready when we get back. Ensuring that the house sitter knows the routines and where everything is. Sometimes I wish that I did not have such a menagerie. But that is only a wish, because when I am not going anywhere I love to have them around and looking after them all. Plenty of weeks left to prepare the little goodies to take with us and think up of what we are going to carry. Not much but, it is when we come back that we are going to be loaded…as usual. Lucky Thai Airways is quite generous with our luggage!

Also the small butcher bird that made himself at home… He comes everyday for his little feed. Should I tell the house sitter to feed it or do I let him fend for himself for two months? He did manage well before. I have just noticed also that he got rid of his babies. They use to come all four of them for a feed. No more. What happened? Well, I gathered that he gave them the whole the boot. Nowadays he is the only one. All of them  have gone away , they deserted the nest. Now, he gets all the best bits.

I had noticed over the last few weeks as he brought them for a feed. They would arrive and wait on the veranda each of them singing their head of for a feed. I did feed the lot of them. HE would not give them the bits of meat that I had presented to him. So, I diligently gave the meat to the babies which of course they looked at puzzled then, chirped, sung for dad or mum to give it to them…to no avail. They would not budge. They would wait patiently on the balustrade and not  moving till they had begrudgingly flew down to pick up their meat. One of them had even the temerity to take it from my hand. Great, I thought you are daring and you are going to be part of the clan. At one time they even flew into the living room, my husband was horrified and would choo them away. That little circus went on for a few weeks till, I am sure the parents “told them” enough, you are on your own guys, now it is time to go and fetch your food somewhere else. Presently , he is alone and enjoying the privileges of being king of the roost. Talking about roost, we have just discovered that the surviving chicken that the python did not manage to eat ended up a rooster. This morning for the first time we heard a croaky sound coming from the coop. Peter said:  “Listen, carefully” I stop what I was doing and gave my attention to the sounds around me and low and behold, indeed, it was the young rooster exercising his first song. I was stunned because all along I was almost sure that it was just another hen.

But back to the preparations. We still have heaps to do. We have not booked any flights within Europe. We have not booked our trains tickets for travels within France. So, in the next few days this is going to be out priority. All the families in France and England have been told of our arrival. I did change some money already, that is done. I’ll have to buy heaps of food for the chickens and the only dog. What else is there? Gosh! Have I forgotten anything? I am sure I have, things will start to come to the surface as time comes near. In the meantime, I will be busy at the Gallery doing some voluntary work till the last minute.

I am so looking forward to this break, as I said earlier it is exhilarating knowing that there not long to go. It has been a very demanding last few months. The little cabin that we built had taken so much time. Peter has just managed to install the last few bits this afternoon and I am happy that he will not be doing any more work on it. That project had taken so much of his time, energy and I dare say sleepless nights of fathoming what the next move will be or churning over and over what would be the best approach to the sink, the composting toilet, the kitchen shelf and above all the immense chore of all the water works. DONE! finished and well executed Peter. You earned a great holiday from it all. Now, he sleeps better not having any more ideas or designs..till when… that is what I am scared of with him.  Time will tell!

In the end I talked about lots of other things and got  a little carried away. Till next time!

Being here!

Like the far away friend that writes to her blog about “the moment”, I decided to add a few things to her marvellous text.

Yes, it is true, we miss a lot …our roof brain chatter is non -stop. The stream of thoughts that come and go have nothing to do with the present. There are remnants of the past. These thoughts are a long stream of ideas that have shaped us.  Through our teachers, parents, friends, media, environment, and our experiences that we had. We churn them out day in day out. But this is the process that we are made of. They have moulded us into what we are today. Then, we say, “this is me”. We have acquired all of them and selected a few to make them our reality,  are they really?

In my view that are not the reality at all, only a representation through old …very old ideas. An idea is never present. An idea is a reflection of the past. Show me a present idea? They don’t exist. Why?  the answer is very simple and you know it already, they simply don’t function in the now as they are build up of the past and will always be generated by the past. They come after the events as a description of what is….or try to describe what is. They could never succeed because they recall. The present has no words to describe itself. If it had it would not be PRESENT. The present can’t be described. The thought is always after the event. It recalls. It is a normal process. The magic is that NOW is only to be lived. Trying to describe is futile.

If I am cooking which I really like, I am with the cooking. The process knows what to do. If I start thinking, or just come at the time of my doing something we can quickly witness it and go back to what we are doing. If I give vent to that thought: how horrible is my dog, or the problems that I encounter with m y neighbour, or thinking about my next week end, or whatever goes in at the time, then I quickly lose track of the present task. I get confused, lose the thread, or just give that thought full rein and I am lost. Then we go back and they ” what was I doing? what did I forget to add? what should do next? all these question are a sign that we are not with what we are doing. Of course, one has to stop and see what is needed to complete the task, but that is being with what is.

My father used to say it the simplest thing in the world. is to BE. How easy are the words? How easy it is to UNDERSTAND? Yes, dad, to understand is easy, to do or not do,  is harder. Intellectuel understanding is the half way measure. Catching yourself in the act is the hardest thing because thought comes back to justify its position and attitude. Simple but not easy!

What does it mean to catch yourself in the act? My neighbour insults me, is angry with me, treats me like I was a fool. What should I do? Attempt to convince him/her that I am not. If he has decried that I am, what and whom am I fighting. Oh! wait a minute, I am seeing that I am trying to protect my little ego or my big one. The more I try to convince him, the more indignant I become and the more I will boast my self righteousness. I feel hurt to be treated in such fashion. But on the other hand if I see right away his anger, his arrogance, his hatred, his frustration….which I am also made of but not aware of, then my response will  be different. Why should I feed him more of the same that he is already fighting to achieve? What he is achieving? He also wants to be right. Both can’t be right, one has to give in or give up. The stillness inside me will point the way and see all that. If I REACT, I won’t be in the position to see anything and be caught up in the same game. What to do,  you may ask?  Simple but easy again. The space, the calm, the stillness, the vision whatever you may want to call it has the answer. But watch the mind and see how it wants to defend itself against all that. That seeing is the freedom from the known. One may not see it right away (for me that is). But on the other hand, Krisnamurti would say the seeing is the liberation and it is instantaneous.

Being here is the only answer to the myriad of problems and issues that are eating us and causing us ill-ease.   As we are always caught to remedy situations and issues,  it appears unsurmountable. Again my father would say in that vein, that “the solutions of today are the problems of tomorrow” simply because we are always dealing with half concocted solutions. They are never whole, but partial. But that could be the subject of another topic and exchange.

 

SUNSET IN NIMBIN

 

Sunset in Nimbin

 

The world is small

It is truly comforting to see that the people that I frequent and talk to or even correspond with, are interested in a different view of the world.

I was dabbling with a sight that rambled about the doom and gloom of the world. I spoke to a few people about it and found out in the end it was all about conspiracy theories. Well, at time what they said seemed to make sense, it was well written ( not all the time) and espoused SOME opinions that I was familiar with. But it was non-stop. My mind was being filled with a lot of data that did not “advance” me at all except that I was seeing the world in a big mess (which it is), but that is not all that is around one. Sure, corporations can be corrupt, unethical, greedy, unscrupulous, domineering, sure we live in a world that has gone eschewed, lack integrity, surely that is not all the world. Sure, our politicians have also been caught on this bandwagon of folly. Equally corrupt and dishonest, equally lacking in integrity and common sense, caught up with the spin of their lackeys, they are governing with some special interests in mind and once elected they forgo their initial impetus at reforms. They back pedal and become another breed of people. A breed that alienate the very people that have elected them.But, there are also people around that are trying to make it a better place and above all have distanced themselves from this madness.  Realising the farce and the lies one has to move away from this circus. In it but not of it as my father would say.

What matters in the end is where you are inside. How you deal with people and friends, how to be conscious of what moves us and understand that there are other dimensions to living . Is it running away ? No, it is about keeping one’s sanity and instead of filling our mind with petty tid- bits of infotainement, pseudo news that are forever churning out the same propaganda, the same views of the world, the same lies and deception from one interest group or another, the same sensationalism, it is much better to be away from this rubbish and focus on the beauty of our world. Not I want to escape it, I can’t but just to liberate my mind of all this rubbish that is truly polluting our spaces at all levels. No joy in all that.

What could compare to the beauty of a newly formed rose or plant around the garden.( Yes, I am in a privileged position to do just that)  and I thank whatever force, energy, or god if you like,  to show me that my greatest joy lies in waking up in the morning and seeing the beautiful spectacle that is in front of me.

Of course, the people in other parts of the world may not be as fortunate, I fully realise that also, I witness their suffering, their agony, their misery, their lack of water and food, their horrible living conditions. No, no sense of guilt there, but that teaches me to be more aware of what I have and not squander the resources that are on loan to me for my time on this earth.

Just to see how the chicken are producing the food that we consume :eggs. Everyday faithfully they produce an amazing little oval shaped ball that is nutritive. Just here in the garden among the trees and the straw, among the birds and the grass. I think that is truly a little miracle in itself. The same could be said about  the abundance of vegies growing and producing our food. Freshly picked, freshly cooked, freshly consumed…another miracle and a testimony of what we are being given. OOPS, here I am again in the garden.

This year the harvesting of small gherkins has been phenomenal. Everyday my husband comes back with a handful of them. I have made jars upon jars of picked gherkins and we have been eating so many of them raw. Huge pumpkins, okra, lettuces, basil, bitter gourds, beans and I am sure I have forgotten many. I think we’ll be right for gherkins for a very long time.

Well, another shower of rain has just arrived and will be over soon. Time to potter in the garden again away from the maddening crowd, or I might listen to my book and get on with my knitting!

 

Our biggest pumpkinGerkhins harvestThe fridge is full.