More minute

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It doesn’t sound quite right, does it?

I have thought… you might be forgiven for asking if I ever even do anything else πŸ™‚

The answer is yes, plenty, thank you very much πŸ™‚

But nevertheless I have thought of even more minute stuff that shapes my life, whether by giving me that little burst of joy or, on the other side of the coin, annoyance πŸ™‚

For example, knowing a secret that is currently enriching someone else’s life.

Planning an overnight trip to a museum so that the little one could see dinosaurs.

An unexpected change of plan that makes me wonder about what could possibly go on in that person’s mind.

Sitting down to an inocuous discussion which allows me unfettered access into a difficult brain with a matching personality.

News about a friend’s good luck that will also make our lives easier and better.

Reading rubbish which nonetheless makes you aware of certain facts, which then in turn pleasantly surprise a friend.

An inefficiently arranged house which then gets dirty.

Accepting that my feelings aren’t mirrored.

Writing poetry, especially after a long break.

Wondering about the name of a plant, only to have a colleague mentioning it in a completely unrelated context.

Discussing choice, predestination, permaculture and why we usually do not eat felines during the same walk.

Seeing feijoas planted on public domain.

Stepping barefoot onto the soft remains of flowers that appear red from a distance but are actually pink on a closer look.

Lacking motivation to do anything of what needs to be done.

Receiving a certificate – now needing a frame to match the favourite colours of the people who helped me achieve it.

Planting a flower, then figuring out that I actually needed another one but realizing that the two will actually go well together anyway.

More positives than not I notice… πŸ™‚

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Quaint

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It’s one of those words with changeable meaning. Originally it meant clever, ingeniously unusual, something to marvel at. Nowadays it is used in an almost derogatory way: obsolete, old-fashioned. Sometimes though it goes further and means simply unobtrusive, nothing to write home about, and if relating to dΓ©cor, to be changed to something more modern.

Kind of like us, then πŸ™‚

Even if the Chinese didn’t say β€œmay you live in interesting times” it remains a favourite wish of many to do so. Craving adventure, out of ordinary events, escapism, forgetting perhaps that we also need solitude, peace, a roof over our heads sometimes, security even. Not to mention the money that must be made somehow, relationships that need sustaining, books that are too heavy to carry in a backpack.

I am one of those people, you see. Railing sometimes at the routine I am told will make my life easier. Watching jet planes tracks across the sky and wishing I was on one of them. Wanting to go with the retreating wave.

It doesn’t mean I am forgetting the above. The small pleasures, the gratitude for so many things, the safety routines can bring to everyday life. Just that sometimes I am also aware that there is more to life than just the small circle in the sand I have been marking. That’s where the envy comes for those who travel, who create, who explore.

If I remember correctly, those anti-suffrage used to say that women who go to higher education will no longer be content with the life prescribed for them. It was true, too! πŸ™‚ Whole systems needed to be changed to accommodate those women.

So what to do when life is prescribed and I am no longer content with it? When the soul demands that the eyes witness what documentaries present? When the spirit rebels against bedtime as night dreams can’t hold a candle to daydreams? When the body aches from sitting in the office and asks to be allowed to roam at will?

Reading remains a staple, sometimes to the point of obsession, but fiction can’t hold me anymore. If I am to be stuck on the couch then I want my brain to fire on all cylinders. I can find emotion and feelings elsewhere! Music, especially live, is another good way to escape routine. Walking, while useful, is no longer enough in the weekends, so gardening will have to take its place, especially permaculture where the brain is involved as well, not just the wonder at life appearing out of seemingly nowhere.

It seems to me then that the brain is the culprit then, so it’s the brain that needs to be pleased until the time will come for an escape from the routine. And stubbornness will have to suffice, until freedom is at hand. And if there is a sacrifice… well, I assume it will be sleep!

Forest

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Personal taste is an interesting thing not up for discussion as prescribed of old (de gustibus…).

But each of us has at least one thing that we can discuss until the cows come home and beyond. My understanding is that clubs and other organizations have been created for the salvation of each member’s family’s sanity πŸ™‚

And it usually involves a dream as well.

Mine is to plant a forest. Far away from a day job I happen to like, and still this dream would require that job as well.

I like and use annual plants, especially vegetables and flowers. I can tend them and enjoy them and cram them in wherever I see a spot available. But reading about permaculture I have become sensitized to the unnaturalness of this. It says that fallow earth tries to get back to the forest it was once covered in. And if you happen to find a piece of land that has not been used for a few years, you see what I mean by this: the first couple of seasons grasses and weeds prevail. After that though woody shrubs take off and, in time, tree seedlings make their way up, first of all short lived trees and then the giants. People seem to like the Earth solely juvenile, despite long-term effects.

But going back to the dream (if I may pontificate πŸ˜› ) there is something satisfying for me when I see trees and, thinking of my current solid preference for edibles, I realize that this is only a result of not enough land.

You see, a forest requires space to grow and that requires some sacrifice. Not a lot, mind you, as outlined by the edible forest descriptions, but in terms of land allocated, time, money, work invested at the beginning… it’s daunting for a single person to say the least, and even for a family. And then there’s maintaining it, especially pest management… so you get people to help you, volunteers and those who would benefit from the environment, the goal, the tasks, the work experience… ah, but I am getting into the day job now πŸ™‚

So what would I plant? Everything that would grow, really. Edibles would have a place, natives their own, sheer beauty throughout. Flowering trees and autumn leaf colour, summer shade and winter sentinels, dwarfs and giants, everything. I would pay attention to the water and to the summit, to the valley and to the rocks, I would have paths and bridges and benches and clearings. There would be a house with a huge kitchen (those volunteers need to be fed) and outbuildings with bunks in them (those volunteers also have to be housed). And there would be at least one if not more specialists, paid handsomely, to plan with and argue with and who would know where to plant what and in what way and what I can expect… should I just go to school and study all this? That way I can pay myself for making real my own personal dream.

And then, when it’s at least a piece of land with slender saplings barely visible under the grasses and nursery plants, I would put a sign on the gate saying β€œcome on in” to all… for a forest does not belong to one person only… it is the Earth in its prime, made manifest.