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  • Writer's pictureEvelyn Roberts

Back To The Fields And Jungle

The project moved along just fine without me, our electrician went completely AWOL, but in the grand scheme of things, all is well. As per usual, all the plants grew about a foot a month. I love the tropics.

1st night completely alone at the land, except for the cats, chickens and an entire universe of night creatures. This is what the dream was about, and although I will love it when other souls are sharing the space and coming and going, it felt like a deep initiation. May nothing uproot me now, (except for travels, adventures and other such acceptable distractions)... and may the Internet get working so my clients don’t hate me.

Funny how construction noise isn't in the least bit annoying when you're the one building something.

Lest I ever think I’ve had a hard day, I have these women coming back from a day foraging in the jungle for cooking fuel and food for their livestock passing right by my house, reminding me that I haven’t.

Just wandering randomly around, checking it all out, realising there are probably at least 1,000 things to be discovered on all the hidden paths in the immediate vicinity. Very happy.

All night tonight is Ngerehan, the trance dance ceremony where actual life is breathed into the barong, (the lion-like creature and king of the spirit in Balinese mythology). All to take place in the cemetery right next to the land, so apparently there will be no sleeping in this little field.

Whether planned or not, as usual with all these ceremonies, the astrology speaks; exact Mars/Uranus opposition as Moon in Gemini glides into her darkest phase.

I know this may provoke reactions from my more conservative friends, who I love and respect in equal measure, (I did in fact give birth to a Republican), but the whole immigration question never ceases to irk and bewilder. How can it be that people are practically forbidden, by supposedly intelligent, compassionate, sentient members of the same species, to attempt to escape their oppression, poverty or the even just the simple right to seek something better for themselves and their families?

I know every argument under the sun, for every which way of thinking, and still in my heart the concept of borders and the limits of movement decided by at birth, makes no sense whatever.

Questions: Do we really think people should just passively accept their “lot”? Who amongst us, if living in poverty while getting glimpses of the plenty that exists in this world we share, wouldn’t attempt exactly the same thing?

I am constantly in awe of the fact that by the accident of this particular birth I possess the passport I have, and I am positive that I would be one of those in relentless pursuit of my freedom, if I didn't have it, man-made laws and boundaries would be less than meaningless.

Feeling triggered by the tragedy of yet more people dying at sea between North Africa and Sicily in their desperate attempt to escape impossible lives.

"The belief that every living thing has an individual soul is called animism. And anima, which means 'soul,' is of course also the root of the word 'animal."

Living in a place where this a given is an education for the spirit, our gardener was a little perturbed that we were moving some bananas trees on a day that wasn't optimum for them. He agreed to do it anyway, but I then noticed him quietly doing a little blessing for them.

Please let this reverence for all life be contagious.

And we shall just have to wait and see how the bananas do.

One could say I might be losing my grip. Just accidentally flung (an essential) part of my juicer down into the jungle while trying to send the pulp back to nature. I did however manage to crawl and hack my way to finding it. I’ve decided that was quite enough adventure and exercise for one day. I see a hammock in my immediate future.

Every single little idea we have, they make happen, never a discouragement, never a negative vibe... and still never a single set plan. Everything has turned out far better than I could have ever imagined, and it is all down to these incredibly talented, ever humble builders. I stand in awe of their kindness, patience and innate knowledge of the land, born right out of simply being at one with it.

The garden of Ev-den-lyn is coming along splendidly: bananas plants, coconuts and cacao trees were already here. Lemongrass, pineapples, sweet potatoes and cassava newly planted. Who would have guessed that one day I'd be scouring the Internet for what on earth to do with such a thing as cassava/yucca? Must say I'm thrilled by the knowledge that I have things laden with carbs that can be deliciously french fried growing out there. Woman cannot live on fruit and juice alone.

Had no idea a handful of cocoa beans would be so work intensive. 3 days drying in the sun and a very long time hand peeling the pesky little things, and still only halfway there. Maybe this is why the Aztecs called it fruit of the gods, (the scientific name, theobroma cacao, means exactly that).

Living in nature, what you see day-to-day is never duplicated, every morning starts a whole new experience. It might be the same in cities, but these eyes aren't attuned to those. My heart is planted right here amidst these coconut palms.

As a child I loved haystacks, and that was way back when they actually were stacks and not made to resemble shrink-wrapped swiss rolls. Now I have a roof that is a dead ringer for the real deal and I have this burning yearning to jump on it and roll around, but of course that would be a tale that could never end well.

Where on earth did the myth of the “stupid chicken” come from? From the same place as the one about cows came from, perhaps, so we can feel okay about the mass slaughter and consumption of them. Every day I observe them as they courageously and energetically claim the dawn; communicating, tending and caring for their young in an exemplary manner, surviving against all odds and generally just getting on with it in their intelligent, amusing, delightfully quirky way. Okay the males are a bit brash, thuggish and definitely highly over opinionated, but the females seem to know to keep well out of their way when they get too extreme.

I have become a bonafide chicken fan.

Herb growing in the tropics is startling in how quickly things grow. Now if I could only remember what they are. Of course I'm familiar with some, others give themselves away by scent, but about half that I have are native. And no, I labelled nothing, that's about as alien to me as saving passwords, (I'll remember what it is... haha).

Just not sure it's wise to be boiling antiseptic rash remedies in the soup.

13 days and I'll be back in the USA. I was starting to prematurely pine over leaving these heavenly fields, but just a couple of calls to friends later, play-dates set and happy anticipation has trumped all.

Got a ridiculously good deal on a flight, with an equally ridiculous number of layovers and 36 hours travel time, but 'tis absolutely fine. The Kindle is fully loaded.

It's midnight in Jakarta airport, on my way to Manila in the Philippines. That will be 2 new notches on my travel bag in one night... although I'm not stepping outside of either airport. So have I actually been there?

The more time passes the more I understand that, (personally), our peace of mind and happiness are far more connected to what we have been able to let go of, rather than anything we have been able to hold onto.


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