I turned 36 today. After the shock of my mother’s death in March and the demise of my childhood idol Michael Jackson this past week, it feels as if I’m turning 106! My birthday surprise this morning was running out of solar power (luckily the lights were on long enough for me to find my clothes in the dark), so we’ll be having some romantic candlelit evenings for the next few days while the sun charges the batteries.
We have been blessed with some decent rain in the last week (which somehow only managed to fill our rain tanks to ¼ full), and too many DVDs on cloudy days have drained the batteries…
Kevin has also been dealing with some electricity woes on the farm. Our solar installation was designed for domestic use (since we had originally planned to build a house) but then ended up moving the office to the farm. He’s been quite busy printing orders and preparing for an exhibition and so he’s had to run the generator almost every day. We’ve been considering moving to town – back to the comforts of “civilization” like Eskom and municipal water…but then he found a possible solution to the energy crisis: a gadget that enables the batteries to be charged by the generator in a short time.
In the meantime construction on a little bathroom starts today. This will herald in a new era of modern sanitation and Tom Pott’s dry toilet will become a mere tourist attraction. Now that’s a decent birthday present!
With a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of electricity and sanitation, we’ve been toying with the idea of converting the double car port into a living area and squeezing ourselves (and the 2 kids) into a cosy 40 sq.m. This means we’ll finally be living on the farm where we can have dogs and horses and the kids can run amok on 1.7 hectares of pristine beauty…farm vs. "civilization"...decisions, decisions.
It is a true exercise in trusting in the Universal flow and surrendering to the bigger Perfect Plan.
An interesting phenomenal has been the constant emails we receive from “woofers” wanting to come and volunteer their services on the farm. (“woofers” are “workers on organic farms” who work in exchange for accommodation and meals.) I listed our farm on the website months ago and there has been a constant stream of idealistic, energetic young people who believe in building a different future and are fascinated /inspired by the off-the-grid, self-sustaining lifestyle. Although no woofers have actually reported for duty (possibly put off by the lack of sanitation) it has been very encouraging.
There are a few reasons for the lack of email communication over the past few weeks:
(a) the daily routine of work, kids, meals, cleaning, laundry, washing mud off boots, caring for plants, chopping wood, carrying water (remember, we have no more domestic help)
(b) regularly shaving my hair - thankfully I’ve eliminated “washing hair” from the list with my lovely new #3 hairstyle
(c) having a series of emotional “wobbles” and breakdowns in the process of mourning my mother (I’ve finally succumbed to getting “happy pills” from the doctor – but now that Michael Jackson wiped himself out with all the medication, I’m very cautious)
(d) focusing my communications on learning to listen and connect to the other side. I’ve really felt my mom with me very strongly and am in almost constant communication with her. Although it is sometimes hard to know where my own projections end and true communications begin. Maybe someone has some experience to share?
(e) spending some wonderful quality time with our delightful neighbours and new friends
(f) having a fantastic weekend break with my beloved soul mate Kevin at a romantic spot in Nature’s Valley. (The kids spent the night with Luke’s loving teacher). I eventually gave in to Kevin’s suggestions of paddling down the river in a canoe and thoroughly enjoyed it (much to my surprise!)
(g) enjoying my kids and Kevin and being conscious of the immense gift of life we all share.
I’ve often tried to remember what we’re doing here (on the planet as well as on the farm!), but then I hear the call of the fish eagle or see the sun setting over the snow capped mountains in a pastel coloured sky and my soul rejoices. Nature constantly finds ways to sooth my soul and put things in perspective and for that I am very grateful.