BeGood Cafe-Archive » #07 Reminiscing

#07 Reminiscing


Today was one of those real Sundays, a time to just wander around and let all worries go, it is even the start of a new moon cycle. Being curious about several things such as water levels of the river as the commencing of the dry period had begun and with the quest of freshwater shrimp hunting in mind, the journey into nature started.

With a camera flung over my shoulder and a machete in the right hand, the adventure to the river began, cutting away the lush tropical growth down a steep drop of twenty meters over about 300 meters. Our farm is on the boundary of a village and a river is the marker. Having to pass-by on a neighbor’s lot makes everything easier, no fences are marked with barbed wire, only vegetation of the best kind, Murado – a plant with burgundy-tinted leaves and fast-growing properties – will grow in the soil from a bare well matured cutting and it supplies a sap so sticky, yet medicinal. This is the magical abundant tropics!

The tranquil water chops away at the rock formations as the stony riverbed lays before me in a valley, surrounded by all types of root rope vegetation and birds flitting by. A hornbill inquires about my presence with a new and unfamiliar movement as it perches itself further in the top branches, what a great sight to see!

Dead leaves rustle into the silence of nature. It is stunning to know that people live not further than half a kilometer away! Peace is hovering about, as the believers in Madagascar say: “when a leaf drops on you it will bring you luck, so carry it with joy around for that day; LUCKY LEAF!!”

With the camera, it is hard to capture the scale of things, the milling waterholes almost perfectly round, now serving as bowls as the fallen leaves form a bouquet arrangement of fall colours.

Slabs of rock fit into the puzzles of time as one can slide them back into the gaps where they have been cradled for so many centuries, but now, they expose wedged roots that nestle between them. With the help of water, these roots mustered the force to see daylight. Fierce winds toppled over the masters of time as trees lie across the ridge, making a balanced walk of courage needed to cross the gap. Strange to think that only a year ago, they stood up firm and straight!

When walking through the bolder chaos, bare feet are the choice modus operandi. Get grounded and feel the moisture, relish the coolness of the spring as the city temperature is in the mid-thirty degrees Celsius and this period is predicted to be hot and dry!

So many people have passed by this water channel, kids that grew up to be the folktales of today, old and grey, they are smiling of adventure and show the cave of rituals, it is amazing!

The scale of things still get to me, if one thinks of ancestral life, and how, even my parents are becoming more of a concern for care, we miss each other and want to share more time before all those great times become a shared memory as opposed to a conversation of taste, excitement and collective time.

Why do these thoughts count so much now? Well, Penelope and myself are once more letting go of a special place and want to be amongst family, relatives and like-minded people who share freely, and we also support growing actions towards a community life.

Portugal is currently playing a big role in the awareness of how the ecological component plays a vast role in that society. Permaculture is widely advocated and is explored as a tool to aid nature in creating micro-climates and revitalizing the soil in favour of people, plant and animal needs. Tropical blood runs in both our veins and our goal is to settle down there as the climate is somewhat warmer than the northern part of Europe.

But leaving a country such as the Philippines with its amazing vegetation can create an envious feeling, so much is possible in growth here. From coconuts to edible ferns, sweet papaya or mango, and the list just goes on; what are we willing to leave behind?

A house we built to withstand typhoon forces was really tested by a storm called Glenda- also known internationally as Rammasun- and we did not even ask for that! But the location in the valley of the property insured us that the forces of the wind would blow more over us rather than against us. The roof is arch- shaped, so the strength is great in comparison to a straight-beamed side. Wow, did we catch a fright when a full-grown twenty-meter tall coconut palm fell over our roof right above our heads, while in bed listening through the storm. And fortunately enough, the sturdiness of the roof distributed the impact. It saved our lives!

So yes, our farm Ginhawa –wellbeing- is up for sale and we are making good memories as we are working towards an ever-brightening future. Happy Earthday to everyone this month.

And with all these thoughts, captured memories and amazing prospects of the future, the camera slides back into its pouch left there a hour earlier on the river bank, and a leaf greets me inside: lucky you!

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