Saturday, January 7, 2012

Spend one year observing. Happy New Year 2012

Here the last light of 2011 lingers in my hair. 
From this perch on a friend's balcony you can see my new city of Sydney. 

I've been here one year now, and this fact amazes me. 
Its been the most solitary and quiet year of my whole 42 years. 
Maybe it will be decades till I experiance this kind of quiet again.

'When you move to new land', says the Permaculture design manual, 'spend the first year doing nothing. Just obseve how the sunshine falls, where the wind comes from, how the water swirls and flows. Twelve months later, start planting.'

I always thought that sounded lovely from a poetic point of view, but not a good use of time. 

If you just plant something, anything, simply caring about its progress will make your observation 100 times sharper. 
You won't just be looking for sun and wind, you will learn all about the pests, the anti-pests, the creatures who want to eat or protect your new little family of plants. By being generative, and planting things for nature to interact with, by allowing measured failure,  a whole spectrum of subtleties will spring into view.  

Getting into creative action is the only way to really see things in this world. As somebody who draws, this is something I know.

A year has passed since I arrived in Sydney, I see that sentence differently.

That sentence was certainly written by someone not young. Someone who had alreadly loved a piece of land and its plants, enough to be able to imagine vividly how a year's worth of life would be playing out on the blank stage of his new garden. 

If someone is facing a blank new land, with a vivid picture of what will be there, it is almost certain this person has recently lost a place, a place he knew deeply and cared about.

Maybe it takes one year to get the spirits up, get into action, and start investing in your new life, as if it would be there forever. 

After the fireworks, it took a long time to get home to the pretty house I am housesitting, in leafy Turramurra. 
The people of Sydney were catching trains with high-heels in their hands, scraped knees, and irrepressable joyfulness. Its inspring, that we can generate this, by simply deciding to.

Then you know what I did when I got home? 
I started reading a novel. 'The Glass house' by Jennette Wall, sad and beautiful and funny. 
I read it as I read every good book, from start to end in one gulp.

I had to cover my eyes to go to sleep, with the moring light of 2012 in my hair. Decadent. 

Happy New Year. It will be a beautiful 2012. 
It is already. 


1 comment:

bohol said...

Yes, indeed, it would be a very beautiful 2012. We all need the right kind of perspective to live right.