Friday, October 23, 2009
Learning to do nothing: One lesson at a time.
"UNDE ORIGO UNDE SALUS"
"From the Origin/Earth comes Salvation"
I'm not sure where this quote comes from originally, but I read it lately in a book titled, Venice is a Fish, by Tiziano Scarpa, 2008. It talks about the city as an organic entity, embodying its past and its future, dictating how life is lived by its inhabitants. It is a fascinating read.
I'm telling you this because my adjustment to the new life that on the surface had everything one wants in Paradise, even a walk with that name, left me longing for something that I could not quite satisfy.
Month after month, year after year, trying different things, I found my source of peace through gardening, observing nature, accepting what was in front of me, reading, writing, joining the Bandon Writers, the Reading Club, the SMART Program, and running for office. Most of you know that I serve as a Trustee on the local Board of Education. This year starts my second term.
A word about Nature. I grew up in an era when most people's work was agricultural. That work was tied to season, weather, wind patterns, natural calamities. Our very existence depended on forces outside ourselves. We were responsible for certain parts, at certain precise times; but, the rest was up to bigger powers. In that setting, we took our job seriously. When it was time to plant, we planted. When it was time to weed and till, we did those chores. We anticipated and worked round the clock to beat rainstorms or locusts, or ...We did all we could, when we could. The rest, we accepted.
I still feel connected to those rhythms. Working in a garden allows you to dream big, as well as accept the limitations of your conditions. You clear the land, work in compost, plant, water, weed, and nurture the tiny plants. But, it is up to the sun to shine, the seeds to sprout, the insects to pollinate. Some things take a long time. Some things occurr so fast, they are not visible. Some things depend on dust particles on the wings of butterflies.
We are part of a bigger natural world. Fundamentally, we are 90+ similar to other mammals. Our curiosity, our imagination, our ability to invent has also separated us from our source, our world, our origins.
When things don't feel right, we need to remember that.