Monday, July 28, 2014

Naive optimism

There are only very few vegetables in the garden for now. Currently, what we have are very few eggplants, okra, peanut, chili, cayenne pepper, some passion fruit, and some leafy stuff. As I said before, we don’t expect so much now in this area except for composting and some vegetables that can, hopefully, survive on its own for quite some time such as eggplant and okra. It’s because up to this time we still don’t have volunteers that can give full commitment to the garden. It’s pity. Most of our friends don’t live nearby and they are busy with their everyday job and also during their day off, they also need to spend time with their family or whatever important personal matters they need to prioritize. 

So the situation is still the same; we have no significant progress regarding this project. It’s sad but that’s only another part of the picture. In general, we are still going and doing fine. We haven’t done so much at the garden this time but we are busy with many things connected to the project and our goals as an organization. 

Aside from our lack of permanent volunteers, there are also other reasons why it wasn’t that productive. But although things may look unsuccessful from this angle, it’s fair to say that the programs that go along with our community garden project were, so far, doing well. Personally, I felt sad about the outcome; unlike those early times of the project, we successfully shared produce to the neighbors. But I also understand that things aren’t that easy, maybe now is not the right time to be fully successful in this venture. Another thing is, because I underestimated my so called “role” in this project at the beginning, now I really have to minimize my effort because of the changes in my health. As of the moment I’m doing a self-therapy because my lungs are getting weak again and my body gets tired so easily so I’m not able to do heavy works as I often feel the pain in my body every time I make myself busy for a couple of hours, maybe It’s because I had a history of pneumonia just a decade or twelve years ago. 

These days, weeds are now becoming harder for me to manage since I can’t do the same amount of work as before. Good thing I can still ask the kids to help me with this task. Another positive thing is that our friend Clarke is now gardening again! For personal reason, he was away for three months but now he’s back and still kicking despite of the fact that he desperately needs a job to feed himself and to provide his future mother and child. His partner Diane is now pregnant so he said he will face the situation whatever it takes, but despite of this challenge he still wants to pursue being part of the collective. So right now we are discussing how to make him continue by acquiring an allowance for a community project. We really appreciate his presence as he helps us not only in the garden but also in other things important for our projects. His willingness and sincerity are one of the great things that remind us not to succumb to frustrations and discouragement in the midst of many obstacles and hardship. 

Well, to be honest, our plan for the coming months is to raise an amount big enough to buy a land, build an infrastructure, and try to run our projects on a permanent or at least on a long term basis. Then, we can start our intentional community. This is the direction! This is the only solution to help us start living on our own path, will, judgment, philosophy, reality and most especially, the design that we want in our small community. With that, things would be easier for us or at least more possible to achieve. It would also help us convince people to participate since the garden is sure enough to feed us if we really work hard to run it. 

If we can purchase a land big enough to have a community garden, we can really motivate people to follow their desire of helping others without worrying so much about the house rent and food. It’s not totally easy but what I mean is, if we have that opportunity, we can have a better facilities for workshops and education, we can choose a good environment, a good soil for a garden, perhaps space for music and artistic expressions, seminars and community gathering, and hopefully a healing space where we can rest, meditate, or just enjoy a quiet moment. Then we can continue our projects, provide more programs that improve quality of life, and then continue to live our dream of being creative and productive in a community that also value and foster these kinds of aspirations. 

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