Sunday, December 26, 2010

December 25, 2010 – Two Years Reviewed


December 25, 2010 – Two Years Reviewed

“While still living in Aguas, I told Clara that she could have as many pets as she wanted after we moved to the farm. She made a long list of animals including a horse. I knew that a horse was too big a project, but I had considered free-range chickens, guinea hens, pigs, goats, lambs, rabbits. I wanted to have a “true” self-sustaining farm with all kinds of edible veggies, a large orchard, wood fired stove and oven.” – This is a writing of two years ago.
In reviewing my two years living on the farm, I can say that I have accomplished quite a bit, in spite of what I may say to myself.
It’s Christmas Day today. No sign of any festivity at home. We have no visitors nor my daughter is here. She is visiting her daddy in the US. I have had beautiful holidays before but also lonesome ones for so many years in a row.
I declined going to my neighbors’ house for lunch. The same people that had invited me for last year, but this year I don’t feel like. I have a broken heart. I feel slightly depressed and angry at some events that took place in my life the last few days. What I thought to be the announcement of a new era for my boring life, it turned out not to be. It got prematurely aborted. I became so furious that I have decided to change my life. I have decided to move out of the farm to an unknown place called Boulder, CO. That’s my revenge. To have a better life elsewhere. Or at least, to pretend that this is going to happen. And that I don’t need a relationship to a person for me to get out of the hole I am tucked in.
In my depression spell, I had realized that three years living in Brazil I accomplished very little. The relationship I was pursuing when I first moved to Brazil, failed in very few weeks. The small town I was living in, in spite of all the poetic aspects of it, was better written than lived; the beginning church I was attending didn’t feed me enough, on the opposite, I had to serve (I know, I know, this is a Christian purpose). The English classes I was teaching could disappear as a school break started. My daughter was living happily (a sitter just for her, school at walking distance, friends, activities, chocolate pizza...)
(My neighbor just called me. I love my neighbors! She saved me some roasted pork and grilled meat for dinner with my father. I can’t deny I will miss them. They have been very important part of my two years living here. They were decisive to my well being.)
When I left Florida, I not only wanted to pursue a relationship that I had left off, but I thought about saving the child support money, so that I could have money saved without sacrificing my much needed quality time with my daughter (I didn’t have to work nearly as hard in Brazil). But the child support money never came in the agreed amount and the income from my English lessons was irregular. I couldn’t bear the idea of not having enough money to pay the rent and meet with my financial obligations in that little town. I was trying to start fresh, with no debts. So I moved to my parents’ farm where I would pay no rent nor utilities. Even so, the little child support money that came was not enough for me not to go in debt for living expenses. I lived two years in complete frugality. I bought no single piece of clothing for myself, I went out with girlfriends just once, I had no fun or hobbies. My life was secluded on the farm, taking care of my family and the vegetable garden.
The only door to outside world was my Agriculture classes and daily trips to town to ride my daughter to school. And chat with my women neighbors.
The driver that hauled my stuff from Aguas to the farm took my last bit of money that I collected by selling my notebook. From riding a bike to go to work, going to a café, stop at fine bakery, eating at all-you–can-eat pasta, evenings devouring wood fired oven pizza, shopping around, private health plan, therapeutic bath, massage, contact with students and friends, I went to be quiet on a farm.
The last two years I have had a spartan living, or I so call, involuntary simplicity, when I am in bad mood. It would have been positive, if I had saved some money. But two years slipped through my fingers. No savings, no exercising, no making myself younger or prettier. All my resources seem to be going away.
On the other side, when I feel positive, I have lots to tell. I have completed several short term and long term courses in Agriculture, including Rural Enterpreneurship and Beekeeping, besides the Milk and Swine Meat processing. I will leave my country with some knowledge and experience in Organic Farming. I will still attend some classes next year in Artesanal processing of chicken and vegetables, some artcraft courses, and, if possible, Electricity, Plumbing, and Tractor.
In two years, I had five dogs adopted, buried some, a few or lots of cats, a guinea pig, guinea hens, and bunnies. I couldn’t get goats or sheep, pigs or cows or a horse. They are all expensive and need much care.
I had a successful vegetable garden, with all kinds of roots, leafy greens, pods, herbs planted and harvested. I had a very few failure in the garden. I feel accomplished with it. The orchard I renovated is giving its first fruits, having harvested or to harvest a modest amount of mango, Persian lime, Thai lime, acerola. My father and I recovered the coconut patch, so now we have coconut water (an alkaline drink loved by Raw people) and other fruit trees. We had a bounty of lychee fruits.
Another project that I had have not come true yet, but my father is working on it. Besides planting Niagara grapes for me this week, he is going to build a wood fired stove.
Other small accomplishments are of making several batches and tried several recipes of household soap, roasting coffee beans, cooking from scratch, eating organic chickens, making tofu.
I managed to live two years without massage...Went to a movie theater just once to take my daughter. Had doctor’s visit at public health centers. Got free medication. Didn’t go on vacation. The farthest place for a visit was to a local waterfall. No sports (just a month of karate classes that my instructor canceled). No gym (just hauling manure and hoeing weeds). No pedicures. Hairstylist twice in the same week (the first one messed up with my hair. He cut 30 cm instead of 3.) Reconnected with old friends and neighbors. Visited new ones. Got to know some people through classes. Good wine and pizza once. A date, one time. Read some books borrowed from local library (Thank God, there is one). Watched soap opera every night religiously. No attending church.
Two full years of recovery and healing. I just read June 15th’s journal where I talk about Healing the Wounds. How I have been healed. I feel I am being so ungrateful for abandoning a place and people that treated me. On that day, I felt sure I was happy, and that future didn’t really worried me. Things were running smoothly the way God intended to be.
So, what is happening to my life, then?
I am sorry to inform that this healing place that I came to was a temporary place; that I didn’t know.
Again, I start to grieve the loss of all this. Aging parents, the farm, the friends, the friendship, the language, the familiarity of the town I was born and grew up.
I may pursue now something that I don’t really know it is. It may be a place in the world; a place in the sunshine; a place of self-support; a place of empowerment. I have learned that I am a citizen of the world, at the same time, I am not a citizen of this world. There is not a single place that I would plant my roots. Like some of my plants that I have sowed somewhere to transplant elsewhere and then somewhere else, I am like these. Eternally being transplanted. Would I ever feel tired or comformed?

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