A few words from the hermit

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The winds have arrived with a vengeance this year, blasting the mountainside with a fury that i haven’t felt since august 2012. I remember that season, when the dust obscured the view, and a gust picked up Amanda’s meditation hut, and not so gently tossed it down the hill. Well, lessons have been learned since then, and i’m betting that we won’t be losing any roofs.. but some plants at RADi are definitely getting a beating since the windbreak isn’t yet established. It’s also sad to see the wind blowing away soil exposed by road and house construction on nearby mountainsides, and to witness the first uncontrolled fire of the season destroy hundreds of hectares of land.

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The advent of the dry season has got me into building mode. Since Keisha and Casey are heading to the US for some months, i may end up distracted by the extra responsibilities, but i’ve got big plans nonetheless. Over the next few months, i hope to build a little bedroom (protected from winds and rains a bit more than the wall-less loft where i currently sleep), as well as the ‘solari-yome’, a small greenhouse that’ll mimic a humid tropical climate, with the help of a hot tub and mass heater. Even though i’m not really interested in the whole cleanliness thing, the thought of regular hot baths does get me pretty excited! If it comes down to one or the other, i’ll take the bath over the bedroom before the rains come.

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As i begin digging ground on my building projects, the rest of the community is finishing an assortment of their own construction jobs. Andrea has put up her greenhut, where she plans on sleeping and storing materials until she builds her dream home. Lutz and Lexi had almost finished their new cabin, just before leaving for Germany last month (they plan on returning at the end of August). And Keisha and Casey are now plastering their gorgeous new earth bag home. I’m amazed by how quickly Sacred Sueňos is growing!

I admit to hypocrisy when i cheer community members building their houses while i grumble about the  development going on across the yamburara valley. Of course, everyone has a right to do what they wish on their property, but that doesn’t mean it’s not attractive for me to see several tin roofs connected by power lines, and to hear mufflerless motorcycles on the new road. Once, i could relate and connect to my neighbourhood by our lifestyles. Now that the American Dream™ has arrived, i find myself more isolated. I’m that crazy neighbour who refuses to sign the petition asking the government to build a road or power grid to and through the land. At least there haven’t been any conflicts. To my knowledge, my neighbours have accepted my decisions, just as i must accept theirs.

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….So… It’s been three days since i wrote the previous paragraphs, and the winds have stopped for a rainy spell. The rainbows heralded Santi’s birthing of Cedrone (also known as Lance 2), and Silk Oak (Silky). Butters is due within the next couple of weeks. Baby goats are so cute!!! I’m probably going to bring up a billy for Elli next month, so there’ll be another round of kids come southern solstice!

The logistics crew remains Joe and Bosque, though there has been talk about reintroducing donkey to our herd. Bonnie has been happily retired at Martha’s farm, and we miss her, though not so much her stubborn slowness 😉 For now, though, J0 and Bosque are doing a fantastic job. Bosque has calmed down a lot, to the point where he’ll even allow volunteers to check his hooves. J0 is beginning to accept awkward loads, and now even hauls 6m lengths of bamboo up the mountain from the river. Unfortunately, they work best as a team with me. While i was away, Lutz and Casey brought up a lot of building materials by hand rather than deal with loading and leading horses. Saddlebags full of groceries is one thing, but tying long awkward material on a large animal, and making it hike through narrow trenches and up steep and sometimes slippery terrain…it’s tough. But one trip with the horses can bring up 10 times what i could carry on my own back. Thank you, J0 and Bobo!!

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I’ve been doing a little less do, and a bit more talk, lately: I’ve spent a little time consulting for other permaculture projects in the area; I’ve had the pleasure of teaching components of a few PDC courses, and other workshops off the farm; And i’m now offering weekly seminars, covering a wide array of topics, to willing residents of Sacred Sueňos. I’m still most focused on building, planting, tending, and experimenting, but i think it’s time i begin sharing some of the insights that i’ve gained with my experience so far. Though i lamented earlier the growth of the American Dream™, i want to end this blog by appreciating all the people i’ve met who are passionate about a solutions based lifestyle. Thank you for the inspiration and ideas you have given me. I want to give as well.

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