Saturday, February 14, 2009

heart leaves...

All around us are hearts a plenty. Many tropical plants have heart-shaped leaves and today we especially notice them. When we began building our house Wally would bring me heart rocks. We have them in all sizes with the largest too large for me to lift. That one is painted red violet with sparkles of gold coming through. Some of them have become markers on the graves of our animal family. Some decorate our living space on window ledges and around the bath tub, and in the walkways of our farm. The natural world is full of valentines!

Today we are going to celebrate. We begin the day with our routine of sharing a cup of tea, a bowl of papaya and toasted bread. We part with kisses to do our morning chores with the plan of meeting to go off into the day for some togetherness away from the farm.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Make room for more....

While Wally puts in the foundation for yet another chicken house we have 10 additions to the family. Our miniature Costa Rican hen hatched 4 blacks and 6 striped chicks - the striped ones look like little sparrows. We slipped the 11th egg under a regular size hen that insists on brooding so another chick may still come along.
Our chickens enjoy deluxe quarters. Wally has built several palm-thatched chicken houses that make you imagine chickens on vacation sipping margaritas by the pool. This new house is made to last. It's construction is of cement and steel. This one is bigger and better and another effort at reducing labor later. I'm sure Wally will give it extra pizzaz with a little paint and a palm branch skirt - he can't help himself.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stone by stone...

There's been a lot going on at the farm this month. We have been finishing the cobbling on the road. It is the steepest part of our drive and every year following the rainy season it worsens. It reminds me of navigating an ever worsening channel. By the weekend it will be a charming cobblestone road that we hope will last a hundred years. Wally is nearly broken down too with all the lifting of river rock and sand. Yesterday, 3 bags of cement fell off the truck coming up the mountain and he couldn't stop. Once he got to the top he walked back and carried each bag up to the top.

Every project is meant to make our labor less intensive in the end - that's what we keep telling ourselves. The refining of each system: irrigation, road paving, garden management, to mention a few, is carefully thought out and executed by Wally. To gather the supplies, tools and muster the labor to accomplish it lies solely on his shoulders.

At the end of the day as the light fades I often find him watering in the garden. It is what he loves the most, how he unwinds and quiets his puzzle-solving thoughts to hear what his heart is saying.

The garden is metaphor for much of what we are learning.

We recently celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and I wrote:

How do you measure a space of five years
in a story that has no end?
It is only the unfurling of a single leaf
its tender tendril stretching
to take hold and push off again
on its blossoming journey.

We will finish today's work as the light fades. We will work just as hard tomorrow. As we lay in bed tonight weary and clean, Wally will recap the day. I know that he will report something beautiful that he discovered during the day and I'll tell him of the enormous goose egg that Helena has hidden, and we'll savor together what the land is giving back to us.