Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ecologia y yo!!!

There is a tradition here that the rainy season begins on June 24th. It's connected to a legend that the Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado prayed for rain on June 24, 1540, the feast day of St. John the Baptist, and after his prayers, it rained.
And so it was this year.  The rain began steadily and gently after dark. During the rainy season we have rain and thunder nearly every night until November.
Our farm is on the hill behind the smoke 

The morning after, the veranda was wet with what looked like coffee. That has never happened before but then we have never had an asphalt plant in our village. A renovation of the plaza and a new road along the coast is the new busy-ness overwhelming our town. A gray cloud of smoke hovers over the asphalt plant alongside the river and meanders up the valley to the foothills where our farm is, causing the air to reek of asphalt and tint the rain black.

I think it's driving the mosquitoes up the hills to our place too.

The dogs have forgotten what rain is after 7 months of dry days and nights. They are loathe to get their feet wet, clumping up on the porch in front of the fan. I'm hoping the rain will kill off the ticks which seem particularly bad this year. Recently, I noticed that there are tiny spiders around with shiny, blood-red balloon bodies, their webs dangling mummified ticks. I've decided to receive them as allies and accept their part in the balancing act on Slow Living Farm.

The plants respond gratefully to the rain, brightening, baptized and washed from months of dust. It is an eye-feast of greens. The datura I thought was a goner begins again as a young upstart. The twiggy poinsettia from Christmas is flush with new green leaves veined in red.

Prior to the rain, la chicharras, our cicadas, sing the rainsong. It is one of the sure sounds of the season. The frogs sing too and in the evening they come to the windows of the office to feed on insects. They sleep during the day under pillows and in pottery on the veranda. Walking at night with the flashlight, I am overwhelmed by the dense insect-life in the air, on the ground, in the trees - the night is vibrating with humming, buzzing, clicking and clacking.
The view into the orchard below is a strobing lightshow of fireflies.

Silent, with one eye open to the frogs and mice, a large boa rests wrapped in the bars of our window grill.

A young rooster has found his voice. His crow is the first 5 notes from the old sitcom "Get Smart". I hear it all day long as a playful tease, get smart!

Wally and I are are witnesses to the complex balance of our ecosystem on the farm. It's a relational world, one thing linked to another. In tropical Mexico it's more vivid and apparent than any place I've ever lived.

Summer pickins' from the farm 

I'm preparing to teach summer school in two weeks. The theme this year is Ecologia y yo! - (Ecology and me!)  Raising the awareness of digital-addicted kids to seeing themselves as connected and related to everything in this richly diverse universe, and to get them to see this as a pattern that informs everything will take a transformation of consciousness. 

I know, I know, sounds too, too...ambitious. But it occurs to me that a simple starting point is to learn how to see.

My mother gave my sisters and me the gift of deep seeing. Her enthusiasm for the wonders of nature in the tiniest details were our first exposure to pure joy. They were awakening moments. I believe that might be the magic key:  to be startled awake by beauty is transformative. For me it was the spark that ignited a blaze of love for the things of nature that has fueled my whole life. When you love something you naturally care, naturally want to protect, naturally strive to live up to your part in the relationship. This heart-driven ecology feels like it might hit the mark of a true-love marriage between the sciences of the cosmos and evolving human beings, or as we say on the farm: human beans.

I'm not a scientist or an educator. I'm a romantic - a believer that beauty, like love can save the world. It saved me!

No comments: