a Wider conception of Home
We are beginning to understand the term ‘home’ in a new sense, reaching much beyond the bamboo structures we have built to live in, or the veggie garden we have grown, or the fruit trees we have tended to from seeds, or in fact the space for us as a couple to live in. Recently our sense of how we can make an offering to the world has broadened significantly, beyond reforesting damaged land or generating employment for local people.
Since we have begun creating a home in the Fruit Bowl, the central area of the 100 hectare watershed, we have received many more applications to volunteer than we have been able to host. Our desire to share this space has become annual workshops, allowing the watershed to be quietly home for a large part of the year while offering its wisdom to those who are eager to learn for several weeks each year. We were imagining that once the space is ready, finished, built, then we would have the capacity for others to participate more spontaneously and frequently. But what does ready mean when something is continuously evolving?
One evening, it was as if a flash had illuminated a desire lying beneath the surface of our awareness, that stopped us in our tracks. A burst of inspiration urged us to consider gifting this land, this creation, this Fruit Bowl, to something bigger than our own lives - to make it a public space, a place for others to tend to the emergence of their ideas and projects: an innovation sanctuary; an incubator.
It was as if we ourselves had been living this incubator experience for the last year and a half, imagining how and what life could be. We had come to all sorts of lived understandings about cycles of material, self-sufficiency, sound, light, local wisdom, building processes, natural materials, being with nature, lifestyle, local culture, global culture, … The process of living in the rainforest offered us space to develop our passions and re-think our conditionings. Glimmers of insight into how the world could become more beautiful sparkled in our imaginations. Dearly, we desired to offer this space to others – to tend to their own dreams, visions, world views, right down to particular, inspired, personal projects that can enrich life, but how? Well, maybe we have already created it! The structures, the open setting for a group dynamic, the personal understanding and support needed - actually by building a small house for us to live in, the Fruit Bowl can be ready to fully welcome others to re-wild their journeys.
Despite this realisation, we woke up the next day still living in the Fruit Bowl, which we had tended to from its barrenness as an open field to be the place it is today, and it suddenly felt very different! - all of those tiny lemon seeds and mango pips that we planted later to blossom into magical fruit trees, the stones and bamboo poles over which we sweated for months to create our home – and it might not be our home after all… This is when the new understanding of home began to surface.
What do we actually need to live? Memories of earlier ideas before rainforest life, of simple living, of tiny homes, of frugality, started to rise to the surface. How would we like to devote our time, energy and resources? Amongst one hectare of rainforest, we can create a small yet beautiful home, with gardens full of flourishing flowers and food, with fresh stream water for drinking and bathing, and with the capacity to offer others a space to explore what their most heart-felt journey could be.
To be able to contribute, to support other living beings, while nourishing the self, that is what being at home in the world feels like. Those mango pips that we planted will one day bear fruits that can nurture us and others. Those bamboo structures that we crafted will be able to see the lives of many evolve as these individuals have the opportunity to re-wild. Ripple effects that reach out wide into the world can nurture other places and faces and create all sorts of opportunities for the most beautiful experiences we can imagine to be lived on Earth. We can wake up feeling inspired, our actions energised in service of something more diverse than our personal lives. That feels like belonging to a universal synergy of life...
Then the whole world becomes home.