Impulse for Action
Our project began with the question ‘how can the act of living be an offering?’. To us this was about an exploration of what the human being can bring to the world, in a society which is used to receiving. It was also about re-connecting human action and natural processes, in a world where we try to protect nature from human exploitations and human progress is at best aiming towards being sustainable, i.e. not damaging beyond a level which feels appropriate. We want to re-connect with the ideas of thrival, of abundance, of contribution.
It has become interesting to notice how small actions can be re-aligned, adjusted just slightly, to offer something substantial to the process of life. For instance, we chose to build a composting toilet to recycle nutrients, allowing this everyday action to cultivate nourishment for the soils. However, creating a nourishing, enlivening experience for the human as part of the contribution to earth is essential to be in a state of aliveness throughout this everyday action. Our bathroom design became a whole adventure where, nestled into the rainforest, you come across a little bamboo structure which is mostly open to the vegetation all around and yet allows you to have a space of privacy for your experience of offering.
This exploration could also be phrased as a desire to enrich life. Being here amongst the depth of bird song, the vibrant greenery, the dramatic weather patterns, the bubbling streams… each moment sings aliveness. You can feel the resilience and sense of plentiness, as the waters continue to flow along our little stream even when there hasn’t been a drop of rain for three months. This fills me with such a feeling of gratitude – thankfulness for the smallest things of life like having eyes to see the beauty all around, and for the biggest too, like being part of an evolving universe that is more alive than we could possibly imagine.
This same enquiry goes inwardly as we start to consider more deeply the choices we make in how they might be different when coming from a place of contribution to the aliveness, the messages we send out to the world from the beliefs we hold within. Why do things need to be done faster? What makes more feel better? How can it be that silence is not enough?
Being in the wilds of nature has done something to the way I see the world. The rhythmic patterns and the unexpected changes, the stillness amidst the dynamism, the rough and the soft textures of the ground… there is so much contrast, so much variety, so much unknown and yet it is all perfectly fine, just as it is. After a night harvest of bamboo, while waiting for the morning light to dawn, our local team are completely content to sit, to be, to see the mist lift and listen to the dawn chorus sing. Time is plentiful.
So what is this all about? Now, after a year and a half of living here, it has become a little clearer that our initial question can be heard as a tone for action, asking ‘how can life feel more beautiful?’. From this place we can create a world that feels meaningful to be part of.