During this low season in Pai - with less travellers here during the heavy rainy season - we have been working on a few projects at the Garden. Chinua has been revamping the workshop, organising and researching what tools we need to set it up as a decent woodworking space. Joshua has finished the Labyrinth. And Neil (and I, and other helpers who come along, but mostly Neil!) has been making beautiful red brick garden beds for all our vegetables and flowers at the front of the Shekina Garden property. The progress has been slow but satisfying, as we learn how to lay bricks together. If you listen to our podcast, you’ve probably heard Rae and I speak about them often over the last months. Many hours have gone into these garden beds, and as we creep closer to them all being finished, we have been talking about throwing a party to celebrate their completion, with Neil as the guest of honour! They’ve been planted with ginger, corn, okra, beans, mint, rosella, zinnias, lettuces and amaranth, and have been truly looking beautiful.
But as you may have read last week, three floods (so far) have come through our property, bringing mud, debris and chaos.
Thankfully they haven't been as high as the flood we experienced in 2016, and we had a little bit of prior warning, so were able to move valuable things up high onto benches and shelves. However, the whole property has gone underwater 3 times and there is weeks of cleaning and fixing and gardening work ahead. The frustrating and disheartening thing was that after the first two floods - which happened within 24 hours - we spent a whole week cleaning, fixing the fence, removing debris, setting fruit trees upright, high-pressure hosing out the kitchen and workshop, salvaging wood and other items... Just to have that work totally destroyed again a week later.
We are so thankful, however, that we haven't had any really serious damage - all our buildings are still standing and most of our fruit trees have survived. As have our beautiful brick garden beds! The ginger is happy as ever, the beans and okra are fruiting like mad and the mint seems ok too. There’s even been a papaya seedling and some sweet potato spring up that we didn’t know were there.
And we are so so thankful that we all have safe, dry homes to go to. So as the rains continue every day, we are waiting until the threat of any further flooding passes before we do any serious cleaning work.
There really is so much to learn from the work of gardening and interacting with nature in a hands-on way. Sometimes our work is undone. Sometimes it endures, or is changed. Our patience is tested, our bodies are tired out. We learn new ways to co-operate. We are reminded how tiny and helpless we are. We give thanks.
(a post by Ro)