forest gardening

putting down roots

Everyday now, in the middle of reading or playing or cooking or even sleeping, I think about my kiwi seeds sprouting, my worms thriving or dying, the mini-grassland currently inhabited by chestnut munias (and which, sadly but necessarily, we must clear), the earth. It took me over 30 years to pay attention, but now that I am paying attention, all the green things are infiltrating every cell of my being. And it gives me peace. Purpose. A mission. Sounds grandiose, I know, but if you really think about it, the earth is worthy of such words.

There is much to learn -- from how to not kill my worms to how to eventually scoop up the kiwi seedlings and transfer them into coco-pots (so I can put them in a better location) and everything else in between. I am taking notes and trying my best to remember details. I am reading books on farming, forest gardening, seeds. I am wishing I studied botany in college, but with the futility of wishing comes my searching online for permaculture and sustainable gardening courses I can take.

I'd like to spread this idea and practice of cultivating the land -- for us and for other creatures and for the land itself to stay alive. I'm doing so through this comic-blog, which will inevitably turn into a bookzine, and then, when I know enough and am confident enough, probably start workshops and lectures about forest gardening and sustainability and loving the land. Loving the land. The motherland, yes, of course, but also all land on earth.

It all sounds so basic, and once in the history of humankind, we (our ancestors) all probably knew this stuff. But I struggle to find exact words and phrases to describe what it is I am learning or even thinking, as I knew nothing about any of this a year or so ago, and I am only writing what I am directly experiencing on the ground, literally. And I think that is a good thing, at least for me. For someone who regularly goes through complex mazes of thoughts and ideas, focusing on what's right in front of me, what my hands can hold and feel, and then thinking and writing about it is a refreshing change of pace.

We've come home to the Philippines ready to put down roots. I didn't think I'd do it quite so literally, but here we are, and I'm happy to be here.

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