What amazes me most are not the technological solutions for solar power, solar hot water, and energy efficiency measures that we have implemented, but the daily cycle of the vegetable garden. It is in this small, vibrant, space that I derive the most pleasure each and every day, however, I have been caught a few times standing and staring at the solar panels like a love struck teenager!
Nature is a wonderful leveller, and it has the power to bring you back to reality very quickly. Just by spending a day in the garden fills me with joy, knowing that I am growing our own food as nature intended. To be in touch with the seasonal cycles uplifts your spirit, and keeps you in tune with your surroundings and helps you be at one with yourself. It certainly takes the steam out of a tough day in the office! If asked if I would do anything differently over the last 19 months, I would answer no. It is the journey so far that has made it all worthwhile and fun. We are closer as a family, and all understand the ramifications of our actions upon the planet. It is a pretty cool thing, when your eight year old son thinks you are a Scientist who is trying to save the planet. I have told him what I really do, but he doesn’t believe me. I suppose actions always speak louder than words in a child’s mind.
The only thing I would have changed, was to have woken from the dream that I used to call my life, one hell of a lot earlier. It took a movie (albeit a good one) to make me understand what was wrong with my lifestyle and to cause my green epiphany. It all feels so surreal to me now, that I used to lust after the latest dodad or gizmo, then seek instant gratification by using one of the many credit cards and I had to purchase it. That part of me is gone for good.
I now want for nothing. Kim mentioned to me only a few weeks ago, that it was so hard to buy something for my birthday. She did well though with the pressure cooker. It is something I use every week. To understand how far we have all come, all of my presents were wrapped in newspaper, as were everyone else’s this year, and we made all of the cards we gave, and recycled the ones we received. I wouldn’t have even thought simple things like this were possible a few years ago or even thought of it, let alone actually doing them ourselves. I am still gob smacked at the way everyone around me have followed me down the rabbit hole, and actually enjoyed it. It makes you have renewed faith in the real human spirit, and that we will overcome the major global issues that now face us all.
“`Who are YOU?’ said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, `I–I hardly know, sir, just at present– at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.'”
Lewis Carroll – Alice in Wonderland