26 October 2010

Signs of the Season

Spring shines forth in Los Brujos, sun between rains leaving the forest in bloom dazzling with light. We are creatures in evolution, spiraling through transformation, greeted with familiar signs marking the seasons of our growth; this forest, its inhabitants. I can not tell if the abundant layers of green, the budding reds, yellows, and whites, have increased in number over the past four years, or if in my patient observing that my eyes have adapted to the finer details, now making greater distinction in the growing, entwining forms, better discerning the biodiversity and their cycles of awakening. Perhaps as we evolve, trees stretching upward, undergrowth spreading outward, and the intersections where light and shadow fall change accordingly, dormant seeds slip out of their waiting and take the risk of rising, blossoming, showing off their vulnerable beauty in the full light of day. Same as flowers, artists make similar decisions in the sharing of their art; whether consciously or not, the transformation unfolds along similar patterns. And when many artists come together with their myriad trades and passions, the effect is similar to the kaleidoscope of forms pushing through a forest floor mid-Spring: ideas spilling over tree trunks, mosses inspiring vines, tender petals giving song under ferns building shade, conversations on growth painting harmony in form, in color, in sound.

As the evening glow stretches long into shadow, the hum of hatching beetles taking flight is surpassed by the vibrating precision of a hummingbird harvesting nectar from the newly opened notro flowers. Red and green they call to each other in an ancient rite of courtship and the golden light through the leaves sets the scene theatrically, highlighting the first orange orbs of the matico plant just as the asara’s yellow coat begins to fade. Quietly smiling at the edges, the pinwheel-like orchids that began their appearance a couple of weeks ago as white serpent heads in the undergrowth now open en masse revealing their laughing dragon faces along our paths and at every entrance to the forest. Seagulls call, appear overhead in formation and disappear again in their annual migration, sometimes sending chattering, startled flocks of green mountain parrots darting frantically towards their next social engagement. As dusk pushes the light to the murky shade where the human eye loses contrast, the clear songs of bands of black birds call out across the treetops before the frog choruses resonate from their hidden places deep in the creek beds, accompanying us into the night.

Tools put away as the candles come on, a thanks to the house altar for a good day’s work, we sit together with tea and toast, sharing ideas, our accomplishments and challenges. A second hydraulic ram pump assembled and set in a small footer of concrete awaiting the drying before the final installation that we hope will bring us stream water for all our summer watering needs. An abandoned refrigerator adapted to use tomorrow’s sun to heat bathwater and maybe cook a pot of rice. Piles of mud-bricks stacked out to dry, nearly ready to fill the final walls on the puppeteer’s house, their green roof already a glow of healthy grasses and moss. The lower garden completely fenced off from chicken claws, terraced beds all planted and mulched, with broad bean shoots already appearing, established broccoli, cabbage, and kale with delicious leaves for salads. The greenhouse bursting with seedlings, small tomato plants and basil, lettuce and parsley for the taking. The design for a composting toilet set in a tree ready to execute and despite being exhausted, project ideas continue unfolding, inspired by the enthusiasm and the confidence of many working hands supporting one another; creatively realizing long-pondered dreams. Have we always enjoyed such abundance, or have my body, heart, and mind adapted to the pace of collective harmonizing over the years? I can not know, but I do enjoy the signs of the season.