Notice the change in flower produced by this camellia. Is this a new direction or a throw back to an old one? It doesn't really matter. What is important is that unforeseen possibilities present themselves. Life is very much about maintaining a readiness to notice qualitative change and benefit from it, to get providence to work in your favor. Hence, I have marked the different branch and will take cuttings from it in April – the best time for cuttings here – and, in this way, a different variety of camellia is created.
When I was a little boy, my father would ask me to help and, like most little boys, there were occasions when I would hesitate and make a face but this didn't last long. He said, quite simply,
'Come with a goodwill or not at all.'
And that was the end of the matter. Or rather the beginning. To be out of favor with those we love makes life meaningless, leaves no life. The choice we all face is that simple; come with a goodwill or not at all.
Now, imagine that I was to discover that this principle is how a lead horse maintains harmony and success for a herd of horses. That is the option he gives to any horse and, given the other horse needs to be part of a community to survive, it must accept it or perish. It is no wonder horses fitted in here so well: we were brothers and sisters all the time, sharing the same vision and rule of life!
I didn't exactly choose to retire from academic life: like many others, because of the recession, my job was cut. It was inevitable. Yet, what is the recession but an indication that we need to change, to do something different.
Here, on the farm, the situation was very much the same. The market for wine had been destroyed, meat products successively banned and our forests burnt so that it was obvious that we could no longer leave the future to unfold in traditional terms. The renewal that must take place is in our hands alone.
And so like those before us, we take the bull by the horns, confident that we can not only benefit from the force of circumstances, prepared to play and get tossed into the air, but also land safely on the ground and secure events and prosperity for those around us.
And looking around, it is clear that the force is with us:-)
Today I was out mulching, which means cutting up the undergrowth in the forest fine so that the energy and nutrients become available in the soil and, thus, become food for the trees. Similarly, I will prune some trees and coppice others, extending desired growth on the one hand and revitalizing growth on the other. Of course, this takes a lot of work and energy some of which is not renewable. So let's say there is a way to only use renewable energy – no machines or fuel AND make the process more efficient.
That is what horses do when they munch undergrowth, for they also add enzymes that speed up the decaying process and make nutrients available much faster. However, there is a catch: the undergrowth needs to be in a palatable form for the horses to eat; it must be no more than two years old and, thus, tender. Similarly, trees less than two years old are liable to be eaten. So you have to get the balance right: young undergrowth and old trees. Hence, next year, enter the horses: no more mulching, just munching – horsepower at its best.
You read that 'attitude' is the key that is turned by trust, respect, honesty, humility, integrity, and authenticity when it comes to horses. But these are simply by-products.
These are not the vision. It is much simpler. It is about organic transformation – a transcending horse power which permeates from the micro cellular level to macro
level of human consciousness, an emerging meeting of our souls into a new dimension of well being. We struggle to find it, but it moves and empowers us.
We are groping around in the dark, searching for the next paradigm shift. Just like the foal waiting to be born, but it will be born... And what is the next paradigm shift, but a throw-back to an earlier way of thinking that was successful but has been largely discarded. It is what I call Celtic or both/and-thinking. We have this peculiar expression which says, you can't have your cake and eat it: that choosing one thing excludes another. But what sense does that have in terms of a cake? Clearly, it is there to nourish and be nourishing.
Both/and thinking means, therefore, by choosing one thing, it permits you to benefit not only in terms of close options but other ones as well. Being yourself in a crowd, gives purpose to the collective, adding benefit to you and others and making possible other objectives as well. So rather than seeing specialization as fragmented thinking it becomes part of the big picture and life today as well as tomorrow.
Thinking like this, you don't feel alone; you don't feel the urge to fill yourself with everything possible and grab and hold as much around you as you can in a forever failing attempt to create a feeling of security. Instead, you choose not to drown in a materialist sea of things: you feel secure in your relationship to others, secure in the knowledge that you are part of the greater good, secure in a process of joyful expectation. Like the foal here about to be born.