It was an indecisive day for cycling. The town isn’t big, but the chaos of vehicles during morning hours gets me. It is preferable to drive out with the cycle in the car, ride a trail and drive back. Early morning confusion about which direction to take meant no ride today. Earlier, the choice between reading and workouts in mornings was clearly with reading. After the lockdown eased and since the time I have moved to hometown, it has been the opposite. These days workouts, especially cycling, have been a priority. Adversity and absences bring about the hardest changes in the shortest span of time. There was a time when I would barely manage four posts a month on the blog. Whereas, in the time since the world shut down and we are facing the pandemic, I have managed to write every single day. It was only around the 80th day that publishing feel behind by a couple of days. Writing has become relatively consistent. The process has helped too. It has become a very useful way of reflection, contemplation and concentration on aspects of daily living. I have often felt a need to not let the ‘now’ pass unexamined. It is in the present that hints of an unfolding future are found. I have felt a need to see the now carefully. This also guarantees a foundational level of confidence about one’s way ahead.
We drove to the farm in the evening. This is the second week since sowing soybean in both the plots. The farms received a brief shower on the second day after sowing. The expectation of rains is palpable here. The saplings need a couple of showers to grow well whereas iIt hasn’t rained adequately yet. The anxieties and worries here are simple and identifiable. Rain and crops are the top of the pile. Very little here is inward looking. Nearly every concern of the people can be located outside then, on things more systemic or beyond their immediate control. Being played this way by variable beyond one’s influence and control leads to a peculiar way of life. The sense of helplessness can be high. At the same time a sense of being at peace can also be seen. I walked closer to the reservoir’s waterline. It was a glorious evening with landscapes appearing as though rendered in watercolours. A perfect few hours walking around the windy farm plots leaves me much enthusiastic about everything.
Driven by the thought of enormous gains that I seem to receive from the environment and landscapes here, there is an urge to keep the impact from living here to the minimum. A minimum impact, low footprint house is being planned on the plot next to the hillock. I am thinking of prefabricated homes that can be assembled on site. This will reduce time and construction cost of a standard house.
In all these years of reading and thinking about sustainability, there have been very few instances where I have felt genuinely driven by these thoughts. A brief spell of time at the farm and places around it has driven me instinctively to leave the place as unharmed and unexploited as possible, given that it will still continue to be farmed and lived upon. To find a piece of earth under a sky of one’s liking is a kind of fortune that one doesn’t realize that one wished for, until it happens. I deep breathe more often these days.