All day long birds sipped sweetness from the throaty kangaroo paws I planted next to the house four years ago.
Earlier in the week six “smallies” found delight in the hammock I hoisted between two gum trees four years ago for visitors of any age seeking rest (or fun).
Jayne Whitford, architect and designer of children’s outdoor learning environments, spent most of Friday here and during a walk along the Peace Path found the buttery coconut fragrance of the Kunzia Ambigua bushes pure bliss. These I put in as tiny seedlings 20 years ago.
One could be forgiven in thinking that my emphasis on the “I have” is a bit of grandstanding on my part. No so. Rather it is an attempt to give substance to the title of this blog: “When you can’t pay back, pay forward”.
There have been many people of many persuasions from many countries who have been of immeasurable help to my ripening. Death, distance and time make it neigh impossible to “pay back” anything of worth to these valuable souls. What I can do, though, is express gratitude for their past guidance by “paying forward” to present and future visitors coming to Windgrove with the gift of a memorable experience. Within them — especially the kids – seeds of hope planted here could, in some small way, blossom into a way of being in the world that helps them remain actively positive throughout their journey. A journey I will not be around to witness.
Yes, it means time away from the studio.
Yes, it means time away from the garden.
Yes, it means time away from the books.
Yes, it means time away from the still aloneness I cherish.
When we are unable to return a favor, we can pay it forward to someone or something else. Using this approach, we can see ourselves as part of a larger flow of giving and receiving throughout time. Receiving from the past, we can give to the future. When tackling issues such as climate change, the stance of gratitude is a refreshing alternative to guilt or fear as a source of motivation.
Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone
from Active Hope: How to face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy