An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Thursday, February 02, 2006

As the wolf howls at our door

As the wolf-like wind howls at our door a drape of rain covers the valley like the lank and unkempt hair of a greasy adolescent. Cloud, grey and threatening, obscures the heavens, refusing to move even in this north-east roaring wind. . Between the heavy downpours there are heavy showers and yet more gusts.

Gill stands at the table stripping lavender. I have just brought in the logs for tonight and topped up the kindling. The stove is cleaned and a fire laid in for tonight. We are set fair no matter what the day throws our way. I fancy we shall not be going out today. The temperature is falling rapidly too. I am just waiting for the cold white index finger on my right hand to come back to me. The cold white hand will tingle itself back to life.

The girls make random forays from out their warm dry kennel to check the progress of the day and empty bowels and bladders. Coffee brews. Toast fills the air, mingling with the aroma of lavender that pervades the cellar. Toast and Marmite soon. The light is poor but we resist the urge to switch a light on. Ones eyes become accustomed eventually.

And as I sit and write I think of what we have given up for this: a life of champagne, fine restaurants; a life almost without limit - financially. Our life back there was fast lived and full of things and people (not exactly friends but it seemed so at the time). We sold our minds, ideas, and problem solving skills and were well paid for it. Very well paid indeed. We had it all - money rich and time poor. We hardly even noticed.

Why would you give all this up? Could it not have been wrenched away from us? Yes. Was it ours to keep? No. Perhaps it felt permanent. Perhaps it still does to those who live it today but the illusion is just that. It can all be gone in an instant and nothing you can do about it. It is very 21st century. It is the very price we pay for affluence in the rich world - impermanence. Transitory material glory. And so, we cashed in and shifted down several gears for a life that is time rich and cash poor. A life we live as we want within the disciplines and constraints we have signed up to. A poetic life. Hardly idyllic but certainly poetic. And the concomitant is that we have a freedom - a set of freedoms that we hardly expected. Freedoms from, rather than freedoms to, but freedoms nonetheless and valuable ones at that.

No more whoring our brains. No more at the call of others. No more the treadmill of capitalism. Freedom and integrity. We made the right decision.

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