Wednesday, October 20, 2010


In the last week I have been picking the last of the beans before the monsoon and musing on my relationship to these plants. How picking them is an exercise in balancing the growth of the plants so that they grow as many beans as possible for as long as possible.

All plants that we call vegetables produce them in an effort to grow seed, although we often eat them before they get to the seed producing stage. Once the plants have grown seed, if they are annuals (ie seeds planted every year) they stop producing and the plant dies. The long beans I have been picking are eaten at a stage of growth before they produce seed. Thus the more we pick, the more beans the plant grows as it tries to produce seed. It is important to pick all the beans that are ready for eating, otherwise they stay on the plant to grow to the stage where they produce seed and the plant gets the message to stop growing more beans.

Picking beans is therefore an exercise in balancing the plant. In making sure that all the beans that are ready have been picked, but not picking any beans that are not ready for eating. In that way we can keep the bean plant producing for the most amount of time although of course eventually it does get old and die.

It made me think about the balance I don't have in my life at the moment. How I seem to be too busy doing things I 'have' to do leaving me with too little time to do the things I 'want' or 'need' to do for my own health and well being. Unlike the bean plants I cannot rely on anyone else to create this balance for me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Ever since my house was broken into just over a month ago I have been unable to write or paint. The thieves got in by breaking the jalleys (cement shapes that let in the light) in two windows which meant there was a huge amount of mess to clear up and repairs to do. I also ended up doing something which I have resisted for some time which was to put metal bars  at all the windows. Which of course meant even more mess and disruption while that was being done.

During this time I have found it impossible to write or paint and hence the gap in my posts on this blog. Every day I managed to do the necessary work but I had neither the inspiration or the energy for any kind of creative endeavor. It wasn't just the lack of time and all the disruption.  I felt that something had shut down inside me. I felt dry.

Yet without all was wet, as we experienced much more rain than usual at this time of year. At one point we had three days of grey skies and rain that was more like the monsoon than the usual  showers and thunderstorms of the summer rains.  At one point we started to go short of electricity  as no sun = no electricity when you depend on solar power.  Although there were no floods at times it got very soggy.

It was the water that finally unlocked my spirit.

One early morning as I walked from my house to the garden I looked up at the sky and saw the most beautiful rainbow over the full moon that was just setting in the west. For some reason we don't see many rainbows here and those we have are often quite faint and don't last long. But because of the sun coming from the rising sun this one had clear colours in a clear blue sky and seemed to last longer than most. 

A few days later, as a result of that mysterious process known as 'creation' or maybe 'inspiration'  I felt something unlock within me and I painted the following picture:

 And as I painted I knew the drought was over and that my creative river was flowing again.  I felt blessed.