I've been trimming the gumamelas around the garden, and there are plenty. So, I'm giving the trimmed stems for free. I have about a hundred or so, big stems, small stems. I just don't have the time to replant and propagate them.
I just hope somebody gets them before they just die and I'd have to destroy them along with the other refuse.
We also have other plants like Cactus, Sansevieria and others.
When you work on land that's 16,500 square meters by yourself, it sometimes drives you insane. That's why I'm here. To keep my sanity from exploding in my head. With pesky weeds of all sorts, annoying insects and those ever perennial vines that climb the hardest to reach of places, it is very, very easy to lose hope. As a one man outfit that occasionally hires help, sometimes I just want to lie down on the ground and forget about everything. Well actually, I just sit down and stare at the sky and look for birds or bees.
I just want to forget about the needy trespassers who make holes in the walls, forget about the thieves who don't value hard work that's been done by another pair of hands, forget about the incessant gossiping that's inherently a part of rural and sometimes urban Filipino culture, forget about the intrigues and attacks on character that seems to be a part of Filipino culture and just forget about the fact that you are not getting paid to do something that's really - extremely difficult.
You Need to Force Yourself to Have Motivation
Hope springs eternal to those who believe that something could be better. Motivation finds its roots in the beauty of the trees and flowers that can only be possible through the laws of nature. What I learned in my three year stay here gardening a large piece of land is that I needed something powerful, something beyond me and my abilities to keep going. I need to find that to nudge my body to go on moving despite the heavy load on my shoulders. Heavy work takes a toll on your mind. It is during the hardest moments when negative thoughts permeate like ants crawling inside your brain. To overcome this, before I begin working I choose a song that I like. Repetitive, positive and upbeat songs are good for the soul. Our brains, at least mine I guess, have that weird ability to repetitively play something in your head once the words have taken root. I just play the song once, and it plays again and again in my head as if I actually had an iPod to play music for me.
Finding Joy and Seeing Fruits and Flowers as a Gift for Your Hard Work
Most trees and plants bear only fruits and flowers once a year. That is why I sometimes overreact when I discover that a tree or a plant that is supposed to bear something simply disappears. Imagine that! A tree can disappear! But in the rare moments when an undiscovered flower presents itself, I just stare at it and yes, sometimes thank it verbally. I may sound like a loon, but these strange and simple acts all point to one thing: I am the steward of this place and that flower, left untouched and unspoiled is something that only I alone can bear witness to at that moment and at that precise point in time.
Of course, knowing that there's a hot meal waiting for me after all those skin darkening procedures is a big plus. An added plus is the time when other people actually see the same beauty that I can see with my own eyes. One time, there was a visitor who remarked about how beautiful the cactus plant was. My heart leaped with joy to know that I had a hand in its growth.
I Can't Do it Alone
No matter how hardy I am, I've learned to come to grips with the fact that I cannot do it alone. Although for the mean time I have no choice but to carry on and do as much as I can with what I have, I look forward to the day when somebody who shares the same vision will work beside me towards the same objective.
The Christian Bible
Although I have many issues concerning this religious text particularly it's veracity and contradictions, it has a surprising amount of anecdotes pertaining to work on the soil and on Jewish and Christian life. Genesis 3:17-18 comes to mind.
"Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. "Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you shall eat the plants of the field;"
With that mind, I have allotted a time for reading it again as my father and mother has done so to me when I was a child. I have a profound respect for my mom and dad who after all, gave us this land to manage. I still vividly recall my father who was here before when he asked me, "Would you like to live here?"
I answered quite snidely as a sub-urban kid, "What am I going to do here?"
One decade has passed and I am still searching for the answer amid difficult conditions. But for the short term, these are the things that I keep in mind when I am out in the soil.
I have been assigned to be the steward and I will fulfill that function to the best of my abilities, even to the death.
I've poured blood, yes, blood, sweat and tears and I will continue to do my job.
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