Making a Jungle a Home
What is it that makes a place home?
We arrived in Mexico nearly two months ago.
To me, it feels like we have been here much longer, and Mexico feels like home.
I love waking up snuggled between Beave and Maustrappe the cat, listening to the morning orchestra of birdsong, woodpeckers, neighbour’s rooster, and the local cowherd with his distinctive shouts. When I open my eyes I am greeted by a million shades of green through the haze of the mosquito net over our bed. Our house now has all that we need (other than power, but that’s coming).
Our biggest challenge in the house is refrigeration. To that end we bought a small chest freezer, which we plug in when we run the generator (about every 2 or 3 days) and we bring bags of ice back from town. It works like a big cooler box, and keeps our milk, cheese and other essentials cool. I’m looking forward to having a fridge once the solar system is installed.
Every day we make progress. It’s a very rewarding way to live, knowing that poco a poco (little by little) we are building a sanctuary, for ourselves, for the wildlife and vegetation of the forest, and for the people who visit.
I cried the day we had to cut some trees down to make way for the sun. We feel very strongly that our place is to protect this slice of nature which we have the honour of shepherding, and to fell those strong, graceful beings was heartbreaking. Don’t get me wrong, it is part of looking after the forest, and had to be done. Losing those trees makes space for the rest of the jungle to thrive, and we will be using the wood on the land, but still it hurt.
I feel everything very strongly here in the jungle. I think it is because we feel the impacts of every action so clearly and visibly. In corporate life I often felt like much of what we were doing had little to no impact, it is hugely motivational to see the results of one’s actions – seeing the pool water clear after adding chlorine, green shoots resulting from planting seeds, and people greeting you by name because you took the time to introduce yourself the last time you crossed paths.