Windgrove

Two hearts beating

February 4, 2018

At 7AM earlier in the week, I went to the kitchen to pour a glass of water from the jug that sits next to the window far right of the sink. At the bottom, huddled in 35mm of water, was a shivering “Little Pygmy-possum”.

I picked up the very scared tiny creature who, most likely assuming that I was about to eat it, tried to escape from my hands. It’s fur was totally saturated and the little guy would, certainly be suffering from hypothermia. I grabbed the towel off the stove handle and wrapped it around the squirming ball of wet fur. Next, I walked over to the reading corner, sat down and opened up the towel enough to put the Pygmy-possum directly against my heart and skin warmth. Within a few minutes all was quiet beneath the towel and my hands.

I sat for an hour this way. I meditated. I thought how six months earlier I had the first of two total knee replacements with the second TKR operation just three months ago. Following the second operation I started to have severe bouts of atrial fibrillations of the heart lasting up to 13 hours. The short story is that I’m now on beta blockers to keep my AF under control.

The Pygmy-possum is pressed against my heart. Two sentient beings of this earth wanting to live a life more-or-less stress free.

Ever so slowly I began to feel movement so I opened up the towel to take a peek inside. Tiny bulging eyes peered at me. Then it started licking itself; doing what it knows best when wet. From nose to tail it cleaned off excess water, even turning over onto its back to lick its belly fur while occasionally turning its head in my direction eyeing me eyeball to eyeball, mammal to mammal. Eventually the Pygmy-possum moved over to a slightly dryer part of my hairy chest, curled up into a little ball and started to sleep now that it felt safe in its little cocoon of human warmth.

At 8:30AM, I carried him/her over to the kitchen counter and said my good-byes as it nimbly scurried over to find a new hiding place behind the cups and bottles.

The photo above was from some years ago when a similar thing happened, but whether the same or different Pygmy-possum, it was still pure delight to hold and provide warmth and protection to something so small and precious.

At 9AM, my heart felt in the best shape ever.

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TODAY

September 28, 2016

So what am I doing at the base of the sculpture ‘Birth’?

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I’m carving the letters TODAY.
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Six hundred million years earlier, visitors to Windgrove begin their 1.2 kilometre journey along the Gaia Evolution Walk where each big step (one metre) equals 500,000 years.

The years roll by with each step. From the Precambrian Eon through to the Cenozoic Era — via the Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods — The Walk is completed when people touch the sculpture ‘Birth’ with its inscribed word: TODAY

Interestingly enough, after almost five years in the making, this lettering marks the formal completion of the Gaia Evolution Walk. The Walk is finally finished.

“To the future”, I say.

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On the gate is the sign: The Future. Once inside, students within the expansive classroom of the Wombat Circle talk, not only of what they learned along the Gaia Evolution Walk, but how they view the future of the planet, the environmental and social changes that will surely occur, and, most importantly, what role they might play in helping to create a peaceful word for themselves and others.

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Another topic of discussion that I like to bring up is whether or not human constructed art has a place in the natural environment. Is the sculpture ‘Birth’ an eye sore? Or, a lovely addition to the surrounding trees? Is it just one man’s ego intruding on the landscape?

Or, does it move beyond a pleasing aesthetic and become transformative to a person’s life? And the earth’s.

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“Before and After”

September 19, 2016

This weekend, on a cloud free morning, I photographed the Peace Bus as it sat all pretty in the landscape surrounded by spring flowering beauty. The wattle tree with its masses of tiny yellows has certainly grown up since planted some ten years ago.

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The “older” Peace Bus looks a bit haggard to the eye. The stove pipe sticking out the side of my home for eight years, at least promises some warmth within the narrow confines of the inner space.

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And, on the inside….

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The older bus… well, what can I say? It was basic and functional. For the first four years, before I installed a couple of solar panels, I had nine candles opposite me on the dining table for light (and company). No phone, no radio; certainly, no internet.

The silence of those evenings was a felt presence on my journey into a philosophical, deep ecological connection to the land called Windgrove. So very important to where I stand today.

I might add that during the first four years I also had no running water. Nor, even a proper “out house”; just a hole in the ground. Not many city visitors during this time.

But now….

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All the lights work. Lace curtains. A gas heater for instant warmth (city people had trouble with the wood heater). Fully functioning stove and fridge. Top-of-the-line queen size mattress. Even the floor has been sanded and varnished.

Now, there are lots of city visitors clamouring to stay.

Goodnight Dan Bailey

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The flow of life

June 25, 2016

Six months ago it was necessary to move the pump’s suction hose to the very middle of the dam in order to extract the last of its water.

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That was January. In April, when only half an inch of rain fell, the dam was completely dry and I walked out to the middle to retrieve the hose and pump and bring them to higher ground just in case it ever rained again and filled the dam.

I wasn’t all that hopeful, to be honest.

But in May heavy rains saturated the land.

In June heavy rains continued and, with the land no longer able to “hold on” to the water, the water finally flowed freely into the dam.

full dam

Yesterday, I took the above photo that shows the newly filled dam. For the first time in over ten years, a stream is flowing into and out of the dam. Almost brings tears to my eyes.

The squishy sound my footsteps make when I walk on the land is a delightful sound.

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Easter Rising

March 28, 2016

Finally, after many, many days of re-finishing the sculpture nicknamed the Pumpkin Pole, it was installed on the eve of Good Friday.

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During the Easter weekend myself and Marisa have been working around the base of “Birth” in preparation of sowing grass.

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Here’s a very short four second video that is fun to watch.

gaia from Peter Adams/Windgrove on Vimeo.

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Look closely at this microscope and you’ll see that the cobweb I was looking at six months ago has taken over. A fairly good indication of it not being used.

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Bad house keeping? Possibly, but more likely that I just haven’t had the time to pursue indoor activities, much as I would like.

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My studio is also a mess, but no cobwebs here. Instead, there are three projects on the go: the carving of ‘Present Time’, 29 more Gaia Evolution Walk posts to be sanded and drilled out before placement, and, a green basketball backboard being prepped for the neighbour kids.

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Speaking of kids, in the past few months I’ve had constructed a bus turnaround for school trips coming to Windgrove.

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And, school trips mean a place to pee. So, two new outdoor toilets. Nothing flash, but the view into the bushes is pleasant enough.

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Then there’s the resident artists who stay in the Peace Bus. To make their stay “slightly” more comfortable, I finally got around to installing a gas heater in the bus and an outdoor shower.

Hopefully, the electrical conduit and water pipes are attached correctly to their respective operational units and not crossed up.

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Well, Steve seems happy enough with the result of his handiwork.

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And this weekend I covered up the trench with pavers all the way to the toilet. Looking good, I think.

Maybe now, time to dust the house? Oh, I forgot. The veggies need watering.

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