In three weeks, I’ll have been at Peka Peka for one year. This is a little of what I’ve learned.
Go barefoot. I have between 100,00-200,000 exteroceptors (a sensory nerve ending stimulated by the immediate external environment) in each of my feet and they love being bare. Preferably on the sand or grass, and if it’s the latter, dewy is even better. If you’re not willing to take my word for it, here is an article on the benefits of being barefoot.
Sleep is the bomb. Most of us don’t get nearly enough, particularly the early ‘core sleep’, quality is apparently just as important as quantity. You hear people say they get used to sleep deprivation, actually the vast majority of us don’t. After a year of raising two high energy puppies who for the first 6 months woke at least once during the night needing to pee, I have considerably more sympathy for new parents. Sleep is an enormously important ingredient in our recipe for self-healing, lack of it can make us more anxious, affect food choices and lead to disease. Again, if you won’t take my word for it, click here and here.
The trick to not feeling overwhelmed by a large house (never owned a house before and this one is 300 sqm) and 12 acres of land with 2 acres of garden (never had a garden before) is to not feel overwhelmed. Occasionally this is easier said than done, but it turns out that step 1 is to make a conscious decision not to feel overwhelmed. Step 2 is to break it down into steps. And realise that I don’t have to deal with all the weeds in one day. Or even one week.
I’m considerably more handy than I thought. I’m not one for reading instruction manuals. I bave spent my adult life thus far considering myself far from handy. But it’s amazing what you can do when you have to. When no-one else is around to fix things. Or they are, but it’s your responsibility. At 11pm two days before Christmas, wickedly tired, I downloaded the manual for my dishwasher, disassembled and reassembled part of it in order to fix the fact it wasn’t cleaning properly.
I love it here. Recently, I read an excellent blogpost by Umair Haique on How to Let Your Purpose Find You. His advice is to be uncool enough to love.
“In our overly numb culture of icy cool, when we do feel something, we so often feel the opposite of love: hate, anger, fear, and envy. And those can give you drive. But drive isn’t purpose — drive is a fury to be slaked, an ambition to be achieved. Purpose is love, not just little-l love, but Big Love, the grand affair that defines a life — first between you and your better, fuller, truer, worthier self; and then between your that self and the world.”
This place found me. I fit in. It’s not that I don’t or haven’t fitted in, in other places. But this one is different. An essential element of practicing biomimicry (an ’emerging discipline of an ancient practice’) is understanding that we are a part of Nature. And we need to learn how to fit in again. I’m learning that here. Learning to listen to the pohutukawas breathe as they sit in a circle surrounding the house. I watch the hawks swoop leisurely up and up and up on currents of air and in some strange inexplicable way, a part of myself takes flight too. I’m learning to listen, observe, take baby steps in order to connect with an inherent wisdom we’ve somehow, mostly, forgotten. But with the help of the 100,000 exteroceptors in my feet, I’m beginning to remember.