sunrise over swamps

sunset over melancholy seas

Bookshelf: Currently Reading

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Soil and Sacrament: A spiritual memoir of food and faith (2013). Fred Bahnson. New York: Simon & Schuster.

I started reading this book today and I am so, so glad it’s come into my life. In a well-timed fluke, last night I watched the documentary Symphony of the Soil – and I highly recommend it. It’s an absolute must-watch for people interested in the connections between ecology and agriculture.

This book, Soil and Sacrament, follows the personal spiritual journey of a Methodist pastor who travels to different faith and ethnic communities (Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal and Jewish) where growing food and tending the Earth are central to spirituality.

The book is just beautiful, so far. Christendom desperately needs to take seriously the concerns of the environmentalist movements if we are ever to fulfil the mandates to tend God’s garden and to feed the hungry. It’s a relief and inspiration to read this book. And there’s lots of practical gardening advice woven through the text.

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Bookshelf: Currently Reading

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BattleAxe by Sara Douglass (1995). Sydney: Voyager.

I’m currently sitting on page 314 out of 576. The more I read, the more absorbed I become in the amazing story.

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Rewild, Day 7

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Photo of my art journal today, 7 April 2014

The Rewild Challenge is proving to be a fun, rewarding process. Admittedly, I’m not getting outdoors as much as I ought, but the exercises for personal reflection are good.

Today’s challenge asked the question, “What is your dream home?” but with a bias towards the environmental impact of the materials and energy usage of the house. Part of the task was to actually go to the site of your dream home.

Now, for me that would involve an almost 3 to 4 hour trip. If I have to narrow down my dream location to a specific point in the time/space continuum, where it intersects material reality (sorry, I think all the Star Trek: The Next Generation that I’ve watched lately is affecting me), my dream home would be somewhere out on the coast on the Western side of my home state. It’s a part of the world I never saw before a few years ago, but I find myself compelled to return there frequently. The rugged coast, the old growth cool-temperate rainforests, the large pockets of isolated land. The surprises like the gourmet restaurant we found perched atop a mountain, where they happily took on the challenge of creating vegan food for us on the spot; the rock formations carved by wild seas, the waterfalls, the history of this untameable stretch of Australian land… It draws me back so that I’m there several times a year, if only to stand on the beach in the rain and look out to the southern horizon, beyond which lies the Antarctic.

I won’t throw the rest of my dreams out to be dissected by the blogiverse, but it would have to be as environmentally conscious as I could manage. Locally indigenous native plants, heritage vegetables, and the greatest cat run known to man. I’m quite keen on developing a rehabilitated local ecosystem that sustains native animal species (particularly at the insect, amphibian and bird level).

Funnily enough (maybe) but my dream home is not big. All I want is adequate space. The bigger the house, the more cleaning it requires and the more energy it takes to manage its indoor climate. As far as possible, I’d love to be off the grid.

But in the end, a dream home has to be more than just a monument to self. Ideally, I picture my dream home being a space that includes others. A space for spirituality. A place for hospitality. And a space to create community.

And it needs a view of the ocean -
the wilder, the better.

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