Day 2: Bliss
The second day of my new journey was just wonderful. After wrestling with the first somewhat obvious objection of “things outside of my control” and deciding to be happy anyhow… day 2 was really just a golden day of peaceful, blissful happiness.
Our local community has a weekly gathering where we all pull into one of the landholds on rotation and assist each other with whatever labour intensive project is going on there. Well on day two it was our turn and it was just wonderful to have all the neighbours arrive to assist me with a project that I have on my land. As it happens I am building a huge "cage" over an area with new baby fruit trees and vegetable beds. If I don’t, as soon as the trees begin to bear fruit, we will be mercilessly raided by monkeys and baboons. As it is, the poor little trees were having their leaves nibbled off by deer and horses! And, would you believe it, baboons seem to think potatoes are an irresistible delicacy. So we are building a cage made of a wood and lined inside with bird netting. This will keep all the wildlife out so that we can reap the rewards of our hard work and sustain ourselves from our garden.
The point here is that I was struck by how wonderful this all is. Firstly, how wonderful it is that THIS is my problem: I actually have monkeys, baboons, deer, porcupine and bushpigs that visit my land! How lucky am I? And my neighbour’s horses come strolling through for a visit when the mood takes them. Excellent! So okay, the wild animals have a whole huge forest to forage and the horses have plenty of grazing. They don’t need my fruit trees and my veggy plants… but I certainly do! Lisa and I are trying for a degree of self-sufficiency and we do need these plants to grow and be productive. And so we had all the neighbours arriving with their tools in hand to help us build a solution to the problem. How doubly excellent! And to top it all it was just the most wonderfully golden day. Everything was perfect. And then, as the sun began to set we called it a day and we all went to sit on my big porch overlooking the forested gorges and shared a much deserved social beer or glass of wine.
So I was contemplating how perfect this all is and it struck me: just as the misery and irritation of the previous day were not actually from outside of me… just so were the joyful, blissful feelings I was currently experiencing also not from outside of me. I was, in both instances, choosing to feel that way. I was attaching those feelings to the things that were going on around me. I was making it SEEM as if those feelings were caused by the events and circumstances outside of me. But this is all an illusion. The feelings come from within and are projected onto the external circumstances. I COULD just as well have been miserable angry and irritable over the “goddamn wild animals that are destroying my food” and “why can’t my bloody neighbour keep his damnable horses under control on his property”. And there were plenty of opportunities to get wildly irritated as I was working. Anyone that has ever done any DIY or building will tell you: things are always more complicated than you think and they never go exactly as planned. You see I really could have picked a scratchy, angry mood and felt completely justified if I wanted to. And, as if to prove my point, that night the wind picked up a bit again and, since I had not yet gotten around to oiling the cowl on the chimney it was again screeching away. But it didn’t bother me in the least. I relaxed and "let go" and found myself drifting off to sleep with a contented smile on my dial.
It was a good day. Because I was willing to make it so…