Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The essential difference

The transformation I have made to fit in with this environment is not one of me becoming just one of the locals or my neighbors. It is quite possible for me to do that or at least make a stab at it, but I believe it would be counterproductive. It is just not me to completely isolate myself and try to live like them.

To live in an area everyday of the year and try to farm the land like my neighbors would be foolish. I don't have the level of energy and strength for manual work that those of my age have been used to here. I don't have family and local friends to call upon to help. Neither do I have the years ahead to begin at a rudimentary level and work my way up to where I want to go.

In any case in this day and age there is no norm either. Every person has his or her unique set of circumstances. Luck, marriage, family circumstance as well as lifestyle behaviour all contribute to how one lives one's life in any place. One must also remember that my neighbors are decendants of people who were granted land in the 1930s as part of the original DS Senanayake colonization schemes in Minneriya. The people therefore came from all parts of the country and settled here like a mass migration hoping for a beter life. Some people still have ties to their home villages to which they return. They have relatives and sometimes even send their children to schools there. In that sense I am no different. I am also a transplant like most of them be it one now rather than a few generations ago.

I therefore believe it is more practical to benefit as much as I can from maximising the use of this land. I should organize this enterprise so that I and the land around me produce an optimum balance; a way of life and a means to live off the land in a way that enhances the productivity of the land and retain its ecological balance while aiming to create a beautiful place that can be enjoyed by all. A place of relaxation. A place of meditation. A place of activity. A place of inspiration. A place of work. A place of education and a place of innovation.

Therefore it fits into my overall plan. It iss omewhere I can grow fruit, vegetable and herbs that I can sell at retail prices to give me an income that is adequate. A place where the people working for pay are treated fairly. A place where some innovative ideas of agriculture can be taught and copied by others. An example of energy saving by way of the use of a windmill will be a plus in this regard too, if I am able to carry out my plan as intended.

I will definitely like to spend more time here as I get older and am more able to organize my affairs better so I don't have to work so hard 7 days of the week attending to every aspect of the business. I am at the moment working harder than I have in my previous life.

This chosen path will inevitably have its ups and downs and changes to suit circumstances that occur in the future. We can never perfectly plan our lives as we are not in complete control of it. We must therfore have a plan and work towards the plan, but make the detours as necessary when the need arises.

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