Thursday, July 31, 2008

Everybody loves the Sunshine!

Sunshine was 37 yesterday. By his own admission, the happiest birthday of his life to date, 2008, or as we are beginning to say, year 1 in Zion. Twas another magical day. A treat of a fried breakfast and pressies for the big guy all wrapped up River style. A relaxing day pleasuring in each others company and preparing for Bacelo’s first party in the evening. Which was a big success too. Raquel, Belita + Pedro, Joao Eugenia Filipe and George, Hugo Sofia + their kids Andre + Malfida, Carlos + Theresa + bump, Evout + his cutey son Tjack (throwing sand) from the UK now in Serta, Fiona + Mark and their little Elsie recently moved to Madeirã and the magnificent 7 of us. Sunshine was made up with all his presents. Bless. As Roy Ayres so aptly put it, “Everybody loves the Sunshine”.

Popped over to the Mount of Oaks in Fundão at the weekend to revel in the enchantment of Shantii B and her wandering clan. Met a young couple from Israel called Titali and Uriah (the guy in the photo with Joshi’s hair) who are pure gorgeous and having just arrived are already using their experience of building in mud to great effect. Can’t wait to have them over to Zion one day soon, along with Josh and Rosie who’ve not yet had the chance to nip across yet. As always, lots of stimulating chats, music, singing and water fights for the kids. Highlight was the mulberry and pear crumble cooked in a makeshift solar oven made of rubbish – a white polystyrene box, backed with a cardboard headboard and lined with foil. Of course, Von quizzed Josh on everything and we built one immediately on our return. It reached 150˚C on first attempt yesterday. Here come cakes, pies, stews, baked fish and then some. And tis all kindly provided by the power of the sun, free. Sweet.

On a more reflective note, with all the road building work going on, plus the house restoration stuff at Moses and Bacelo, it’s been a trifle chaotic. I am learning to go with the flow of what happens day to day. Whatever happens, must be happening for a reason. So if I sometimes don’t really get what that purpose is, I am opening myself, gradually, to the possibility that all things will work out as they’re supposed to in the end, and am embracing the experience of each of my encounters everyday.

Joaquim the fishmonger has almost finished excavating the path of the new road (keep up), and over the last 2 days he’s masterfully carved out a gigantic chunk of the mountain side so I can fulfil a promise made to Josh and Ellie last year. We now have a new flat terrace perfect for a tennis court, football cage, cricket net and golf driving range. With landscaping on this scale, we're starting to see the final shape of the gardens at Moses. From top to bottom, setting off with the swimming pond terrace, stumbling upon a yoga sala terrace a little further down with resplendent views of 7 rolling hills, back to the entrance car park behind the kids’ house that will also house a barn cut into the rock face on two sides, down to the sports arena just above the guest house (the one we are buying back from Michelle), and next week they'll begin restoring a sweeping terrace below our house for River’s greenhouses and nursery gardens. And we're only 3 weeks into the work.

Of course, none of this is anywhere finished but as the structure is emerging others are more able to understand what River and I have been rambling on about for months. The vision for this place. Of what could be created. Of what is being created. My heart is full of thankfulness to the one who made all of it in the first place, and we hope, is in the midst of us, in front and behind, guarding, protecting, inspiring, enjoying. Yeah man. Give thanks and praise to the Lord and every little ting is gonna be Irie. Keep shining on us cos we ain’t growing noways without ya. One love.

A wee house hunt...

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