Serve with a yoghurt dip or hummus.
One thing I quickly noticed when walking around Jarenina in the beginning of the project was that there is not so much water surrounding the village. There is a small stream and a lake some kilometres away but it is a built lake where you are not allowed to swim. I have always lived close to water. When I was little it was different lakes and later the ocean. Me and my family even lived on islands in the archipelago for a while. I think it was first when I came here that I realised how important water is for me, it makes me feel free. Some weeks ago we went to the seaside and when I saw the sea I felt so much more emotions than I thought I would. I gazed over the constantly moving waters and felt home. Because of this I started to think about how much more you learn about yourself during a project like this than you expect. I also came to realise that when you try out new things it is sometimes the thing you always took for granted that you need the most.
If there is no I.
I see you. I am I and You are You.
What about you? You see me. And you say:‘‘I am I and You are You.‘‘ What is the difference?
But I don‘t want this experience. I want to experience everything. I want to see everything in its fullest
form of existence. I want to see the world with all eyes in this world. I want to feel every sensation that is felt in this world. I want to experience everything that is experienced in this world.
I feel restricted and unbalanced in my individual existence. I want to be more than just me. I want to do
more than these hands can do. I want to think more than this mind can think. I want to nurture more than this soul can nurture.
I want to be you, listening to the nightingale singing in the tree. I want to be the nightingale, singing in the early morning, watching the sun rising on the horizon. I want to be the sunbeam, reaching over the hill, warming the earth and the air. I want to be the wind, blowing over the land and the sea, moving and
everything it touches. I want to be everything the wind touches.
I am you and you are me. If you are everybody in this world, then there is no you and me anymore. There is just us.
If we recognize that the self is not real outside of our perception we can be free. Free to be everything.
Free to be united with all creations.
All good qualities in this universe are the product of loving caring for the well-being of others, and all
frustration and confusion of suffering are products and effects of selfish attitudes. But is it possible to
trade yourself in for others? Our experience confirms that we can change our attitudes towards certain
types of people that we previously found obnoxious and terrible; that when we get closer to such people and learn to understand them, we can change our attitudes and be different. Exchanging the ego with others does not mean that you physically transform yourself into others, but rather that you transfer the attitude you have towards yourself to others. The overly loving concern one feels for oneself should now be shifted to others so that one naturally tends to work for the welfare of others instead of one's own.
There are two main barriers to developing such an attitude. The first is the strict distinction between the ego and the other: the ego and the others are viewed as completely independent and separate quantities. In reality, the ego and the others are relative, like "this side of the mountain" and "that side of the mountain".
From my perspective, I am the me and you are the other, but from your perspective, you are the me and I am the other. We are naturally indifferent because we feel that the happiness and suffering of others are none of our business; they are irrelevant to us. Then we need to remember that there are certain types of people, such as our loved ones, whom we love very much. Your loved ones are not you, but the happiness and suffering they experience touch you. We also treat our own body with great value, regardless of the fact that it is made up of many limbs - head, hands, legs. In the same way we should look at what unites us, the common trait shared by all sentient beings, the natural desire to achieve happiness and avoid suffering.
Dalai Lama - The Path to Freedom; p. 158-159
When I was little me and my mom used to go out and pick elderflowers when their flowers where shining white against the summer greenness. Since we lived in a city It was always a thrilling adventure to go out and find just the right elderflowers trees cause we needed to be able to reach the flowers and preferred if the trees where not growing to close to a major road. When we picked the flowers my mom always said that it is important to say thank you to the tree and say what we are going to use its flowers for, which I still try to do while harvesting from nature.
After we picked the flowers we put them together with sliced lemons and lemon juice in a bucket and boiled together sugar and water. The sugar-mixture were later pored over the flowers while till hot. The bucket was then kept in a cool dark space and was being stirred twice a day. After three days we put the mixture through a strainer and into glass bottle and enjoyed an amazingly tasting elderflower-syrup.
This is our traditional way of making elderflower-syrup and when I saw the beautiful trees here I immediately wanted to do it here as well. I used smaller jars instead of a bucket and the syrup turned out really good. Below are the quantities of all ingredients.
A while ago we had the on-arrival training with the ESC. It was sadly online but they really tried to make the best of the situation. One task we had during the training was to create projects in groups. The projects could be anything and if it was possible we could also go through with it and carry out the project. Everyone in my group wanted to do something outside that we could actually do. When I was younger I was active in a nature-protective organization and I remembered that we talked about doing gorilla-gardening with seed bombs. I was a bit sad because we never actually did it in the organisation so I suggested that that could be our project. The others in my group thought it was a good idea so we went for it! One in my group is a graphic designer so she made this very nice informative paper on how to do it and what it is. Seed-bombs are balls that consist of clay, solid and seeds that you throw in dull areas that you want to brighten up with some beautiful flowers or other plants.
I actually made the bombs after the training which was very easy here because the soil is so clayey. It was super-easy and when they dried they got very solid but didn’t crack which I was a bit concerned about. Right after I made them we went to Ljubljana to meet some other volunteers and we stayed with one in my project-group. Therefor I brought some of the seed-bombs so that she got to throw some as well. I have some left still for Maribor and Jarenina and my plan is to go and throw them so that I can see if they grow at all and work.
I am so fascinated with this type of actions where you bring nature into citys. I think it is a really good way of both brightening up and also sending a message. When I get back home I think I will continue to make seed-bombs so that people around me always can enjoy a bit of nature.
I don‘t know why, but I can‘t move. I‘m sinking deeper and deeper into the past. Is this real?
I look around.
Oh yea, looks like time is turning backward now.
Now I know what's going to happen. Now I‘m in power. It‘s like knowing the future.
I know everything. Now I can close my eyes. I don‘t have to search anymore.
Everything is turning dark. I can‘t see light. I can‘t hear your voice. I can‘t feel myself.
When I open my eyes it‘s still dark.
I‘m scared and I‘m still sinking, deeper and deeper into the past.
I don‘t want to be here anymore. I want to open my eyes without knowing what I will see. I want to move, without knowing where to. I want to speak without knowing who will listen and what I will say.
But I remain silent, where I am. Looking around myself, seeing nothing but darkness.
But then I can hear you calling. Calling my name from above. I look up and I can see the sky.
''Fly away. Spread your wings and push up in the air, light and strong. Higher than the trees and the mountains. Above everything that could hold you down.
Don‘t look back. Never look back, only look in the future.
Can you see it? Can you see it coming?‘‘
''Don‘t tell me. I know already. I know I will be until I won‘t.‘‘
Tip: Back the Mac’n’Cheese. For this, the pasta and sauce is placed in a baking dish. Mix a few tbsp. breadcrumbs with melted vegan butter or oil. Place the breadcrumbs evenly over the top of the pasta. Bake for 20 minutes at 200 °C until the topping is golden brown and crispy.
The sun is setting.
The sky above the horizon is colored in the most beautiful colors that light couldpaint.
They are fading into each other, turning into different shades without any interruption.
Everything is fluid and volatile.
Then darkness is taking over the sky. Light is leaving the world and night has come. I welcome the night
as part of the day. That I love as I love the light, since it makes me descry lightness.
I look into the world and I see life in everything. I love to see it. I can feel the life inside me connecting to all life around me. And then there is this continuous flow of life energy between two souls.
I don‘t want to see death. I can close one eye and see only life with the other one. Then I can pretend that presence is eternal.
I used to ignore death, but death wants to be seen. So it came to me and showed itself in its barest and
harshest form. With big black dead eyes, it stared into my soul. My innocent soul, that only wants to see life.
It made me close all my eyes, stop moving and feel dead from within. Feel the pure absence of life and
death as the inextricably part of life.
Now I feel life and death. I see life and death with both eyes wide open, in everything alive. As a
necessity to enable progression and development.
It doesn‘t have to lead to an end and involve pain and suffering but can lead to new spheres of existence.
I learned to love both, as I learned to love day and night.
How could I hate one of the truest of all things that I know is real?
How could I feel different than loving and grateful for anything that I experience?
The Tree of Life symbolizes the eternal cycle of life. Often it is pictured in symbiosis with other animals,
in which the tree provides living space and nourishes and protects these. In return, the inhabitants of the forest are providing the trees with nutrients and care for them.
The tree is a reflection of life and shows us the close connection between evanescence and reincarnation.
It represents growth and life force and the connection to mother earth. The roots are symbolizing
stabilizing forces, while the branches and leaves signify regeneration and progression.
Right before easter we cut back the willows behind the greenhouse. Willow is a really special tree that can be used for so many different things, baskets probably being the most recognized. I have always liked to create things with my hands so the straight willow branches laying behind the greenhouse felt like the best chance ever to give willow a go. Of course I went to YouTube for some help concerning inspiration and some practical information on how to even get started. The first idea I must give the credit to a co-volonteer because it was not mine, I rather just stole it or got inspired or whatever (it’s all fine no feelings hurt). Anyway, the idea was to build a willow fence in the garden which I think turned out really nicely. When I started I thought it might take a few hours but no it took the whole day. But it was very enjoyable work and fairly easy!
The next project was to make an attempt on making a willow basket. The first struggle was that I think I let the willow try for a bit too long in the grass so they where a little bit too dry when I started. The method of making it was rather straight forward and not too difficult to understad, although I soon discovered that the challenge when you work with natural materials is that not all the materials are the way you want them to be. No brach is the other one alike but I think that’s also part of the charm. Anyway, the picture below is my second attempt, the first one didn’t turn out as round more like a water drop if you looked from above.
A while after doing the fence we took down the upper, old orchard and when we collected the tree-branches and trunks there were a lot of really straight ones that could be used as building material. I immediately thought of building a bench, I don’t even know where it came from but it felt right so I went for it. I had a bit if the same experience as with the fence because I thought this also would take a day or something but of course it didn’t, it took two weeks. The first step was to prepare all the branches, meaning cutting them the right length and flatting out where the joins are. I did all the sawing by hand so my arms were dead in the evening the first day. When I started to assemble it was very unstable and wonky so I but in extra support diagonally but I had kind of already thought I would need it. Because I work with fresh round wood I also had to pre-drill all the holes for the screws but some branches still cracked. When I was finishing the last of the assembling I had the bench on the table for better reach and I was climbing on the table and fell of and sprained my ankle. Therefor I had to wait over a week before I could finish it by weaving the sitting area and the back support, hence why I took two weeks. In the end I was very happy with it, almost so happy so that it was worth spraining my ankle :)
I really liked working with willow and I am very thankful I had the opportunity to do it. I think I learn a lot, especially that it always takes longer then I think. The only sad thing now is I have run out of willow, but there is always a new spring coming.