Sunday, January 17, 2016

Relationships - part 1

This year, I wanted to share more personal thoughts about my life. Which is difficult, when I assume visitors expect to read about land management and things to do with chickens. However, behind this property, are the people who manifest its design, and they always come with their own story.  To share a deeper vein of our property, therefore, perhaps its not such a stretch to demonstrate what connects me to it?

The beginning of all things, I'm convinced, are the relationships to all things. The ability to relate external substance, to our own. The groundwork for all this starts in childhood. Everything we are exposed to, becomes our blueprint for life. Probably the most important relationship to rule all relationships, is our connection to family. This is where we learn intimacy, rejection and the subtleties between negotiation and respect.

But sometimes, not all childhoods go smoothly, so not all relationships come without a sense of detachment. Relating to external things becomes more of a challenge, when your internal self is, somewhat, out of alignment.

Me at 4 or 5 years of age

My childhood had a few displaced relationships, at a time I needed to know where I belonged. At a time I was forming my identity. So instead of developing who I was, I took on the roles of missing, or unreliable people. Which has led to an imbalance in my ability to relate. Because I can empathise greatly with what other people are feeling, but often struggle to nail down my own.

What I do know is, how displaced I often felt in relationships. Why I constantly did stuff, being actively busy, in order to make that connection felt. Similar to the perfectionism, I wrote about earlier, I didn't realise, I had a vacant lot, where my sense of self should have been planted, many years ago. It was still there, it just didn't receive the kind of attention it needed to bloom.

Our house behind a Callistemon ~
 'Kings Park Special'

This is where Gully Grove enters the picture (in my story) and has a profound effect in my life. Should it come as no surprise, there were plenty of vacant lots to plant on 5 acres? So many plants went into the ground, along with many casualties that didn't quite make it. But something amazing, always managed to emerge and surprise me. Little did I realise, through this landscape, is how I started relating all those disconnected relationships, back to me.

Only this time, the land wasn't asking me to become anything, but myself. The more I was exposed to its lack of boundaries, and all those delicate relationships tying everything together, the more I felt myself emerging as part of it. I could finally appreciate what a "connected" relationship felt like, with me at the centre. Instead of trying to relate all that external stuff, to a question mark.

That could be the end of the story. Sign off and move to the next post about chickens. It does make for a happy ending. However, there are more turns in my story, which I will write about soon. Because while I realised I could learn something from the landscape - there was a deeper, still hidden connection, which was waiting to emerge as well. 


  1. Very interesting Chris. Through your relationship with the land you are gaining a deeper understanding of yourself. I need to think about that. I've always known I was a social klutz, but have never tried to figure it out.

    1. We're connected to the land. All of us. It's a beautiful thing too. :)

  2. I love how you relate to gardening. I have always felt its therapeutic value but never analyzed why it held that healing potential in my own life. I too co e from an unrooted place as you know.

  3. Gardening is extremely grounding, especially when you're uprooted from home and family. And I haven't looked that cute in a while, lol. ;)


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