Thursday 14 October 2010

The Gift

Writing is a gift and, as Andy said, you share a different part of yourself and your experience through writing. So in a way This Low Carbon Life is a collective gift from a group of people to the world and to each other. This is what Transition looks and feels like. Giving of ourselves freely in a culture that is more used to taking.

But these are not the only gifts that come through Transition.

Today's post is chosen by Jane. Last November just as this blog was starting up she came over and taught Mark and me to make bread. Skill-share doesn't quite capture the spirit of this enterprise. Here we are in my Mexican pinnies getting ready to mix the dough in my old pancheon.

"All you need to make a great tasting loaf is flour, water, a pinch of salt - and a little bit of magic." (Do try this at home: the Norwich Loaf ).

Change is hard. Because we undergo shifts of structure within our selves. This is what happens in bread when yeast or sourdough leaven is added. Flour and water turn into the stuff of life. Something light happens within the density of matter.

Jane didn't have time to write about her choices today. But if she did have time . . .

". . . it would be these three:

- Jon Curran's piece about the kettle (What Were We Thinking?)
- John Heaser's Alchemy piece about vegetables magically changing into something else
- Helen's piece about The Only Green in the Village.

Of all the fabulous choices over the past year, why these three? All are funny and all are profound. Jon pokes fun at pointless and extravagant 'designer' products; John celebrates growing and sharing veggies with neighbours; Helen observes how her local area is turning into a real community - a village in the city. From dozens - hundreds - of brilliant posts, these three came immediately to my mind. Powerful pieces in a very understated way."

So here it is. A little bit of magic via the vegetable kingdom that some call alchemy, others call kindness, being a good neighbour. And I call the Gift.

Vegetable Alchemy by John Heaser - 7 August

It all started when I took a beetroot to thank the owner of the donkeys that provide manure for my veg patch. I came back with a magnificent cabbage - and feeling that somehow I was even more in her debt!

Then a cucumber was just passed over a hedge and came back as broccoli - which I never grow because it just feeds the caterpillars.

Then yesterday these beans - which grow like mad in my garden - turned into these pullets eggs!

Truly magic!

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