Happiness used to be common
Now that the first weeks of withdrawal and silence are behind us, we feel the need to go outside, to share what keeps us busy. The past few days we have been working joyfully in the garden of our new house. More about that later.
We feel happy in a special way, how crazy that may sound nowadays. There is no distraction from the outside world. There is more space for reading, calling friends and family and enjoying nature. With a man as a house barista, the coffee at home tastes just as good as at our favorite ‘coffee shack’ in Granada. Otherwise, the jigsaw puzzle only came to the table at Christmas. Now we also get pictures of the children putting puzzle after puzzle.
If Corona teaches us one thing, it is that it’s time for change.
The virus could strike, because animals are treated in an unhealthy way, also the earth and people among themselves. There are many initiatives to do things ‘differently’. Live healthier, more in balance with nature, more in real contact with the people around us. To use less plastic and to consume less.
While preparing for our move to Spain, we watched the documentary "The Biggest Little Farm" three times with friends and children.
It is an inspiring film that paints an honest yet hopeful picture of the search for harmony between man and nature. A story about realizing dreams, an ode to realistic idealism and the cycle of life. But also a documentary about the bitter necessity to deal in a harmonious way with nature and therefore with ourselves. Just outside LA, Molly and John, inspired by a promise to their dog, manage to convert a barren piece of land into a unique and thriving farm with a sophisticated ecosystem within a few years, where every person, animal and plant can find its place within the circle of life. In a paradise on earth.
It is clear and sometimes hilarious that this is not without a struggle. For every new problem that arises, a solution follows from nature itself. Through listening, observing, consulting scientists and following intuition. Is there a lice infestation? It is dissolved without pesticides with ladybugs. Are the trees eaten bare by snails? No problem: ducks appear to love snails.
Will we ever go back to ‘normal’ when the lockdowns are lifted? Wasn't our ‘normal’ actually ‘abnormal’?
Terrible reports continue to appear in the media. But let's not forget to look at the other side of the coin that is at least as true. Time and time again initiatives arise to help, support and cheer each other up; people appear to be less I-oriented and more we-oriented; solidarity seems to take precedence over financial gain. Because of the free time, there is more room for creativity, innovation and real contact. Every choice you make today affects the future. Let's make more and more choices, making these horrible and disruptive viruses less likely to strike mercilessly.
The crisis is a good reason for the spread of such a ‘change’ virus. Billions for curatively finding a vaccine are then no longer needed immediately. This money can be invested preventively in expanding care with time and attention for the elderly and sick; in organic farming and stock breeding; to abolish the horrible factories in India, where children still work for a dollar a day, just to hang new cheap clothes on the shelves in the west every week. In this way people and earth relax, the rivers and air slowly become clean and there is time for each other again.
And then suddenly happiness is common again.