Monday, 30 April 2012

Down to earth

They are an earthy bunch, the folk in this town. They even build their houses out of mud, dirt and earth. Our friends are making their own mud bricks to build their home - 40 bricks at a time. They take a scoop of clay out of the dam, tip in onto a tarp, add some straw and dance around mixing it all together with their toes. It is like a pedicure every time and their hands are now lovely and soft as well. Building their home is such a tactile, hands-on experience for this family. They have milled timber from their property which they planted when their oldest son was a baby. Their three boys were there to hear the trees crack and fall. They know the true impact of their home and can trace almost every material back to its source somewhere on the farm. It is inspiring to watch, but not surprising. We lived down the road from each other in the city and left for the south coast at the same time. But we arrived a couple of months before they did. Because they walked.

Quinn and I tagged along with Darcy's kindy class when they visited a local earth brick company to make stepping stones for their playground. The kids all brought something special to stick in their rich ochre hued paving stones and most added a hand or footprint alongside their name. Darcy took a feather from one of his chickens which he pressed in along with some stones. But neither he nor Quinn would put their hand in the mud mix, so I stuck mine in instead. My hand print has now been fired and has joined the many little hands and feet around the kindy sandpit this term.

I would love to one day build our own home using locally sourced and sustainable materials, solar passive design and recycled fittings. But while the boys are young I am quite happy to watch and learn as other people go through the design and building process. We may live in a less than perfect home but we do have more time to just be while we are renting here. Time to explore the bush and beach surrounding us while we live mortgage free for a little while. We will find a home to call our own again one day. And perhaps I will be able to convince my boys to get their hands dirty so that I can put some earth paving bricks in our garden.

1 comment:

  1. They walked!! Wow. I've been having this same dream for a while now too.


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