Rosemary is a collector of stories and grandchildren. She is a dairy farmer's daughter from the lake-beds of the Waikato but now lives as she describes, in an eco village, learning to live lightly on the planet.
I didn't expect to be living in an eco village in West Auckland, miles from the sea, or from my beginnings. I first heard of Earthsong when I was farming in the Waikato, living in a three bedroom bungalow on ten acres with out-buildings, cattle, sheep and gardens. The idea appealed; the opportunities for working together, developing a vision.
My grand kids call this a tree house and that describes it well, up two flights of stairs with a balcony, inside another flight of stairs leading to a mezzanine with windows at each end. These give a view of my neighbourhood with its path through the houses on one side, the road to Bethells and the mounds of the Waitakeres on the other.
I own my sky space. I love my north facing bedroom where the sun slants in on winter's mornings. I have little nooks for sitting where I enjoy different views. I look into tree tops where mynahs, tui, doves and blackbirds hide. Like a perching bird, I look out. Rain thunders impressively on my roof, and I hear the collected waters running through the swales to our pond.
I can be amongst all thirty households, or take myself off to the back corner, the orchard where I have wrested a garden from the rubbish and kikuyu. Sanity reigns in the 'back paddock.' My feathered friends and I expose worms and beetles and break up clods in preparation for planting behind wire-netting. I bring a basket back to my kitchen, one spear of asparagus, a stalk of broccoli, three eggs, some small carrots, two radishes and a few leaves of chard. My grand daughter harvests her dinner finding tiny potatoes.
Yes, I could stay out all day but underneath my bed live the boxes containing diaries, photos, letters and my mother's writings. This is where the work needs to start, under pioneer doctor, Uncle Donald Campbell's hand crafted bed already the subject of one story. This is where my work begins.
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