A lot seems to have happened since my last letter — or has it just seemed to be a very long month. My darling cousin Fiona visited with her charming friend Karin all the way from Cape Town. A pretty gruelling journey via Frankfurt and Toronto to Cancun and an even more challenging return journey. They certainly got the absolute best out of their visit, both here and in Mexico, visiting Maya sites, snorkeling, bird watching. They were very appreciative of the Retreat, really enjoying the stillness and tranquility that the place offers.
We love it when people visit and we can give them a direct experience of what we are all about and I am particularly grateful to Fiona and Karin for not being daunted by the distance.
Last weekend was of course Easter. We are often asked if we celebrate or acknowledge Christmas and Easter and the answer is absolutely yes. We follow the Perennial Truth which underlies all religions so to us Jesus was the Master or Avatar of the time and we respect and revere him in the same way that we do Krishna, Buddha, Mohammed.
In Belize on Good Friday there are processions re-enacting the journey Christ made carrying the cross. Beautifully decorated archways like this are placed along the way depicting the Twelve Stations of the Cross.
The other day I heard a conversation between a friend and an acquaintance of hers. Discussing corruption the acquaintance said that he could understand people putting a bit in their pockets, this was after all just Human Nature, but really, to put it all in your pocket was plain greedy. So I am left with this question, “When did it become Human Nature to put any in your pocket? When did it become acceptable to steal anything from anyone? What has happened in this last 50 years or so? And if that is my nature, then do I want to be associated with this “human” race? And all this takes me once again to pondering our policy here at the Retreat of living in Harmony with Nature – a theme I go back to again and again. From what I see, Nature shares what it has with no preferences or discrimination and takes no more than it needs. Are we humans so alienated from Nature I wonder.
A couple of weeks ago I was taken to see the most beautiful garden. In fact it is the first garden I have seen since I have been here that really inspired me — so much so in fact that I went straight off to my young welder friend Robert and had him make this for me to go in the Om garden. Robert is so talented. He has a very good eye and is an absolute perfectionist and really understands what I am looking for.
And then of course there was the Tala saga. Our dear dog Tala had an altercation with a porcupine which was bad enough but as we could not manage to pull out the spines stuck in the roof of her mouth we took her to the vet who gave her a tranquilizer to calm her down. Poor Tala had an extraordinarily bad reaction to it and instead of sedating her it caused her to thrash around and cry and hallucinate. It was awful for all of us and took her a good few days to recover. First walk back in the forest what did she do? Go straight back to find that darn porcupine.
The garden is producing great things at the moment. It is difficult to grow potatoes in this heat and humidity and this 3 and a quarter pound crop is the biggest we have had to date. At this time of the year local red skinned potatoes are sold in the market and the imported white Irish potatoes are no longer available. The tomatoes are prolific right now and look, even a couple of green peppers which have really struggled over the last few years.
All you friendly face booking fans will be pleased to know we are now keeping a diary or blog on our company Facebook page. You can access it via our website gatewayretreatbelize.org or search for the page on Facebook under TheBelizeGatewayTrustFoundation.
We also have short articles of interest on the News page on the website. They cover topics like sustainable cropping, coping with birds in the crops, folklore stories. Check them out. I am sure you will find them interesting.
So that’s it for now. It is getting very hot again — back to the days of having even one’s eyelids dripping with perspiration.