Permaculturing in Portugal

One family's attempts to live in a more planet-friendly way

The water carrier

This is something we’ve been planning to do for quite some time.

The Water Carrier

After I first shook hands on the purchase of the quinta, I wanted to carve something for the place, and specifically for the niche behind the waterfall on the middle terrace. The idea was that it should carry the energy and intent that water should always run on this land (as it evidently always has).

Suitably, this one was a family effort. I started with a tall rectangular block of Portland limestone, but all I could “see” in it initially was the bowl shape at the top. Was thinking acorn cup or somesuch with all the oaks on the quinta. Then Ema came by the studio and “saw” a head beneath it and it was instantly obvious that’s what it should be. Astrologically, with my natal Sun in Aquarius, the water carrier idea also seemed completely appropriate to mark the beginnings of my stewardship of this land.

The stylised African-ish head that evolved from that vision came out to Portugal with the yurt and other stuff in April, but has been sitting bubble-wrapped waiting on a suitable occasion to place the carving in the niche behind the waterfall. Oonagh had the idea that, since the head had been Ema’s inspiration, then we should place it in the waterfall the day Ema and Chris set off in their van for Europe. That was this morning. So, with serendipitous rain to accompany and confirm the idea of perpetual and plentiful water, we had a little ceremony and put the carving in its place.

The Water Carrier

Now, as the unseasonal rain continues to fall putting a halt to progress on the yurt platform today, I’m just hoping that our bit of earth magic doesn’t turn out to be altogether too powerful …

Postscript: It continued to pour down all day. We gave up any hope of work and went to see Andy & Sophie. The downpour followed us there too.

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  1. sophie June 28, 2009

    that is sooooo breath-takingly beautiful – the statue, the waterfall, and the story that goes with it – perfect. x

  2. Quinta do Vale June 28, 2009

    Thanks. Jings that’s some rain we’ve got falling right now. Almost the equal of the downpour that accompanied our arrival at Santa Comba Dão last September!

  3. sophie June 28, 2009

    yes. well. we know who to blame don’t we!!!
    no rain here at mo, but some quite impressive thunder, and i can see the big black cloud that’s raining over you from here!

  4. Sarah June 28, 2009

    hey wendy, as much as we need the rain, can you put your statue out at night and put it away during day please, the rivers running down the road are extreme, but of course you can’t see them cause you’re tucked away in your little bit away from it all !!!!

  5. Quinta do Vale June 28, 2009

    Better now? I asked it to ease off a bit — the tent was starting to leak!

  6. michelle June 29, 2009

    Hey Wendy…
    the carving looks fab and I can imagine it in the position that you’ve placed it in.But has it stopped raining yet???

  7. Quinta do Vale June 29, 2009

    Sort of just. Light showers today off and on but it’s just started clouding over again with more serious-looking stuff. The ease-off yesterday didn’t last — it torrentialed again, even all the way over in Póvoa de Midões (so Andy & Sophie got 2 days off work for visitors!) but the tent stopped leaking once the canvas swelled so I guess we can’t be too picky.

    Worst bit was that a day off from digging put all my muscles into super-stiffening mode. Today I am completely knackered and hobbling about like an old woman while the spry young 80 year-olds hereabouts come in from the fields with great baskets of peaches balanced on their heads. Only managed 3 tyres and a bit of drainage ditch. Pathetic!

  8. michelle June 29, 2009

    oh dear-where are your youthful helpers??
    glorious here ,non stop heat but sadly can only expeirence it from inside a classroom mostly..hey ho.Took dogs for a swim on the moors after work though and it was so hot I jumped in and joined them -very wet car now..
    enjoy rest of your time

  9. sophie June 29, 2009

    oi! give us our sunshine back! x

  10. Quinta do Vale June 30, 2009

    I did persuade one of the youthful helpers to help me shift the 3m 200x100mm beams today but after only one she complained it was all a bit too much for her then as if by magic another child appeared to whisk them both away to the river beach. I’m letting this run — they’re having such a good time and that’s as important to feeling at home here at the moment as helping out with construction projects.

    They’ll be on linseed oil slapping duty as soon as I get the flooring down though!

    Glad you’re getting some decent weather. It’s been perfect today — glorious sun but enough breeze and clouds to keep things sensible so I could put in a good 12-hour day.

    Sophie can I keep the odd cloud until the weekend, please? When are you guys coming over? You realise you’ll have to visit Rick & Sarah’s now too?

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