Wednesday, 9 November 2011

real wealth

Lying in bed at the end of a day I reflect on the wealth that surrounds me.
Here is a day in the life of Margaret…
I talk to my two hens as I feed them their warm mash, check their water and
pick up a still warm egg. This is like a meditation process for me,
grounding me at the start of the day.

Tuesday mornings in term time I do a regular Timebank trade with Lyttelton
West School helping with the Early Words programme. New entrants get a great
start to learning to read through this work. Timebanking is based on
reciprocity, not just of time spent, but also in the pleasure it brings to
both parties. Who can resist the welcome from a five year old, “Oh,
Margaret, it is so lovely to see you again!” – makes me smile and imagine
what great modelling her parents are doing.

On my way home I drop past the Portal (Project Lyttelton’s office) to touch
base, a few little details but it is a social visit really!
Project Lyttelton has started a new project looking at how we can build
resilience into food supplies in the Harbour Basin. Each project we
undertake has a champion to run with it (me for this one) and an advisory
group to support and direct the process. I’m just firming up this advisory
group today and send out a Doodle to arrange a time for all to meet. Doodles
are so much more efficient at planning meeting times than interminable
Lunch – based today around my favourite whole grain bread from the Farmers
On my way to my next meeting I pick up a supply of ionized water from Lyttel
Piko. A Chinese firm gifted our community this ionizer to help ease our post
-earthquake situation. This water is lovely – so much nicer than the
chlorine smelling water we have for the time being.
A meeting at Coffee Culture. I talk with the student working at the counter
and get her email as she wants to be on the contributors’ list of those
writing for the Lyttelton News.
Today at this meeting I am talking with our two newly appointed community
development workers for the food project along with the liaison person from
the funders. There is so much energy here, ideas, development of ideas,
plans, directions, sharing networks and resources. We all recognise that
prioritising is going to be important!
A quick hike up the hill back home, pulling a few weeds out of the cemetery
steps as I slip through the excluded zone. (I’d rather pull these weeds,
often isolated ones, than see them being blasted with spray.)
I pack the car because tonight I am going to my upholstery evening class,
re-covering an arm chair. The preparatory pulling out the staples takes a
long time though.
3.30pm. Eleven of us meet with Professor Bruce Glavocic at the Portal to
have an unstructured conversation about our individual and community
experiences and feelings related to the earthquake. This was quite a
reflective conversation. We learned of successful models of engagement,
recognising we have one such on our own doorstep in Waimakariri. It was
great that we had biscuits and seeded lemon muffins to hold us together – we
talked to nearly 6 o’clock!
I was a bit late for class, but that seems to run on glide time. I
discovered at the bottom of the box (I had stripped the chair eons ago –
before the earthquake – and stored the fabric pieces for future patterns) my
staple puller AND my dressmaking scissors – what joy! I’ve been looking for
those for ages!
Returning home I completed what I was scheduled to do with a section of work
on our Project Lyttelton’s monitoring and evaluating programme.
Satisfaction level is very high! This is what I call wealth! Being
surrounded by a loving world, doing what feels meaningful work, creating,
sharing and being extended.
As I lie in bed reflecting, a feeling of deep gratitude flows through me.

written by Margaret Jefferies, chair of Project Lyttelton

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