Worn, With Dignity

Remembering The Old Lady.  630,000 Visitors Later.

Wet red clay, slip-clogged boots. Like ice.
Precariously perched ladders, scaling regardless,
A season of rains.
Wielding sharp tools at dangers known, and unforeseen.
A living green canopy, sheltering tank bay, resigned.
An old lady set under,
Worn, with dignity.

A curiously emotional experience, revisiting the 4 Person Eco Home over a year since I finished work there, and 630,000 visitors later.

The earthbench shows the signs of this huge volume of people passing through and resting on her, edges a little frayed and tattered.  The nice thing is, to tidy her up, we just need a bit of mud.  Walking the perimeter of the home & gardens, I still notice the banked bay areas that were used to park tanks when this was part of the military base.

So many of the plots within the Houli site, itself one of four sites around Taichung, just….gone.  Sadness.

I’m relieved that the powers that be decided to keep the eco home and use it as part of the park development, or whatever they finally decide to do with the Houli site after the Expo finished.

The other 3 sites around Taichung, I have yet to revisit.  Procrastination perhaps caused by my own fear of experiencing further sadness at the loss of so much work.

And still, the 2018 Taichung Flora Expo was incredibly inspiring to so many in Taiwan, Asia, and around the world.

The 4 Person Eco Home (Si Kou Jia) gave a place, a space, a living forum, where so many could come together, work together, and share their interest in living more sustainably, regeneratively, their interests in permaculture, ecology, natural farming, and natural building.

As a platform for us all to make connections with each other, and realize that we were not alone, or isolated in our thinking that we could make the world around us just a little bit better, it was amazing.  Actually amazing – that word gets thrown around so much it is a cliched hashtag – but truly amazing to witness the coming together of so many people from different backgrounds, different countries, and see something forming over the last couple of years: a birth, or growth, or crystallization?

It has felt that way.  I can’t quite find the words.  Certainly a strengthening belief and confidence that we can make a difference on this little island.

As a project, the eco-home not only attracted huge publicity from the media, politicians etc, but also tapped into something right at the grass-roots-boots-on-the-ground level.

An inspiring process to be a part of for me, and so many others, which will no doubt gather momentum with the coming International Permaculture Convergence planned to be held in Taiwan in 2023.