I am sitting at the kitchen table, sipping a cup of fresh mint tea. Through the window I see the clouds fly by; the wind is often very strong. I look out over the valley, with the city of Coyhaique down below. In the distance you can see the snowy mountains of Patagonia. On the other side of the house, steep rocky slopes climb up to the sky.
A little kitten climbs up my leg and finds a good spot on my lap. Thanks to the wood stove, it is nice and warm in the kitchen. This is where we eat three times a day with the owners and two other volunteers.
The house is small, but there is all the more space outside. Horses, chickens, dogs and cats forage, frolic and stroll around the grounds. The horses bring in money because tourists regularly come for a ride. Freddy has gone along once. It is interesting to learn something about training horses. I work a lot in the vegetable garden and I pick daisies in the grazing pastures, because they are very invasive.
I enjoy being outside so much and having a lot of animals around me. From what I can see, most of the animals here are reasonably free to exhibit their natural behaviour. On the other hand, every so often some of them get killed and eaten. We always get nice plant based meals by the way, no one makes a fuss about that.
My tea is finished, time to go into the garden. I keep thinking about the song of the Entwives, the female Ents from Lord of the Rings who, unlike their male counterparts, chose agriculture over the wilderness. Here is the part about spring (which only lasts a few days longer here):
When Spring unfolds the beechen leaf, and sap is in the bough;
When light is on the wild-wood stream, and wind is on the brow;
When stride is long, and breath is deep, and keen the mountain-air,
Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is fair!
When Spring is come to garth and field, and corn is in the blade;
When blossom like a shining snow is on the orchard laid;
When shower and Sun upon the Earth with fragrance fill the air,
I’ll linger here, and will not come, because my land is fair.