During the three months work stoppage between October and December 2014, I would occasionally go out to the building site of our “country home” (aka “Bann Nah,” Thai for farm house), to verify that no thefts had occurred, to clean-up a bit, and water some plants and trees Thip and I have already begun to grow there. I even did a bit of wood staining – the lightest stain possible, so to easily see the grain.
On one trip to Bann Nah, it struck me that since we were constructing our living space in the middle of the larger of our two rice farms, it was very likely that no one had ever lived in this spot before – at least since the introduction os rice cultivation into this part of Southeast Asia.
Rice agriculture is believed to have spread from southern
China, in the area below the
Yangzi, over the course of the Third Millenium BCE. Before that time, most of
the rice fields of Southeast Asia must have
been low-lying semi-swamp areas that thrived during the Monsoon Season and
dried-up during the dry season. Or, just part of the once-vast Southeast Asian
forest that hunter-gatherers moved about in search of food. Certainly, what is
now cultivated land must have been low-lying since before the conversion to
rice paddies and, as such, not really habitable comfortably.
What also occurred to me was that since we were at a spot that had “fresh karma,” so to speak, it was even more important to keep it a place where, along with the rice, only good, fresh karma will grow.