The foreman of the site stood beside the chief architect and they both looked skyward at the monumental structure that was the old dam. There was trickles of water appearing through several points in the imposing face of the ancient wall.
Neither of them had been around when the structure was first built but they both knew it was no longer a viable proposition for the safe provision of the town’s water supply. The town referred to was situated high above on the plateau where life was good for the residents of that small community set serenely by the shores of the accumulated waters.
A dam, as anyone knows, is designed to allow water down at a specific rate for the survival of the designated recipients of its life giving qualities; mammalian life becomes intolerant without it. The original dam builders had not built it for the valley below!
The chief architect surveyed the situation and viewed a burgeoning greenery that was new to the valley. Shaking his head despondently he wondered how he could stop the flow of water that gave life to that which shouldn’t have it without restructuring the old dam.
The foreman’s gaze followed his but he wasn’t frowning. In fact he was quite pleased to see the valley replenish itself with the illicit flow of water from a dam that for too long had starved the valley of the means of rejuvenation.
The foreman, much experienced in the ebb and flow of the natural world, had long ago realised the building of mega structures invariably meant there were winners and losers. Oh there was always winners in the short term but in the long term the ancient planners suffered too.
The chief architect looked at me and asked what I thought of the situation.
I could see he was puzzled by the problem before him and I truly felt sorry for his predicament. The truth of the matter was he didn’t create it but he had invested most of his life in perpetuating the myth the old dam was necessary.
I looked down again at the previously arid and barren valley, and was imbued with a sense of wonderment that invoked my first trade in life; that of the gardener. I viewed the sprawling gape of the valley as the emergence of new greenery, creeping up the valley sides, had also given rise to long forgotten industry: the buzz of bees; the flutter and shrieks of returning birds; the mating clicks of crickets and cicadas; the soft bellow of a lonely deer; even the solitary cry of a passing eagle.
What did I think of the situation? Surely my smiling expression said it all! One doesn’t think about the bounty of life all around, you simply embrace it and forget the observer for the now.
The architect though, in that instant, couldn’t see what we both were looking at. His mind was preoccupied with the terms of his contract and the deadline. He laboured under the shadow of a clock that presaged his own mortality and time was pressing. Also, the job had to be done within budget.
‘Tell me Josh, is there a chance we can patch up the old dam? If it bursts the town above might very well perish.’ He asked, not noticing my smile.
‘I tell you Boss,’ said I, ‘the splendour and beauty of what grows around your feet is the cushion that softens the stopping of your clock. The unconditional sharing of all the resources that exists is for all our benefit and ensures the survival of all. Look at the valley below and tell me the renaissance of life taking place down there is detrimental to the town above?’
The chief architect looked down the valley again and became wonderstruck by the emerging possibilities he never quite realised before. He suddenly shut closed his report folder and walked away downhill.
Not entirely surprised by his reaction, I’d witnessed many a cop-on before, I watched as he descended into the valley and cocked an ear when he stopped and hollered up to me.
‘How long has this been here Josh?’
‘Keep going me friend and you’ll discover it’s been here forever… forever… forever……….. The echo resonated throughout the valley.
A dream I had last night………