I also have a Farmville. Not so big and not so grand as others may have in facebook, but one thing makes it different, its real! Its right in my backyard and the veggies I harvest from it, are really delicious.
Millions of people perhaps had been into this kind of Internet game called Farmville. Especially, it is featured in one of the most famous sites in the Internet right now, which is Facebook. No wonder, the kind of amusement that both of them give to people especially among students and to those who belong to the office working class, cannot just really be underestimated. Facebook itself offers another wonderful means of communication to different people. Even persons world apart can maintain constant access to one another through this inter-connecting site. In addition, people could take more gossips they can imagine, share the same, or even create ones with gusto through this same medium. And lo, these do not even include yet its chatting and photo sharing facilities, which really make patrons, especially the young, crazy about.
Beautiful avenues of modern communication indeed! And there are even more games, numerous to enumerate, which are embedded in facebook site itself. One of which is Farmville. In here, one can create his or her own virtual farm, which allows the player to simulate growing crops of different varieties, keeping livestock, harvesting, selling and constructing beautiful houses. Everything one can ever imagine doing in a real life farm.
But people just have different tastes. I too created one before, upon the encouragement of my wife who has been into it for a long time and really having fun with it so much so that she would stay very late at night at times just to plant, harvest and tend to her electronic farm. But not long did I try it. After such a brief period, I simply found it so dry and just a waste of my time. Besides, I am a person who has very little interest in Internet games or chatting at most. If I do chat or surf, it means I really have something very important to get from it. maybe information, research, or important correspondence. I am well aware that not withstanding its immense importance now adays, Internet has its own harmful effects. For one, it can also cause addiction, and with all the things we all know about it so far, one could realize how it could also do a lot more harm to a person’s personality, attitude, morals, and even relationships, far more than one can imagine. So I shifted to gym workouts during my office breaks, and created a real backyard Farmville instead, which I tend manually during my free days.
Having grown up in a family of both fishermen and farmers, I had somehow developed an inherent interest in farming. About two months ago, I started making some plots in our backyard. Starting with four bunches of Camote tops worth 20 pesos. I planted the stalks after getting the leaves we needed for cooking. Soon, other varieties followed. In an area of about 25 square meters, I was able to have considerable number of planted Gabi, Ampalaya, Sugarcane, Pandan, Citronilla or Lemon grass, Chilli, Kamias, Calamansi, and six Malunggay trees. Good there’s already a full grown Coconut tree in there as early as we moved in, so we could just get a fruit or two everytime we need some coco milk. A Coconut costs about 15 to 20 pesos each in the market right now. Within the last 3 months, we had been self-sufficient in our Camote tops consumption. Soon enough, I am looking forward to being self-sufficient too for our Malunggay needs, plus all the other crops I planted which are now in their best growth. It is really so fulfilling to see all of them grow to be fruit- producing and food-providing crops. Now I enjoy staying longer in that tiny real Farmville of mine, relishing the beauty of life in seeing my small vegetable farm full of vibrance and life. In fact, for several days now we had been enjoying the sight of my lone Calamansi tree, barely a meter in height now sporting so many white flower buds. Aside from its natural beauty and fragrance, I anticipate having a good harvest soon.
In addition to them, I also came to keeping 3 dogs namely; Argos, Hera and Marqui. All of them are simply wonderful, and with excellent health. We also took a white cat which the kids named Arf-arf. Most recently, I acquired a rooster and a hen. The latter has just started laying eggs a few days ago. Everything seems to be wonderful and fulfilling. The time I spent in that tiny fraction of paradise is something I cherish most right now. On Sunday afternoons, I use to hang my military hammock and spread a mat just below it on the grassy ground. My wife and daughters would huddle among themselves, frolicking enjoyably as they tickle one another and laugh out loud. Then just before sunset, we would enjoy a homemade merienda together.
Ever since, I believed that it is always better to attune one’s self with nature, and that no matter how sophisticated life in the city today is, there is always an opportunity to commune with nature and enjoy it. Now, I have started making Bonsai which I intend to give as gifts to friends on especial occasions instead of other things we buy in the malls. My intention is to express authenticity by showing that its me who prepared the gift myself, and that somehow, I am also able to help other people appreciate a tiny part of nature. Just two days ago, I had already planted Pechay and Okra. In addition, I will be making a miniature pond just below our gutter where I will put some turtles and fish mollies.
I suddenly came to this point of enlivening the same setting we had in our old house in Bulusan, Sorsogon. And I can’t hide my happiness every time I see new buds, or shoots, and much more, when I see seedlings sprouting from the ground. They seem to express some deeper meaning unto me and those are hope, and the never ending cycle of life. That, from a very insignificant seed, burrowed underneath the earth and covered with mud, there is life that waits to come out. And when the opportunity comes to it, it grows to something bigger than what it had been, and becomes a new source of life and nourishment to others. Zen Buddhism teaches communion with nature in its most literal way. And from it, I had imbibed the serenity of contemplating life amidst greeneries and other creatures. And as one poet said, “In nature I see God’s face, not on metal and concrete walls that make Atheists.”