One of the great upsides of personally developing environments at Pachamama is the opportunity to engage with interesting and clever people who supply a diverse range of services and materials. They have made the Herculean task of creating something incredible like Pachamama remotely possible. Even better is the pleasure of becoming a regular face to these new friends, asking for their wise advice, and having a genuine chat. You learn about them, their families, and businesses.
They become part of the Pachamama family.
Brendan is one of those special people. He has a landscaping and garden supply yard in Wattle Grove called Magic Garden Supplies. Over the years, Brendon’s supplies have become essential to creating and maintaining Pachamama’s outdoor environments. He has delivered, at the drop of a hat, truckloads of sand, soil, gravel, and pavers. Garden pots or curios have found their way to travelling up the hill embedded in the sand or soil. We strategically place then around the environments for the children to enjoy.
Over the past ten years, Brendon has loved seeing Pachamama grow with every visit he makes. There have been too many to count. After delivering his truckloads of materials, he would often take a few moments to look around at the new initiatives. Even occasionally, his partner would come along for a ‘steakybeak’ too. Then he would head off to his next job with a wink and a thumbs up.
We saw Brendon’s interest as a huge compliment. He would see hundreds of new garden environments every year, but always said that ours was pretty special. He explained it was not only because the environment was attractive, but because it encompassed such a wide range of his products.
Over a period of about a year, we noticed he had an attractive stone Buddha head and pedestal near his front gate. Other than admiring it, we could never resolve how or where we could use it, let alone how we could physically move it! But the statue really spoke to us, and we often made comments about it to Brendan. When we would visit his yard, we would always say, “I wonder if our Buddha is still there!”
As artist Martin Jaine was helping us put the final parts of the gate together to separate the two properties on Coolinga Road, we realised the area was important because it represented a transition. Technically, it marked a cadastral boundary between two properties. Emotionally, it signified the achievement of the last significant milestone in the successful development of Pachamama. And functionally, it was a critical separation between the juniors and the seniors environments for school-aged children.
The juniors look forward to the day when they too can transition up to the big kid’s area and partake in the range of exciting and new things the oldest children at Pachamama enjoy. This includes taking on leadership roles in the service and being role models to the younger ones. The juniors enjoy every opportunity they are given to play in the seniors’s space. When they occasionally get the opportunity, they playing under the tall trees, on the funky monkey bars and delve into the streams and mini waterfalls that generously flow from the top of the property to the bottom nature pond area.
We thought this place of transition would be the perfect place for our Buddha. He would serve to remind us to enjoy the nature of Pachamama and the fruits of our labour. He would be unexpected and take someone by pleasant surprise as they transitioned through the gate serving to remind us to enjoy pleasant surprises in life. He would signify reflection with Buddha’s thoughtfulness and peaceful disposition about the changing environments and what transitions represent.
We approached Brendan to buy Buddha and were speechless when he offered to donate him as a special contribution to a special place. He explained he was quite attached to Buddha because he had been with him for a long time. Nonetheless, he wanted to contribute Buddha to the kids who loved Pachamama … almost as a much as he does.
There was a large gathering of kids in the afternoon when Brendon delivered Buddha. They helped decide his final position, and watched with great interest as Martin Jaine craned it over his eclectic pea green fence into his resting place. Timmy helped me situate it in place.
Nowadays the area looks more appropriate for a Buddha’s area. The lush gardens have grown around him and the sunlight is diffused, soft and mottled through the overhead leafy canopy of trees that protect it.
It is a favourite space at Pachamama for me.
My experience with Brendon and Buddha stays with me as a constant reminder of what Pachamama means to the broader local community, and the great generosity and teamwork they have shown while helping Pachamama achieve its unique vibe.
Our new friends want to be a part of something fantastic, and to leave their ongoing touch on something amazing. And that is worth enjoying a Buddha moment.