Saturday, 26 April 2008

A House that Breathes

I live in a house made of mud. There is straw in the walls, earth under my feet, reeds above my head.

But I’m very lucky. The house is as beautiful as the landscape in which it was born.

And my kitchen window opens in the middle of a wheat field.

I have to keep an open mind though. Strange things happen. Wheat grows on the roof. Birds make their nests under the beams. In fact, the whole house is a big nest, and the song of the birds wakes us every day, which is very nice. Earthworms, yes it happens, make holes in the soil of the bathroom. Well, it happened once, and it’s happening again, because the floor is too wet. It rained a lot this winter, and it seems that certain parts of the house just can’t get over it. I guess the Moroccan summer should definitely solve the problem of earthworms.

The house has a lot of inhabitants, besides me and Fred, I mean. Lots of insects. It was a little scary at first – although the spiders here aren’t too big don’t worry. But now when I see some strange insect that don’t exist in Europe, I just run and get my camera.

Some animals are not welcomed at all. Mice of course. They make their home in the roofs and in the walls and love the pasta we bought from the supermarket in Fez The walls are made of mud bricks, remember, and it can become a maze for the mice. We told Bachir about that and he said it was mushkil (a problem, you guessed). We asked him what to do. Get a cat of course. So we got two of them. Mice should relocate very soon, we hope.

An adobe house, it’s alive. It moves a little. It gets older and changes every day. And that’s good, because here you can’t get bored. Noticing the smallest changes, new animals, new plants. When you’ve spent your life in houses made of concrete, - like most of us – it’s an endless amazement. And when there are problems –the above mentioned mice, a leak in the roof, something that collapses a little, it’s so easy to fix. No need for any carpenter, or mason. The kids of our neighbors know how to do it. In fact, everybody here know how to build a house, because everybody does it all the time. That how life goes here. A fourteen-year-old can build his own house.

We moved here to feel more alive. I guess it’s working !

1 comment:

monsieur mike said...

your places looks and sounds fantastic. I am a little jealous! say hi to Fred. We met briefly at Samir's in Fes last year (March).