EcoFemina lives on earth because it happened like that, even though some good
people say there is a semi-autonomous spirit quite responsible on that matter.
She is Eco as she comes from the ground, feeling more earthly than what might be
understood through studied words, because she loves the ocean and the air and
afterwards she may step barefoot again. As an Eco, she learns that cooperation
and competition exist on the same degree, that between symbiosis and parasitism
the distance might be short, and that the four previously mentioned actions serve
to respond to physiological or existential-like needs – such as feeding, un-feeding,
breeding, maintaining life and creating the beauty that might justify to endure
everything else. This tends to happen in collective structures, in inter-dependence so
to say, in which everything has a function, is growing to have one or lives dependent
on those who have it. She is Femina because female does not sound good and
feminine would barely be applicable. We should avoid the rose-tone of the question,
bringing up some rawness (in the good days, a diamond, on all other days some tough
angry stone) and the need to stand up for what continues to be more distant “on the
other side”. So, EcoFemina lives on earth with a woman body, fighting for the earth
and for the woman.
EcoFemina in the Backyard
They are always fascinating, the children’s dreams, mainly when not shaped by
Christmas publicity or by some families’ expectations. Well, EcoFemina’s childhood
dream was to come back to the fields in which she had never lived. So, as soon as
possible, she ran off the big city and looked for a house with a backyard, in the middle
of the green. She found it.
In a good mirrored structure, the house and the backyard manifested to be as crude as
EcoFemina: “it is possible to develop a lot, but we need to fill the corners, shape it, and
control its route”. What the hell, this “modelling recipe” has never resulted. We must
study it better, people interact with nature for so much time, someone might have
arrived to some good conclusions about houses with backyards before EcoFemina! And
so she did it, studied, listened to a lot of people, went to training courses and tried,
failed, tried again, failed again and waited for better results.
TO FAIL: acting without obtaining the aimed result. For example: putting seeds on the
ground and see them being eaten by birds; covering the sowing with some net, beating
the birds; to marvel with the growth of the plant and see it being destructed in two
days by the snails; put the plants in such an order that they are protected from most of
the plagues, and then comes the storm, and all the puzzle falls in pieces.
One of the things that the house with a backyard has shown to EcoFemina is that the
ecological balance is indispensable. But there is no unique recipe for that; we need
to understand the place’s dynamics and boost the balance factors. In other words:
once, EcoFemina saw a rat. As she was an urbanite creature living the neo-almost-rural
dream, this event has not been particularly pleasant. She was watering the backyard
when a brown animal with the size of a rabbit (so, a monstrous rat) just moved. In
panic, she threw the water in its direction aiming to keep it away, and only at that
moment she learnt that little mice go away, but big rats do attack. That monster came
in the direction of the water – and, therefore, in the direction of EcoFemina, who lost
her head, ran away from the backyard while [verb meaning “to make an acute noise”,
like mice – but also people – do] more than a hot pink creature, closed all the doors,
windows and even curtains – or the monster could stay lurking on the other side.
Only after a long monologue with slots of an angry emotion – during which she asked
herself why the fuck does one person leave the city, live in the cold, put seeds on the
ground and catches rats instead of plants – a more illuminated idea has occupied her
mind. Why not leave food to the stray cats? The smell of a cat keeps away the rat. No
poison, no cages, boosting the ecological balance!
ECOLOGICAL BALANCE: a dynamic state in which the functions and needs of the
present beings do complement and control each self harmoniously. For example: the
flowers recall some insects with precious functions such as pollination; but too many
insects destroy the plants, so the birds control their number while eating them. Then
some rodents appear with no apparent reason, but the presence of some cats keeps
them away – until one day, expressing their gratitude, the cats begin to hunt some
rats and dedicate them to EcoFemina, who gets profoundly sick and does no longer
understand the ecological balance, again.
EcoFemina is not that robust woman, so strong as the fields – no, she has allergy
each time her hands dig the soil. She is not even the goddess of the natural mystery
of production – she only learnt the difference between lemongrass and nettle after
touching them with her fingers and howling like a wolf. And a woman is no wolf,
and when she howls it seems improbable that she aims to connect her chakra to the
universal energy, she instead connects to the universal pain of those who do what
they don’t know. But fortunately there are some aromatic herbs more resistant to
the elements. And she tries to learn how to maintain and reproduce them, wandering
and lame. She tries to gather the seeds to plant later on, keeping aunt Vandana on her
mind, but it is difficult to arrive to the spirituality of the question. The ancestral lesson
is known: there is disrespect for the nature and for the woman, so if both causes get
united they may gain an incredible force. A big productive incursion, among seeds
and bellies. Plants that are never equal to each other, even inside the same species,
and women who fight to have a place among their diversities. It is generally on that
moment that an insect enters the glove and bites EcoFemina.
By Inês Vieira
Inês is a researcher from Portugal. She dedicates most of her efforts to a PhD on human ecology (studying the reasons to migrate and the role of water/environmental stress) and to an international project on intercultural promotion. Both projects are also good excuses to travel as much as possible. On her free time, she tries to explore different ways of narrative, still very attached to words.