Working here under the hot afternoon sun, I sometimes imagine we’re building the Matrimandir. Sacred Groves has a lot in common with the Matrimandir, the building that represents the soul of Auroville. Both projects take incredible vision, physically-demanding labor and an unforgiving tenacity in order to reach success.
If you saw the Matrimandir during the first few years of construction, it wouldn’t look like much…but visit now and you’ll be wowed to your core. The same is true at Sacred Groves – which for now still looks like a regular construction site except that the volunteers here look a little happier than most construction workers. There’s something in each volunteer’s eyes that is unique: each of us holds the vision of a complete Sacred Groves project, where families are living, children are playing and neighbours are creating community.
We all know that in order to reach that goal, we and Auroville have to follow the plan step by step and hold onto that vision of a thriving and completed Sacred Groves….so we do what we can: we WORK!
Each day here is a little different. Today we received a new volunteer – Ksaynia – from Uzbekistan, who will be joining the crew for two weeks of cob building. She add to the international culture of Sacred Groves where Indians, Swiss, Americans, Italians, British (and now Uzbeks) work together. We also have the help of René – an Aurovillian and mechanical engineer who is taking a look at our organisational systems to increase productivity.
As I type, ten volunteers are making cob- mixing clay, sand, straw and coconut husk with their feet to make one of the world’s most sustainable building materials. It’s a slow and labor-intensive process: each day we spend 2-4 hours in the cob pits mixing new batches, then mould the cob into bricks, add the bricks to the cob wall we’re constructing and then finally shape the wall to the correct specs of the future house.
For now, it looks like bare walls without a roof, but one day we know it will be a home.