Before the Storm

The smell of crops touches your nostrils. Nearby a point where you are standing is a small building. It is not hanging, yet it is high above your head. Dozens of chickens are underneath waiting some crops to fall. Your hand hold on the stair. It is made of dried branches of trees. Without worrying, you find it is strong enough to hold your body. Fewer than the number of your fingers, you can count the steps you take. Looking inside, an abundant number of crops appears to your eyes. The smell is getting closer. You are reaching lumbung.

Time and experiences have taught you, helping you know your nature better. It is apparently the khatulistiwa that lies on your mother earth. You cannot refuse the destiny which regularly send you big amount of rain. Flood could come anytime. Like many other architectures, people have made lumbung structure higher so that stream of water would not putrefy. Also, to avoid morning dew and wet soils. Crops then stay dry and the wind that blows up chase the humidity away.

At least once a year, farmers sow the seeds to the rice field. Under the blessing of mother earth, paddy grows. And you tirelessly work hand in hand. At one time, your neighbors, your villagers come to plough the soil in your rice field. At another time you would come to join others to cultivate one of your neighbors’. Togetherness is daily scenery. As people in Bugis have coined it,

saling menegakkan ketika rebah/saling genggam ketika hanyut/saling mendukung untuk naik dan tak saling melepas ketika jatuh/saling mengingatkan ketika hilang arah.

Centuries later, the smell of vehicles smokes in the air. You see lumbung no more. Walking on the street, hundreds of machines are choking the road. It is not paddy nor other crops, but dozens of tall wall and skyscrapers grows on the land. Hundreds of advertisements are sowed. Loneliness and alienation are multiplying themselves in the middle of the crowd. In the invention of city, an invisible border lies. Like octopus, some giants are competing to grab more and more spaces while the rest are struggling for just a small room.

In recalling the spirit of lumbung, the young people come together in the idea of space. Challenging the plot of such life story, they begin with dining room. It is commonly known as a place where people come and join a conversation. As the time moves along, the definition of resource in the spirit of lumbung also grows. It is not necessarily about crops, yet it could manifest itself in the form of both tangible or intangible such as ideas, energy, networks, creativity, and knowledge. It is also about how one collective is connected to another under a shared umbrella.