NEWS, ADVICE AND REGENERATIVE THINKING FROM EARTH CIRCLE DESIGNS
This is the first article in our journey to discover the permaculture principles. Ethics and principles guide permaculture’s philosophy which in essence is regeneration and co-operation with nature for an abundant life in all aspects.
So, let’s delve into the permaculture principles, learn the lessons offered and be guided by the light of hope, which it brings to our future.
I encourage you to comment below if you have found anything interesting or have any questions, which I’d be happy to answer.
The first principle is observe and interact.
Observing is the beginning of all. Coming back to the point of true observation allows us to widen our perspective in a non-personal way. Seeing things as they are and not as we think they are, we can understand their real needs and preferences. This reminds me of a story about a man who lost his keys.
He was looking for them everywhere and just couldn’t find them. Under the bed, beside the sink… Then as he opened his door to search the porch, he saw a boy. The boy walked like a thief, he wore the clothes of a thief and his voice echoed the sound of a thief’s. The man frowned at the boy and angrily slammed the door shut. The next day, the man woke up to write in his daily diary, when he touched something in his bed-side cabinet. It was the keys. Happy and relieved the man went to make his morning cup of tea. When there was the boy walking in the street. The boy walked like a boy, he wore the clothes of a boy and his voice echoed the sound of a boys.
So you see our judgements determine the reality inside our heads.
With a clear mind we can learn first-hand from nature, recognising patterns and details that bring us to a deeper understanding for the landscape we are experiencing. Why does the land move this way? How would the water flow in a flood? Why is there a high canopy here? Where are the micro-climates and why are they there? Like an inquisitive toddler we ponder on what is here now, what could have been and what may be to come.
Our senses indicate, experience backs it up and data confirms. Observing to this extent is the only way to really act in the lands best interest. Opportunities and deficiencies will arise from just a tendency to be silent in the presence of the site.
Interacting is opposite to observation but at this level we are talking about conscious communication and not so much labouring. For example, if we wanted to see how boggy and area was, we could simply try walking in it. In a soil testing scenario, we can dig the soil a foot-deep in a rectangle shape, lifting the block to examine the top and sub soil layers. Is it red, white, brown, black? Sandy or clay like? How much life does it have? Compact or air-rated? Wet or dry? In this way we are cycling through observation and questioning then interacting by lifting a segment up and touching the soil returning back to observing and questioning.
Observe - > Question -> Interact -> Observe….
The same theory is relevant for a client. Observe (listen) to their requirements and lifestyle choices, question why, how and what, then interact with them on their wave length. Connecting with their signals with solutions and ideas. The client is part of this eco-system and therefore needs to be given the same amount of care.
The truth is we already observe, question and interact. Sometimes we question before we observe and sometimes, we interact before we observe and question. In fact, we do it so well that it all happens so fast, sometimes we don’t recognise that we are doing it at all. This can be a problem, which brings us back to the story of the boy. Simply come back to your state of true observation because this is seeing clearly.
In this way, we are interacting with the land by being present. Feeling how it might feel and having a genuine care in rejuvenating the eco-system. Some might say having your heart and soul in what you do. Our human nature is so beautiful to experience and very giving if we use it in this way. Have you ever seen someone crying and a random person comes up and hugs them? Wow, isn’t that just wonderful.
Why should our land, animals and plants be exempt from the same treatment? Many people believe plants are a bunch of lifeless twigs and other animals are a lower life-form. I’m not here to impose my ideas on you, simply to say that this attitude is the very cause of our challenges to date and allowing our human essence to be limitless may be the solution. The irony is that as the 'superior' race we are on track to superiorly extinct ourselves. And why should we say that it's limited to a humans inner nature to be so kind, compassionate and thoughtful, is it not just an existence essence? After all, why does a bird feed it’s young?
The problem is the solution is a statement which relates well here. For example, seeing a boggy area as an unusable is unproductive, why not see it as a potential for plants that love water logged soil? Or if you are in a place where you don’t want to be, why not use this place to be where you want to be or make it in to a place where you want to be.
Another example is seeing crisis as an opportunity. What can you use as an example in your own life right now?
The world is full of intriguing, beautiful and inspiring things. Learn to stop and observe these details with your effortless being. Only good can come from this.