Systemically, Social Permaculture is intended to aid Humanity and the Societies within it in meeting the evolutionary challenges of today.
Relationally, it is a re-imagining of culture, community, society, and on each of these levels, how we, as human beings relate. It is an investigation of how we want to relate and how this can be informed by the relationships found in natural ecologies, it is an investigation of the essential ingredients behind relationships which honor our ancestors, that which is true in this moment, and the generations to come.
For most of my growing up time in a small home filled with 7 people I shared a bedroom with my grandmother. I don’t remember when my mother thought I might need some space without Grandma and moved me in with my little sister. At 17 I moved right from tight family quarters into marriage and motherhood.
Earlier this month I shared space for 3 weeks with dear long-time friends in Washington. They’d asked me if I wanted to be paid to organize the imminant move of everything including collections of vintage pottery and furniture, from their sister’s house that was sold in difficult circumstances. Each morning I drove to the house on a private island to play beat the clock – inventorying, and sifting, sorting and moving hundreds and thousands of dollars of belongings onto sell, gift, donate, store, and consign lists. I was also interacting with neighbors and others who were concerned and at the same time arranging to buy some of the treasures at bargain prices.
At sunset I’d gaze up at the mountains to stop my body and my head. When I returned to my friends’ home we did our heart’s work. They are dealing with their sister’s on-again-off-again illness while facing dissolution of some hopes and dreams for their family. We are each dealing with our judgments about the sister’s wants and decisions, at the same time expressing our own desires for some of the treasures we’re packing, selling and preparing to store for an unknown future.
This past week I’ve been helping finalize that physical move as best I can from my brother and sister-in-loves’ large home in a quiet subdivision near Indianapolis. While they tour Italy I’m here to be with our father who lives in a nearby independent living center. He says I’m here to “baby sit” him. No way does he need a baby sitter but he does need the daily attention family provides. As his 96th birthday approaches I’m aware of how limited my time is with him. Dad and I are both introverts and he tires easily so I’m “home”alone much of the day.
Being by myself with no “work” forces me to not drift into diversion or distraction. I tell myself forget the consignment shops I saw up the road – I have enough clothes. A hundred times a day I remind myself that the political noise on TV and Halloween candy are poison!
It is my turn to send art cards to my grandchildren. This gives me the perfect opportunity to practice paper cutting. I can also write to them about yesterday when I thought I heard water running. I looked in the laundry room and all the bathrooms – nope. Finally I stepped out the open back sliding door and saw maybe a thousand sparrows sunning in the trees. Their twittering and their wings rustling the dry leaves sounded just like water running!
Later today I’ll visit Dad for awhile. I remember that in Saipan after our morning walk up and down the mountain my friend Trish and I would stop for a moment and ask each other what our intention was for the day. This practice wasn’t a time for sharing goals to accomplish at work but for sharing focus on our internal lives.
Today again my intention is that when I’m with Dad I will be with him in the truest sense. We’ll talk, we’ll laugh, and we’ll remember.
Yes, every day this month has been and is the unfoldment of grace.
Individually it (permaculture) is an alchemy of the inner world which brings awareness to the multiplicity that we are, which honors the archetypal flows of energy and information which stream through us, and which cultivates an internal system which is fluid and graceful, which allows space for the unfoldment of grace, for the release of stagnancy, and for the balancing of our inner ecosystems.
Also individually, it is a recognition of the complexity of the human form, it is a process of honoring the physical vehicles we use to navigate this land, and which are used by the land to stand up for social justice, for that which we imagine is possible, for the reweaving of the very fabric of our community.