Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Permanent "New" Culture

 (from the article I wrote for iGreen Woman Magazine)

As a woman, I find myself deeply connected to nature and I want to nurture, to protect and to love. I feel deeply that I am here to love, honor, respect, and protect this planet. I am here to serve the earth and serve the communities of plants, animals and people that are around me. I do so by being a steward, a caretaker of the earth.

Sometimes it seems difficult and even challenging to do this work, to be a steward, a protector. I am hindered by constraints in law, constraints in power dynamics, constraints within communities, and constraints in humanity itself. One of the more pressing concerns is climate change and the rapid changes in landscapes taking place all over the globe. How to be a loving steward in the face of such imminent disaster? It can be overwhelming at times.

But, there is hope! There is a movement of people- men and women alike- that seek balance and harmony and have created tools to bring back balance. One of the things I've discovered over the years that really can shift how we relate to the land and to each other is called Permaculture.

Permaculture- a term that comes from 'Permanent Agriculture' and/or 'Permanent Culture'- is a conscious, integrative design science that is solution-based and is geared towards ways we can all establish creative, self-maintained systems that are truly sustainable. These systems are modeled after nature and work with nature- not against it. Permaculture is about relationships: how we relate to our surroundings and to each other, and how we can look towards creating synergy, so more integration and more meaningful connections get created.

What would our planet look like if we all cared for each other and for other species, cared for all ecosystems, and valued the incredible diversity that exists on this planet? This is the essence of what Permaculture seeks to shift: creating a future in which sustainability, as a core value, is built into the foundation of how we live our lives. This knowledge, how to live sustainably, isn’t new. We’re just now re-discovering it, while also adapting it with the tools and technologies of our time.

The tools of Permaculture leave me inspired and empowered to care for the land, care for our communities and steward the one, truly valuable and precious thing I have: this planet. It is the only one we’ve got after all. Since discovering and exploring Permaculture, I have found others that have a similar relationship to nature and care for the planet as I do. This growing community of people, that are fostering stronger networks and partnerships across all boundaries and borders, also are passionate about creating a world that works: this is my calling.

I have the honor and privilege to join many others, especially women, all across the globe, who are doing this work: stepping up as leaders in their communities, being people who nurture, protect, and most importantly, love. I feel honored to join you all: those who have come before me, those who stand besides me, and those who will come forward in the future as we create a world that's in balance and harmony for all people and all qualities of life. To all the women out there who, like me, have similar desires to make a difference in the world, thank you! As Alice Walker has said, we are truly the ones we've been waiting for!