Ecology–Permaculture: Design and Integrate

Earth care.  People care.  Fair share.  With my own notions and actions involving care-taking, regardless of whether for people, plants, animals, gardens, personal belongings, I must confess that my default approach is to charge in and take take over. This default mode of care-taking is self-centered and can be harmful to all involved.

I am slowly learning other ways of care-taking which involve listening first, seeing first. There are examples around us.

What do the spaces suggest?  When I look at the neighborhoods near our home, I see starkly different approaches to space.  We chose to live in our neighborhood because the original design called for houses in and around the deep, thick woods and the stream that runs through it.  While I am sure that many trees were removed in the process, to drive through our neighborhood, one is impressed with what seems to be still a large, natural woodland setting.  Next door to our neighborhood on both sides are two different sub-divisions in which every single tree was scraped from the earth.  Giant houses were built within feet of each other.  Yards are small or non-existant.  The remaining land is covered in asphalt. The space was violated.

What does variety bring? One of the exciting things happening in our UUCG community is how we are listening to the variety in our community:  variety of ages, of ethnicities, of genders and sexual identities, of socio-economic needs, of legal status.  We declare weekly that people are, indeed, Home here.  Our beloved community is itself becoming a living example of permaculture where the designing and planning listens deeply to what the landscape itself suggests, seeing diversity as a rich treasure of resources.

As you move into any important situation today what does the lay of the land look like, and what does IT suggest to YOU about how to proceed?  In that situation, what variety of things do you face?  Can that variety be a resource rather than a distraction?

Bob Patrick

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