Many of us are dreaming of a post-pandemic paradise. Now is a good time to reflect and act. Now is the call to build our resilience.
We sit in isolation with an air of uncertainty, wringing our hands after washing them often. The call of nature is muffled with indecision. There is smoke in the air again and seawater rises further. The environment quietly suffers in her sickly crisis.
We mourn the last era and wonder what a new normal will be. Although it is a good time to practice mindfulness, it is also an opportunity to picture a better future.
A great way to ‘live in the now’ is to work on our observation skills. But, when you’re done with being in the now, become one of those who actively created the new era. Start building resilience by developing practical skills and system thinking.
Permaculture prepping is all about providing options, flexibility and skills to respond and adapt. Skills, know-how, healthy minds and strong relationships along a good dose of optimism keeps people healthy. Both Now, and in the future.
Linda Woodrow is famous for her how-to books on growing food and her invention of the chicken dome. But, recently she explored the future living with the effects of the climate crisis, beyond pandemics and the destruction of ‘life as normal’. The novel is engaging and the characters loving. There is much to learn along the futuristic journey.
Look Forward, Step Back and Plan
Permaculture envisions the future of the whole community, not just an individual space. By asking “what does success look like?” The Permaculture design has a clear goal and adapts to changes as it works to meet the goal.
In a similar way, Transition engineers apply the science of climate change to envisage a variety of future scenarios, then they step back and work out ways to get to best future.
Building resilience starts within individuals and then radiates throughout a community through healthy networks. Indivudals become empowered, skilled and supportive. The first step is questioning and checking – Is our existence threatened? Is this how I want to live? Sparked by awareness, we build skills and confidence. Eventually, we develop experience that supports others.
Systems Thinking – Learning From Nature
A vital part of Permaculture is systems thinking. Systems thinking is essential for understanding the complex, interrelated crises now unfolding and what they mean for our similarly complex communities.
A community that adapts to builds resilience. Beyond the circular plan-do-check-act, Permaculture response has the power to spiral. It can grow into something bigger. Fuelled by living systems, our efforts can support a revolution. The Permaculture Design process cycles then spirals. First, we Check what we have. Then we Yearn for something better. Next we Create a design. Then, Learn how to implement the plan. Then the plan can Evolve.
Todays challenges are global and complex. Adaptation is only part of a healthy response. The adaption needs to be transformative and sustainable.Chef Florence builds her rocket stove Fagao. She can boil six big pots with only twigs and fallen branches.
Permaculture seeks a sustainable culture. Transformed cultural practices allow a new normal to evolve. In the same way that hygiene practices were developed, cultural habits need to become sustainable. Simple practices then become accepted as the new normal. Enduring, simple practices include composting, growing food, harvesting rain-water. More highly-skilled practices include the art of conflict resolution.
Dream of a better future. Step back to see what is working and what is not. But best of all, get skilled to be a valuable part of the next era.