One of the things I love most about Permaculture, is the ability to apply the principles to gardening, farming, animal husbandry, etc., but how they also lend themselves so well to our inner landscapes as well. Rob has been very good at designing our forest gardens and learning about wild and wonderful plants to enrich our property – he has a real passion for this. I, on the other hand, don’t really have the mind for intricate plans and retaining details like he does. I am interested in human interaction and education. What I’ve learned is that Permaculture is just as valuable for both of us. Our strengths are in different areas, and this is actually what helps us to work so well together. Diversity in action!
This past weekend he attended a Mark Shepard workshop on water management (swales) and left me home with the children. I often depend on weekends as my time to recharge for the coming week, since Rob is working a full time job outside the home to support us. So…I called our mothers! My mom came on Friday morning, and Rob’s mom was here for most of the children’s day on Saturday! It was so lovely just to spend the day with great people.
It struck me how difficult it was for me to ask for help. In our culture, it is difficult to admit you need support, and even harder to ask for it. We are living very compartmentalized lives that do not feed our souls with the companionship of community living that our ancestors once enjoyed. I recall when we lived in Toronto, feeling like there were so many people and things to do that it was difficult for me to find anything to do, I had no community to belong to. The speed of our digitally enhanced lives allows us to be more involved with each other than we ever have been before; reading what our friend on the West Coast ate for lunch, for example. What we are missing are the authentic spaces in between. The chances to just be with others. The conversations that happen when you have no ‘news’ to discuss. I feel as though we’re all ticking along on our own tracks, and barely take the time to actually share the journey with another. It can be a lonely walk.
Often our family is questioned in our decisions, or even just looked at quizzically when we answer in an unconventional way. I yearn to share this adventure with other families on the Permaculture path. In the meantime, I’m growing my own community…one child at a time.