Post by david.

The previous few days have been incredible. A week ago saw preparation for the final day on the job, and only five days ago did the flat keys get handed back to the landlord. Since then I have seen and visited some amazingly inspiring people in Somerset, Devon, and Dartmoor, and there’s more to come – there’ll be brief posts about some of their projects in future, when I reunite with a camera-to-pc cable/lead which hopefully didn’t get given away with eighty per cent of my other previous material possessions.

For now I’ll offer a short reflection on something I realised recently.  When I started visiting permaculture sites I was bent on the practical side of living an ‘alternative’ lifestyle; well, a lifestyle that is alternative to the ‘mainstream’.  So I would walk around sites and stare at water tanks and solar panel wiring and structural elements.  These things are still a central focus, but the ‘people aspect’ of the process has become of paramount importance.

The sites have all been very different but the principles that underlie the systems are permaculture ones, so a person gets used to seeing variations of the theme.  It is in the people, however, that the real magic is evident, because their stories and views, attitudes and philosophies, humility and generousity, wisdom and houmour all meld together into what could be described as examples in the art of living.

If there existed any fear in my mind prior to embarking on this meander about the venture that has formed (what about money, what about shelter, what about this, what about that?), it has certainly been shown to be silly now.  Wonderful people have given credence to the idea that attitudes can and do give rise to events.  It is very exciting to see what appears to be a growth in this kind of thinking (admittedly in my limited experience, which is all I can go on).  If anyone doubts that momentum is building in this arena, go out and look for it – you find what you look for.