Saturday, July 23, 2011

Permaculture and Nature Deficit Disorder

My head is in a flurry of environmental love right now...or something of that nature (pun-intended?) ...

Since being here, in Saskatoon, I've tried to involve myself, environmentally speaking, around town...main reason being is that I'm extremely interested to see what different cities are doing and well, can't really imagine not participating in anything enviro for a full four months while I'm here, that would just be absurd! The bonus is, it helps me feel more connected to both people, and nature.

Today I participated in my first "Permablitz", which I found out about through the organization Rooted . It was phenomenal.

I learned a lot about food forests and swales, (as that is what 12 of us were creating in the backyard of a local Saskatoon home), and the importance of Permaculture.  It was great to see everyone come together, from all different backgrounds, of all different ages; connecting and developing bonds through shared beliefs and fundamental values.


Digging the trenches

I would love to take the Permaculture Design Certificate that's offered at UofS. I've been wanting to for a while, but now even more so! Unfortunately, it's right during the time of final exams and such with MPAcc. Luckily I obtained some great names of Permaculture experts in both Calgary, and Vancouver so I'm hoping I will be able to get a certificate there! I'm unbelievably interested in this stuff.

I had great chats with many today and I was fortunate enough to have a discussion related to eco-therapy and about how we can help individuals reconnect with nature, and why, or how, they get disconnected in the first place. This man shared with me a story of a time when he really saw the commencement of the disconnection. The story was about two little kids who were playing outside in the sun, and it starts raining, the mom of one child calls her kid inside saying "come inside, it's raining, you'll get all wet." As a result of that moment, that child began to learn that we need to rely on human made shelters/structures to be safe. Subtle, but there, and developing over time. The parent of the other child had the option, of course, of calling their kid in, too, however, they chose to go out, join the kid, and play in the rain. And, rightfully so!

It's a story that really made me think - and it's so true - why do we run away when we feel a rain drop? I would say  it's almost analogous to the little moments/situations within our growing up years that work to stunt our creativity and erase our innocence and curiosity with life.

We lead such busy lives and, as a result, we forget to take the time to connect with nature. We take nature for granted, it's there, always has been, always will be, right? We can all agree, to some extent, nature is important (some more so than others), and I would imagine, we can all attest to being much happier when the sun is out - but that's where it seems to stop. The majority of us don't delve further into our feelings with nature, into the true reasons why we are happier when the sun is out, why inhaling a deep breath of fresh mountain air can melt away our worries, and why we smile and feel good when we see a butterfly, flutter by.

Just as we take the time to exercise, eat healthy, and sleep, we need to take the time to be in nature, and going beyond the superficial layer. We need to go a step deeper and take the time to become aware of the way nature makes us feel - really tapping into that positive energy that exists within nature.  Sure enough, I come across this (today of all days) "Nature Deficit Disorder", I love how the universe works like that.

I must say, I am thoroughly  pleased with Permaculture and I imagine today will be one of those moment that, whilst Permaculturing up a storm in a few years from now, I will refer to when asked the question of how I got to be doing what I'm doing.