Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Creating, redeeming, sustaining; God and permaculture.

I’ve been watching a YouTube video about the effectiveness of permacultural techniques for greening the desert. Excellent. Inspiring. Hope, in a situation of increasing aridity and despair.

I felt intrigued by the resistance to the approach. Towards the end of the film, they mentioned that in a year of drought (2008? 2009?) in that region, all the olives – all the olives – in the area failed entirely, except those in the permaculture village. So, not only is their planting healthy and productive, it is thriving in the context of a small farm (I think they said ten acres) plonked right in the middle of a dustbowl where nothing else is working. So – why isn’t the idea spreading like wildfire? Why isn’t the whole of humanity adopting permaculture practices? It’s easy, practical, inexpensive.

It’s as though we are blinded even to common sense by ideas and traditions we’ve been sold or handed down, such that even when the evidence is right under our noses, we plod doggedly on making destructive and unsustainable choices.

And we thought, Hebe and me when we were talking about this a few days ago and again today, maybe this is part of what the Bible means when it says, ‘Be ye not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ In church that’s always expounded in strictly religious terms; but what if it’s not about religion – what if it’s about life? What if the revolution of the Holy Spirit is for the practical, ordinary, business and domestic choices we make in the everyday? What if the outworking of the Spirit in our lives is less about robes and altars or rites and ceremonies or hierarchies and dogma, or what books children are allowed to read on Sunday – more about greening the desert and understanding how to keep ourselves and the planet healthy?

So that opening to the shalom of God occurs everywhere we allow insight and understanding to flood into our lives like light, changing our perspective and practice to something that creates, redeems and sustains life.

Not, I mean, that we abandon the sacred for the secular; but that our faith becomes practical and the ordinary business of our lives becomes holy.


Jen Dark Purple Moon said...

For me it is vital that our faith is an intrinsic part of our daily lives. The secular and the sacred are all part of the same thing.

And paying attention to what will make a difference? Oh so hard to do, it seems like sometimes we are blind to what works for us and what we need to do to be well and healthy.

I have radically overhauled my life and as a result I am much healthier than I was even six months ago. But those last few changes I need to make? Especially my diet, my food? I KNOW for a fact when I eat home made food and cut out the crap I feel so much better. So why haven't I done it? Why don't I do it?

I don't know, laziness perhaps? To be fair I have 'disordered' eating, left over from my days of essentially living on tea, toast and fags and one meal a week that my lovely boyfriend's mother cooked for me. If I try to change my eating I get totally obsessive and go a bit crazy.

Maybe this sort of scales up. We know what we should be doing as a society and sometimes it is blindingly obvious and yet, and yet, we still can't do it.

Pen Wilcock said...

Ah yes - that rings a bell, Jen! With the food, we here have tried to focus on what we should eat rather than what we shouldn't - to make sure we've had the good stuff each day and not beat ourselves up too much if we add in some unhealthy snacks. Speaking of which, it fascinated me to discover that the word 'snack comes from the same word in Old English. Evidently snacks have a looooong history! xx

Jen Dark Purple Moon said...

Good thinking, I try to make sure I have a smoothie with banana, berries, spinach, chia, almond butter, almond milk and spirulina in it. At least then I have had 3 portions of f&v and some bloody good protein no matter what else happens in the day.

I am also convinced spirulina is the reason I haven't picked up coughs and colds for 2 years, despite used to have a v poor immune system and a husband that picks up everything

Oh dear, well the fact that Old English has snack makes me feel a bit better.

OH and last time I posed the 'prove you're not a robot' thing had me pick pictures of donoughts out of a line up. Even the spam catcha is against me.

Pen Wilcock said...


Yes, those smoothies do cover a lot of bases - popular in this house! We put a handful of kale in, cos Eric Berg says it's good. xx