Monday, 23 May 2011

thinking as a community

"There is no personal enlightenment.
Awakening occurs only in the activity of loving relationship."
-source unknown

Self-sufficiency, the term, is bandied around quite a bit these days.
I guess I just don't quite get people's thinking around it.
Don't get me wrong; I am committed to growing as much of our food as possible for our family, preserving the surplus, making as much from scratch as possible or recycling, upcycling or just doing without.
In a nutshell, keeping our home and family as a unit of production rather than of consumption.
But self-sufficiency has never been our goal.

Self-sufficiency surely is an illusion.
We live in a community with others and are part of the awesome web of life on this planet.
There is no me without you; there is no self separate from the whanau of others.
And so when we think about future-proofing the way we live we inevitably think about the community in which we live.
We practice thinking as a community.

(All photos taken while at our local Farmer's Market recently.)

For example, we live in a village which faces in the main southwards.

Not ideal growing conditions here in the Southern Hemishere, so when we look at food production as a community, we think about how we can design the community as a whole on permaculture principles.
We imagine dividing the village into microclimate zones so as to grow suitable crops for the particular climate of each backyard and sharing out the harvest.
When we get excited about becoming kaitiaki for honey bees we think of people in the community sponsoring the care of village beehives for the benefit of everyone.
When we think about the local economy, we think about an economy that will support everyone in the community not just line the pockets of a few. We barter where we can, we support the Timebank and we investigate cooperative ownership of business and land.
And when we think about growing our children, we look to our village and all the wisdom and skills embedded there and we rely on this to be the foundation upon which our children can grow safe and happy

So when we were asked why we were returning to Christchurch while at Auckland airport recently (the woman who asked was truly shocked that we would be doing such a thing), the answer for us was obvious.
We feel deeply thankful to have found this community after so many years of searching.
To dig our feet in here and to commit to the place means that we can call it home.

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