Today is world blog action day, an idea that was generated to say what if people all over the world could unite today to talk about one of the most important things in the world, the environment.
My journey in relation to the environment has been quite a long one. I grew up in a family that loves the outdoors, we had a very large houseblock by Australian standards for town dwellers and gardened and went bushwalking and camping frequently. My grandparents were all keen gardeners growing up during the war and in hard times and they produced a significant proportion of their food theirselves.
My family was also a Christian family and through my own growing faith and reading of the bible I came to an understanding and conviction of our great responsibility to steward this amazing planet which sustains and provides for us.
During my time at university I became more politically involved and aware, understanding more about how decisions are made and I guess, becoming more sceptical about the political systems. For me coming across the idea of permaculture was a lifechanging experience, as for me, it just made sense. Permaculture is about designing systems that work with nature and with the experience of nature to be sustainable. It involves gardening, house design, community networks and governance if you want to as it is a design system. It was developed initially by two taswegians (Tasmania is the island state just south of the mainland of Australia) and is now studied, practiced and taught all around the world.
For me i love the idea of working with nature and not against it to provide food, shelter and warmth, I love the fact that it is a positive movement, that is rather than protesting about things it doesn't agree with it is about offering alternatives, applying changes step by step. For me I don't have to be an island unto myself, I value relationships and learning off my friends, whether in person over coffee or working together on someone's garden or over canning up seasonal fruit, or over the wonder of the internet.
I am now known as the hippy to my family and friends, but I haven't made these changes in my life because I am afraid, I think fear can only incapacitate, not empower. I am afraid for the future of the world, but I also have hope that there is an alternative to the destructive way we are living. I live this way because I have tried small changes and found my life to be richer and more enjoyable. I get satisfaction from the food I cook and from preserving food, from harvesting food I have grown myself in soil I have helped create through composting my waste. I love creating things that I wear and use with my own hands, and I love the friendships I have made through this way of life. Slowing life down a little is very powerful.
Signing off, Hannah