Originally published 2022-08-03
You know how the world feels stressful and hostile, like it is a struggle to just show up as a human being? Of course, nobody said the human experience is supposed to be easy, but the setup we’ve got now is caustically anti-human.
Why is it like this?
This month I’ll be exploring this question… from a very specific angle, and in reverse.
In reverse: what should our world look like? What are we meant for?
Because it is waaay simpler to describe a workable world than it is to list the countless ways our current world is a psychotic train wreck. As we learn what we are meant for, the problems become much easier to understand.
In fact, the dizzying array of problems sort themselves into common patterns that we can actually wrap our heads and hearts around. Then we can strategize, and plan, and DO so that we live our role as the ancestors our descendants need us to be.
The specific angle? Gardening.
I’m starting a new cycle of the Hawthorne landscape transformation program, so I’ll be posting a lot of stuff public and free here and on our website, along with in-depth videos, zoom sessions and in-person gatherings for our private community.
If you follow along you’ll learn about the easiest, most affordable ways to care for plants and soil around your home, and how to design a pleasant garden. You’ll learn low cost, high impact techniques for managing fertility and water. Let me know if you want a full syllabus - we cover a lot of ground!
But most importantly, you’ll be learning the practical nuts and bolts that make us the greatest keystone species to have ever existed - our natural ecological niche is to transform entire landscapes for greater biodiversity, beauty, resilience and abundance. You’ll learn how to design a garden as a wholistic landscape that supports all kinds of life, human and otherwise. We’ll be going deep into forest gardening and permaculture design.
… and as we zoom out to see this big picture, the psychotic trainwreck problems come back into the frame: because our current systems are anti-human in the deepest ways possible.
Not only do these systems make us sick and lonely, but they force us to spend our life energy doing exactly the reverse of what human beings naturally do. They trap us into living alone by the millions, and meeting our needs in ways that obliterate biodiversity and beauty, and produce senseless fragility and scarcity.
One of the deepest ways to make our families more free from this tragic insanity is to relearn innately human ways of tending the land and receiving meaningful sustenance back from it. Another crucial way is to reject the headwinds of isolation by again gathering in the durable, sustaining communities we are meant for.
It turns out that learning, gardens, and community go together very well. It doesn’t get much better than sharing stories and food!
Our ancestors have been through countless cycles of hardship, oppression, drought, famine, war, and every other thing we might fear. They survived, and passed their life to us, along with their irrepressible capacity for hope, determination, and joy.
One of the things I love most deeply about humanity is our stubbornness. (I’ll admit that sometimes it is annoying, though).
We can accept the world for what it is now, and at the same time we can happily, absolutely refuse to accept it. We can simply insist that something better comes into existence for our families and communities, and do our joyful best work to wrestle that better world into existence.
For me, the habitat we tend for ourselves around our homes is central to the fight to live as fulfilled, healthy, natural human beings.
Or in other words, gardening.
You can follow my posts as part of the program here, and on the website soon. If you are interested in joining our community for gatherings and the in-depth portions of this program, let me know. As always, financial support is greatly appreciated and scholarships are freely available.
I want you to be part of this however it works best for you, and I’m always eager for feedback about how to make this more accessible.