Thursday, December 18, 2014

Permaculture Principles for the Fourth Week of Advent

Permaculture Principles:
 A natural path in the desert
By Cindee Karns
A voice cries out, “In the wilderness clear a way for the Lord; construct in the desert a road for our God.”  (Isaiah 40:3) (NET)
Finding your way in the desert is hard enough, but building a road?  Seriously?  And then
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once it’s built, how do we, as Christians, prepare the way for others to follow? It may be the most important question of our time!
Western culture often has a “we’ll get her done” attitude.  The bigger the machine, the faster we can work and we will all be amazed at the result.  A road can be built pretty fast, but we never stop and ask if that is the best way to do it.  So let’s ask!  How do we make ready a path in the desert?

We certainly have enough stuff to get her done.  But sometimes it feels like we are all alone---wandering lost in a desert of STUFF without knowing where to start. This stuff has been mass-produced, is toxic, has a high-embodied energy (both in manufacture and in transport) and is bound for the landfill.   What if we ignored our stuff to make a natural path in the desert?  What if we used permaculture principles? 

Permaculture, formed from the words permanent and culture, is most simply, “a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature.”  It’s a much more earth-friendly, indigenous view. 

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It’s truly amazing what happens to us when we interact with nature and take our place as stewards of the planet. 

“ – we come into right relationship …by taking our rightful place and answering the endless questions human beings have been asking for hundreds of years about the meaning of our lives….we thrive by helping everything around us thrive. By coming into right relationship with the world, we find inner peace…”  (Tippett, 1994)

There are already many people traversing the permaculture path, who are creating truly interdependent relationships with nature.  The path starts with these ethics: Earth Care; People Care; and Fair Shares.  There is also a set of principles to guide us. We will need many people to help us make this path smooth.  The ability to get on this new permaculture path may ultimately prove to be the key to our survival on the planet. Here is an amazing example of using permaculture in the desert.

Prayer: Creator God, we know you want us to thrive in abundance.  Help us begin today by walking the path and inviting others to walk with us so that we take our places as stewards of the planet and make ready the way, even as we pray “thy kingdom come.”
Contributor: Cindee Karns is a permaculture designer/instructor in Alaska and the owner/operator of Alaska’s only Bioshelter.

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