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I would like to begin this year and this month on biodiversity and community. 2012 is behind us. The Mayan calendar showed me an extremely complex mathematical system that described cycles, cycles of day and night, the moon, our  364 day rotation around the sun and larger more epic cycles of 26,ooo years. This time was meant for us to grow, stretch, explore and create this world in astounding ways. We have ended an epic chapter of so many years it is hard to understand. We have taken the first steps into the new cycle. Isn’t it amazing?  Has it been easy getting here? Not always. We face many challenges as systems change seemingly overnight. How we have grown, even outgrown paradigms and shifted during the past 25 years, the time of purification my Native American friends spoke of, over and over?

How we go about creating what we are wanting in this new cycle is up to us. I invite you this month to take a walk with me down the path of diversity using the forest as our model. We are creative beings and diverse. What can we learn from this model?

                                 “Nature teaches us that a garden has multiple interactions.  
                                 We cannot hope to understand all of them and we don’t need to.” ( from Edible Forest Gardens by Dave Jacke with Eric Toensmeier)

We can look to Nature and its communities to understand our own diversity and needs as a community. In this framework we can see complex systems, interconnected whose primary purpose is to grow, manage pests and diseases so there isn’t weakness and loss. This diverse system effectively reduces fighting or conflict over existing resources. This leads me to ask questions: what are the building blocks of community? Do we create our foundations with respect, integrity, honor, trust? or something else? In Edible Forest Gardens, the authors remind us that in the forest there are roles and yes even professions. For example a species is a pollinator, another provides canopy. In order for the forest to survive and thrive it competes in interconnectedness so that all forms exist, not the few. 

Winter is a good place on the wheel of life to sit a bit, reflect, think about what we want to see, have in our gardens. Preparation leads to results. We have learned much these past 25 years, at the very least what we don’t want. Today I leave you with thoughts of diversity:  What does it mean to you?  How can we bring our ideas into our everyday life? The forest can take us into a stillness. If you have the chance take a walk out in nature today. Though quiet and still there is a dynamic and vibrant peacefulness here in its diversity.

Enjoy your day. Judith


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