The Importance of Change
When speaking with an acquaintance yesterday, I mentioned the word “polyculture” and got the response “poly-whats?”. The individual we were speaking with seemed to be intelligent, and well-versed in the realm of politics, economics and other bureaucratic aspects of society, although it was clear that this individual had not a clue of the real change that is desperately needed today. As a society we tend to try and change the systems that operate on a larger scale, the invisible and ambiguous “They”. One problem that lies herein is that it is difficult to form a cohesive proposition, politics are all about many different opinions and ideas. There is one solid fact that some of us are ignoring, that is; we all share the same Earth. We all breathe the same Air, we all drink the same Water. Yet our larger population chooses to destroy, pollute and extract.
What we have here, is a choice. Whether this choice is conscious, or whether it has been made subconsciously by our ancestors throughout generations of industrial boom doesn’t matter right now. We stand at the threshold of environmental and planetary restoration. We are at a precipice, and our view can be quite beautiful if we look ahead across the valley, but also quite daunting if we look at what lies right in front of us down below. This choice that we have before us is one that has repeated itself throughout the existence of humanity. We have always had the choice to move forward technologically (and often backwards in connectivity), or to remain grateful with our standing among the Whole. It’s become evident that we sacrifice the well-being of the Earth and our habitat for a few fleeting moments of “happiness”. Is this happiness worth the ruin?
What will our grandchildren say when we tell them stories of great sub-arctic forests of evergreen, where animals that are no longer with us called home? Stories of jungles full of a diversity of life, sounds that are seemingly out of this world, the lushest green you could imagine? What about that one, absolutely beautiful piece of woods you used to go to as a child, where the squirrels and birds called to you, and you were in a world of your own? What will our grandchildren think when we tell them that we didn’t do a thing, and these arctic forests are now black, barren oil flats, or these jungles have been cut flat and one single organism stands now in the place of millions? Or when you drive by that cherished piece of woods, and it is now a mass of concrete, or a field of corn, or perhaps something worse?
This choice that we have is not a difficult one. These scenes of horror are already occurring as we breathe. And we are sitting idly by, waiting for someone else to come and stop this. We are waiting for “Them” to act, with bills, with legislation, with words and broken promises. Do words and bills stop criminality? No. This happens anyway. Action is the real change that is needed. The choice to plant a tree, the choice to educate your neighbor about why erosion is actually happening every time that field is plowed. The choice to grow food that heals the Earth, and the various beings on it. Currently over 90% of corn grown is genetically modified, it’s very DNA—the threads of it’s existence—has been altered. Most of this is to feed animals that we as a civilization eat. We disgrace these animals by not giving them their true identity. Cows are “beef”, pigs are “pork” and corn - once a sacred food relied on heavily by many different civilizations - is feed, or sweetener, or ethanol, or countless other unnecessary products . Not only is this poisoning our animals, it’s poisoning us. This mockery of corn and it’s byproducts are everywhere you look. Poisoning the Earth, the Soil, the Air and the Water.
Imagine if you will, fields of trees producing fruit and nuts, feeding not only the wild animals around them, but as well as the domestic animals beneath them, AND the humans that have planted them. Imagine not only one type of tree in a field, but several different kinds. Imagine a humongous chestnut tree, in all it’s glory, with fruit vines growing up it, and raspberry canes and currant bushes loving the partial shade beneath, flowers that feed the bees, honey from these happy hives, and animals enjoying the living grass. Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? That is polyculture. This is not a difficult choice, this is one that will provide beauty, fertility, food and life for generations of Beings, not just humans, long after we’re gone, with minimal management. Certainly much less management than fertilizing, tilling, seeding, fertilizing again, spraying poison, harvesting, and processing, then further processing and so on. Not to mention in these systems, nothing needs to be fertilized, poisoned, or improved. With every passing Autumn, the falling leaves and whatever the Plant decides it doesn’t need, is fertility for the future.
This can be a reality, this can be the future. These are the choices we have, and that is the future that needs to be. You could tell your grandchildren about how this orchard of magnificent beings, was once a desert of infertility and that you and your neighbors and the farmer who owns it decided a change was needed. When we make these changes, we can no longer be selfish, we have to be wise, and we have to act. We have to act now, with compassion and reciprocity. This Earth has given to us long enough, it’s given and given, and we’ve taken almost all we can take. It is now time to give back, it is now time to plant a tree. Plant one in your yard, plant one in the park, heck even plant one in a ditch! Go out into the woods and plant acorns, plant black walnuts. Plant whatever you can. Plant as if your life depends on it, for it truly does. Not only your life, but the lives of many others that do not have the power, or the privilege to make this choice.
Be the change, act now.