Tennesseetransitions


Resilience Rocks

I write about resilience in this blog fairly often. I read or hear about extraordinary resilience among other people seeking their freedom through their own actions and get inspired. And as I seek resilience in my own life, I often feel as though I’m thriving, in an abundant and meaningful way. My household waste is minimal, and the inputs into my life seem to equal the outputs-some days. But I realize that every time I turn the key in my eco-friendly car, that so-called balance is destroyed. Every time I flip the switch on a compact fluorescent bulb I’m reliant on the electric company. Every time I eat fair trade, organic store-bought food, I’m reliant on a producer, and a truck and some oil somewhere along that long line. Every time I turn on the low-flow shower, I’m reliant on my water company, and rain, and God, and dams and waste water treatment plants. So how resilient am I, really? By myself, not very I’m afraid. Resilient communities are another matter altogether. They are the future. Communities that can supply food, water, energy and needed services are literally a detox for Western countries and are even being embraced in rural India as a way to help individual villages improve nutrition and food supplies, stop migration into large, crowded cities and improve quality of life.

solar

<———–Rooftop solar panels in Saudi Arabia!                        

chard

Chard and Sweet Potatoes growing in downtown Charleston, SC

 This NOT an impossible dream folks. I see evidence of transitioning taking place every week it seems, in one form or another. Author James Kunstler writes: “Much of America east of the Mississippi is full of towns that are waiting to be reused, with much of their original equipment intact. The lucky suburbanites will be the ones with the forethought to trade in their suburban McHouses for property in towns and small cities, and prepare for a vocational life doing something useful and practical on the small-scale, whether it’s publishing a newsletter, being a paramedic, or fixing bicycles.” 

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So, I traded in my suburban life for a country cabin and now for an urban lifestyle in this medium sized town I live in and love. “Prepare for something useful and practical on a small-scale?” I want to be the ‘Herb Lady’ in my neighborhood. You know, the person you’d go to if you had a headache, a toothache or an upset tummy and couldn’t get to, or afford to go to, a doctor. The sort of eclectic old sage you’d seek out for advice about how to treat a burn, a sore throat or iron-poor blood. I enjoy very much growing things, and have been learning about the many practical uses of apothecary herbs. We’re all familiar with the culinary herbs, but medicinal herbs, now that’s a whole other world! I’m going to start experimenting on myself, beginning with using rosemary to improve memory. As soon as I remember where I put it 😉

rosemary

 So, tell me, what are  you doing to become more resilient in  your personal life, or in your community? Are you working in community gardens, or planning biking trails? Is serving as a midwife or backyard mechanic  your thing? Is your town talking about a future based on local and small scale, rather than always bigger? I hope to have some super exciting news about resilience in my community to share with you very soon. In the meantime, please leave your own ideas and comments below. Inspire us all-please.

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4 Comments so far
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It will be interesting to hear how you do with medicinal herbs, The people in the Middle Ages knew so much about the use of herbs, and modern people could benefit from more of that knowledge. So old sage, good luck and keep us posted!

Comment by sarasinart

I’ve already determined that it’s like gardening: I’ll NEVER know all there is to know, but I believe there’s a lot to it, and since all our modern day drugs come from some kind of plant anyway, it just makes sense to know how to take care of myself and my loved ones. You know, just in case the zombies come 😉

Comment by simpleintn

Hi, Sam!
(I think the computer is fixed now. I left a message when I read this blog and it disappeared!) I, too, am trying to become established in the area of medicinal herbs and alternatives to big pharma. It’s not easy or quick. . .sometimes I feel like I’m trying to eat an elephant! It may be tasty, but it takes a lifetime to process! (Do you still want the start of comfrey? It’s ready for you.) A friend once told me that it’s easier to learn one plant at a time and as many of it’s uses as you can before moving to another and that cayenne is a great place to start. (It may help memory also, since it’s strength is to get the blood flowing better.) Interesting. . .I tend to get plants into the ground and then learn how to use them as I go along. It takes a while to collect the plants or seeds!

Comment by Barbara

I plan on planting a few things this year and recycling my household waste as fertilizer. Included are a couple of blueberry and blackberry bushes. Hopefully they will make me a little healthier so I can live longer and leave a bigger fossil fuel footprint by burning my lights and television. You just cannot get away from it.

Comment by Louis Payton




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