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Resilience & Survival, Rewilding our Communities

In the early time of Humanity, when the pre-Humans started to gather and hunt on vast lands, the resilience and strength of the group were deeply relying on the sum of the individual strength and skills.

Think of a beehive where each bee is focused on a specific task based on her age and experience. Bee starts first by staying inside the hive doing cleaning and basic task, until they learn to go out and forage, then become “forager advisors” telling other bees where the pollen and good flowers are, to finally become the “elders” inside the hive taking care of young bees. Everything is perfectly designed to ensure short term and long-term survival of the colony and the species.

As humans, in traditional ways of living like tribal life, very often experienced elders observe young kids and let them explore various skills the little one feels attracted to. Some like to fish, hunt, some like to sing, some are good at crafting, some are good at communication, some are good at poetry and storytelling, etc. This will allow the tribe, the community, to recognize individual skills and desires, and to empower each individual in becoming the best they can be while serving the community in the best way possible. Through an intricate and carefully designed process of rites of passages, young men and women will become empowered adults fully equipped to one day serve their community as elders and wisdom keepers.

This “Nature-all” design, is present in all species. Trees and plants also have their ways to optimize survival and learned skilled/wisdom at a species level through complex epigenetics design and cooperation within their species and cross-species (like with fungal networks). And this has worked really well for millions of years to provide a safe and thriving environment for each species on Earth.

Yet a few things have happened with our species through the last millenniums, the sedentarism, and the industrial revolution. Many of them have broken this intelligent system.

First, the education system does not focus on individual skills but on a blanket level of knowledge for all often leaving many “behind”, discouraged and disempowered.

Second, the loss of the direct contact with Nature had most of us never learn the wisdom Nature teach for long term survival.

Third, the absence in most western ways of living of Elders/Wisdom keepers (replaced by the internet, technology, unhealed adults, etc.) has left us relying on knowledge through unreliable sources. Unreliable in the sense that those sources are not coming anymore from proven long-term solutions to problems.

Fourth, by living in highly developed cities where everything can be found online or at the supermarket and local store, we lost our connection to food, water, and Earth. We do not see nor understand the tremendous amount of resources, often terrible social and environmental impact, needed for this privileged way of life. Life has “never been that easy” with modern technology: open the tap, you have water. Go to the supermarket, you have food. Google a question, you have an answer. Everything is available more than ever, here and now.

This would never be an issue if the system we are living within would be capable to support this way of life. Yet we do know that it cannot anymore. Issues have been rising on all fronts, like an upcoming raging storm, and we keep our eyes and ears closed. We do know if we listen and investigate, that our social systems are collapsing with greater and greater divide within our countries and communities. We do know, the environment is deeply sick (from waters, through soils, to air). We do know the amount of pollution we produce keep rising daily. We do know the system who support life are dying (forest, oceans, soils, glaciers, etc). We do know the corporate profit system of endless growth is not possible in a closed system like the Earth where resources are limited and regenerate at their own pace. We do know that social injustices are on the rise and that this system generates more and more of them.

What troubled me and decided me to write about this was to try to understand the immense apparent lack of interest and “numbness” of the elites, and some of the masses, for those issues.

Yes, many are involved in change and actively working for a different world. Yet as I walk in the street of New York City a few weeks ago, life is going pretty much as usual. Very little has changed. Definitely there are a few more electric cars and organic restaurants, but those are drop in the ocean of change that is needed. And that is where the big issue is. Where resilience and survival meet.

We not only do not seem to care too much about the upcoming storm, but we have lost the skills needed to be potentially more resilient to what is coming. We know that the immense growth of humanity in the last 15,000 years has been possible through moving from hunting/gathering to agriculture. And that was only possible due to a very stable climate during that time. For a large community, It is impossible to stay in one place and grow enough food if the climate is irregular or change too rapidly. You need stability around the system for the system to become stable.

By living on my land now for over 8 years, I am witnessing the changes that are happening. The decline in pollinators, the irregular temperatures, the warmth October days that “start” plants into new growth at the wrong time, the warm days in middle of the winter that awake my bees and kill them on the next frost, the dryer and wetter length of time which slow down or kills certain plants, the cycle misalignment of flowers / pollinators and birds who are not in sync anymore and can’t “find each other”, etc.

To me, it is my reality that I have witnessed and documented. It has pushed me over the last 3-4 years, to start thinking about resilience, adaptability and the future. And I need to think beyond the actual system. A place where maybe the food stores are not full anymore or way too overprice for most of us to buy food there, a place where rainfall is too irregular for natural rain to grow crops, a place where maybe we need to make most of the things we actually buy.

So, what am I seeing when I sit with those daunting questions. I see opportunities. I see hopes. I see stronger communities. I see a deep “coming together”. I see radical changes in the way we live. I see more sharing and less owning. I see more unity and less separation. But that is one possible future. Another one would be a continuity of the actual daunting reality with even more extreme where only those who can afford water, food, and land will be able to “shelter” themselves more and more from an increasingly chaotic world. It’s not only a possibility, it is already happening (I read recently an article that some of the richest Silicon Valley investors and CEO are buying land in places that have long term better resilience and building bunkered homes and communities there). To me, that is still a pretty daunting choice of life and a very short-term view.

What are they going to tell their children?

What will the world do when it realizes this is happening?

Will there truly be any place to shelter ourselves from a collapsing global system?

When I sit with those daunting questions, I see a different future. I see opportunities. I see hopes. I see stronger communities. I see a deep “coming together”. I see radical changes in the way we live. I see more sharing and less owning. I see more unity and less separation.

How do we build that world?

How do we prepare ourselves?

How do we do this with love and not with fear?

What is being asked of us in this moment of deep awakening of global consciousness?

We are called to come back to ancient wisdom, Nature connection, rewilding, and deep creativity. And all of those steps require a complete change of way of life for most of humanity. Especially to those who are “sheltered” by their modern city way of lives, trapped in jobs fueling the old system.

Our mission, as Humans, is to Heal our souls and serve. In that mission, we have all the necessary steps to become good humans again as in re-coming in good relationship with all our relations (trees, plants, animals, lands, and all of humanity). We need to preserve and seek ancient wisdom (which has proven its resiliency), learn from the Natural world which has the experience of going through massive changes, and come together beyond our ideological/political and social differences to create resilient, caring and safe communities.

It is the model I am building for myself and with the community of The Sanctuary. Shifting from self-healing to system-healing, shifting from owning to sharing, shifting from taking to giving, shifting from knowing to learning, shifting from separating to coming together. This is not my task nor a task I can offer on my own. This year has already seen the growth of that community at The Sanctuary, but I am calling a much bigger vision, a deeper prayer for 2020 and the years to come.

So, if any of the above resonates, I am calling all of you who want to participate, share, offer, support, teach, give, hold, love, pray, sing, gather, to come and join us. To support this vision of a new world. Remotely in your own community by taking our pledge (to be released soon), or with us here on the land. Email me and let me know what is calling you!

Together we are stronger. Together we are the hope. Together we will thrive. Only together.

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in the circle around the fire.

With much Love,

Angell Deer

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