Permanency, however, does not mean, things do not inevitably change. To cultivate permanency, effectively, it has to expect change, in order to plan for it. Whatever decision we make, therefore, should take two basic points, into consideration. What are the core values which should not change, and what are the variables I should expect to change?
Housing and employment are constant variables which change often. Sometimes, it happens through no fault of our own. Circumstance had a hand to play. But what are the things we can take with us, anywhere we go? How about the tasks we practice with our hands, on a daily basis? These will inherently come with us. So we have to make a plan, to keep practising these actions, during any transition we're presented with. This will bring us comfort and security, no matter where we find ourselves.
I suspect one of the industries, which will see some growth in the future (and already has) are those industries which produce portable products. Things which take up little space, and can be relocated without too much complication. Knowing how to build your own, portable stuff, is a valuable skill to have also. Because portable means, it can come with you and still fulfil the task it was purchased/built for.
Wherever we live, we should take the time to cultivate those skills, and gain the knowledge, which adapts us to different situations. Think specifically food, hygiene and the means to make an income. Because without food and cleanliness, we may get ill - but without the means to make an income, we lose the ability to trade with others, for things we cannot do for ourselves.
Our skills have been outsourced, more and more, as the industrial revolution expanded. So we tend to take our skills and intelligence for granted. It's because we've only given our personal skills one vocation - to receive wages, that we're easily led into industry's cul-de-sacs. Take the permaculture approach however, and you have to find more ways to apply your personal skills, than just one.
When we start contemplating things on a broader network, we find new ways to reference everything we do. You can explore different ways to diversify your income, for example. You will start to see the things around you, as a means to produce something, rather than simply consume it. More importantly though, learning to derive income by your own means, takes the pressure off waiting for job opportunities to "arrive" instead.
People were meant to form industry, but instead, industry has come to form people - and their values. When we learn to identify and maintain, our own core values however, this starts to become our new compass to make decisions by. The variables can change (we even plan for that) but the core values determine the application of our focus. These only change, with our personal evolution.
Think of the variables that change, and the core values which are more permanent, as nature's own network of succession. On barren land, the first wave of succession, are variable, short lived weeds. As they die back, it starts to create the broader network of systems, which can sustain the longer living, perennial plants. These plants can bear fruit indefinitely, as the network of shorter-lived species, continue their life and death cycle, around them.
People are the ultimate succession species, but we live our lives, more like the short lived weeds. Our decisions are short term, but we have the capacity to blossom into the ultimate perennial system. Given we learn how to till the ground, only where it needs it, and fallow the ground around us, otherwise. So when I talk about permanency, that is the kind of system I'm talking about. What should we uproot and transplant? But also, what should never be moved?
Where better to find an example of what I'm talking about, than from a farmer? I have a Joel Salatin video, I'd like to share. It's over an hour long, but worth the viewing if you have the time.
It's about making the path to succession possible, even when the circumstances have changed. His opening statement begins with, "the truth is, every place, has it's asset and it's liability."
There's quite a lot of inspiration in this video, for those endeavouring to develop their land - or how to step into the arena, if you don't have land. It can also be applied to anyone with a connection to family, or making connections in the community. Basically, how do you make connections, and pass things on that need to continue.
It's a discussion we all need to have more of. How do we do things differently, when the situation changes - but still keep those elements of permanency (roots) attached to what we do?
My next post will be about our experience on acreage. Anyone want to share their personal experience, or pearls of wisdom, of how "permanency" is practised (or impacted by) in their daily life?