In the last two days we have received one-quarter of our average annual rainfall for the year! No doubt this is a wonderful event that brings renewed life to our region and ends the fire season! HOORAY!! If we had healthy forests, healthy soils, healthy waterways, healthy hearts, and healthy minds, this would be more than enough water for a quarter of the year’s needs.
Yet society has introduced competition into the previously eternal cooperative harmony of Life, and as a result we have caused the forests to burn, the soil to erode, the watersoaks to become watersheds and let our own health fall to the whims of the pharmaceuticals.
Healthy soils can soak up multiple inches of rain per hour and make it available for plants for months to come. These plants then transpire into the atmosphere while releasing rain nucleating bacteria over an extended period of time. This slowing of the water cycle allows some of the water to soak deep into the aquifer making it available for terrestrial life in the form of cold crystal springs and streams for decades to come.
However, instead of cooperating with the rest of Life, we have staked our future on finances, egos and competition. We humans are the only parts of Life that recognize the concept of finance. Truth is, we can live here without finance, but we cannot live here without the support network of life. Make no mistake, it will take finance to make the needed shift, or more accurately put, it will take a shift in the minds of financiers along with the entire human population.
Life has been kind to its humans in that it continues to sustain and support us, even as we continue to take without giving. It couldn’t be clearer that we, Life, are no longer able to regulate the forces present on a planet spinning through barren space. Things are stressful now, let’s not push it further.
This early morning, sitting in the inky blackness listening to the rain still pounding its life upon the roof and feeling the healthy soil covered with thick mulch around me soak up the water just as fast as it comes, I contemplate the ripples I create with my thoughts, words and actions. Am I amplifying the positive ripples and dampening the negative ones?
I am texting back and forth with my good friend on these devices that are microwaving us further and further towards unhealth. But these are the connections we have, and connections combined with cooperation is what it is all about. Fantasies of healthier communication methods are great for setting goals and creating dreams, but we always start from where we are.
The chat with my friend is focused on soil health, runoff, and erosion. I say, “Learning from evidence and observation is key.” He replies, “First off, people are really brainwashed to think that urban living and the inherent separation of land and soil/nutrients is the best plan to save the world. … I have conversations about this with good intentioned people all the time. And, second, I really hope we can transition to large-scale communal land stewardship. (It) will be great jobs for everyone, save the world, and be way cooler than (fiddling) with computers and making movies and plastic (toys). … Easy shift will be renaming ‘army’ as ‘land stewards,’ and send ‘em on out! Likely the coffers will just overflow due to the decreased spending.”
Well, I totally agree about everything except the saving the world part. This isn’t about saving the world, and my friend knows this, too. This is about saving our immediate future from armed conflict, misery, famine, thirst and overall scarcity. This is about making a radical shift in our path so that we can regenerate the degraded landscapes of our world and get back to the cooperative role humans need play in the inherent abundance of Life.
As Victor Schauberger wrote back in 1934, “this civilization is the work of man, who high-handedly and ignorant of the workings of Nature, has created a world without meaning or foundation, which now threatens to destroy him, for through his behavior and his activities, he who should be her master, has disturbed Nature’s inherent unity.”
Put another way, a quote from my freshman year at university sums it up, “The purely economic paradigm, the offspring of a materialistic science, that governs all humanity’s present activities is untenable in the long term, for no economy of whatever kind is sustainable unless there is an abundance of clear, clean water and thriving vegetation. This is, and has always been, the bottom line of existence and evolutionary development.” - Callum Oates ’98 (in the intro to his translation of the works of V. Schauberger)
The Kriletich family and the rest of Life that we cooperate with here on our farms are profoundly grateful for this enormous gift of water. On our farms, none of the water is shedding off immediately but most of it will seep off over the next days, weeks, months, years, and decades.
Unfortunately, on the broad scale, many humans and other organisms have had their lives injured by this water. I feel for the American and Feather River watersheds. Our senseless actions have turned these vast watersoaks into watersheds and the fearsome power of water is now shedding not just the water, but ash, burnt soil and even solid rock. There are at least 100 million cubic yards of ash in the Caldor Fire footprint alone. Where is this ash now?
We can turn the disaster we have created for present and future around, but it will NOT be through hurried action at the moment of crisis. It will NOT be through the plans and schemes of experts, governments and corporations chained in competition contaminated minds to the “laws of the market.”
So how will be turn this nightmare around? It WILL be through the cooperation of everyday people with all of Life. It WILL be by slowing the water cycle down. It WILL be by embodying the recognition that WATER IS LIFE.
The earth does not need saving but the quality of our lives certainly does. We will save our future by recognizing that water is life, and we are water animate. We will save our future by recognizing that the ageless wisdom that “it is better to give than to receive” still holds true.
“Ask not what the world can do for you, but what you can do for the world.” - JFK, paraphrased for the ever more globalized world.