As most of you know, I enrolled in a 4 month, weekend course on Permaculture Design. To better explain, Permaculture is a design system based upon observations and principles of nature, applied to the human environment. I'm in the process of reading Gaia's Garden, which was recommended reading material for the course, and I highly suggest checking it out from the library. Permaculture is taken from the the words permanent agriculture or permanent culture and first used by Bill Mollison. Scott Pittman, my teacher, actually was taught by Bill and worked with him for many years.
There's no way I could write about everything in one post, so I'll try to sum up my first day and include a few pictures.
I woke up early and drove an hour and thirty minutes north of Oklahoma City. I knew I was in the country when I turned onto a gravel road. I followed the directions to the Pond House and was greeted by Ann, one of the sisters who runs the farm/retreat. She directed me down the road about a 1/4 of a mile to the centennial farm house where her sister, Pat, lived and where I'd be staying.
I was surprised at how at ease I felt. The day was already warm but it felt as though my body, unaware, had been going through a nature deficiency and was eagerly absorbing the sounds, smells, and sights around me.
|the farmhouse front porch|
I pulled up to the farm house and was welcomed by Pat. She showed me the house and I took my bags in. The farm house has been in their family for over a hundred years. It has a beautiful wide front porch and as I walked up the path to the porch, grasshoppers leaped in front of me like syncronized swimmers. Being inside the house reminded me of the house I grew up in and I immediately felt at home. But I didn't have much time to look around because I needed to get back to the other house and prepare for class to begin.
|one of many grasshoppers|
At the pond house, people and cars were starting to pour in. There were 28 people in our class, of all different ages and walks of life. Most were living in Oklahoma City, but some drove as far as Dallas/Fort Worth to be a part of the first ever Oklahoma Permaculture Design course. After we all gathered our waters, coffees and teas, we took seats around a long rectantgular table. I was immediately impressed and shocked that not a single person had a bottle of water. Everyone was drinking out of a mug or a stainless steel or plastic container they had brought with them.
We took turns going around the room introducing ourselves. What was unique about this process is that Scott didn't want to know the typical, who you are, where you live and what you do. Instead, he asked us to share our name, where we were born, where we live now, our job, our passion, why we were taking the course, and one thing we hoped to learn. I thought it was interesting and fascinating listening to the passions and reasons for taking the course. Here were a wide variety of people who shared one major passion... caring for the earth and trying to find a way to live harmoniously without damaging our home. It was deeply touching and as the weekend went on, I was able to have conversations with most of my classmates and each time, I could feel their passion through their actions and words. It's not often that you get 28 people crammed in a room with a large wasp flying around and no one screams, freaks out, or tries to kill it.
The first day we learned about the principles of Permaculture. I'm going to save this for another post, because this is already long... After class, a group of us went to a mexican restaurant in a neighboring city. The food was delicious and I had the opportunity to listen to Scott talk about his ideas and adventures in some of the 28 countries he has taught permaculture to.
|morning sun shining through my bedroom window|
I know this isn't my typical monday morning motivation post, but I hope that by sharing the beginning of my journey inspires you to take the first, or another step, in the direction towards something you're passionate about. As I continue sharing my weekend and things I learned, I hope I can convey the feelings of excitement and passion, as well as share with you very valuable information, in the form of lessons, books, videos, and inspiring leaders/innovators.
You know that feeling... when everything clicks and makes sense? When you have this peace within you and everything feels, for a lack of a better word, 'right'? That's the feeling I've had since the moment I heard about this course. I wish I could bottle that feeling and share it with others because it's so powerful, yet so calming at the same time.
Thanks for letting me a share a tiny part of my weekend... there will be more to come and more pictures, too! I'll probably be revamping my blog, too. I want to slightly change directions but I haven't quite figured out how I should go about doing this. I'd like to shift my art slightly, if I can find time for art in the middle of a two page reading list I acquired over the weekend, and find ways to make it more sustainable. I'd also like to share permaculture information and thoughts as I experience them and apply them to my current situation. My ultimate goal is that I would like to teach permaculture design. I feel that's the best way to utilize the information my brain is absorbing... to pass it on. I'd also like to apply it to graphic design and possibly get a degree in environmental science once I complete my graphic communications degree. The more knowledge, the better equipped I will be to help others, which has always been a goal of mine. So those are just a few of the thoughts bouncy around in my head. It feels good to get them out and share them... like one more step closer to accomplishing them.
Thanks so much for reading this, I know it's unusually long! I hope you have a beautiful and fulfilling Monday!