Myself, Nadia & Geoff Lawton and Salah Hammad
"It depends — do you want to be a consultant, a designer, an implementer, aid worker? What do you want to do?" Dave asks. The problem with that question is I want to do it all. As the weeks have passed here on the Zaytuna Farm Internship I find myself thinking how fortunate I have been to learn from such great mentors.
After every giant in their field has spoken, I have been drawn to their call. I want to teach, I want to do aid work. I want to become a competent permaculture consultant that has the experience of two men’s lives. I want to make a difference in people’s lives. They are hammers and we are just nails looking for a cause.
As my fellow interns make plans on their futures in Permaculture, I am going to stick around a bit longer, as being surrounded by such experienced teachers is an opportunity I just can’t pass up. Still, I feel jealous of each of them. One is going to teach a PDC in the Middle East, one is off to do aid work in Asia, and so on. I stay, determined to grasp Permaculture by both hands and run with it. I just happen to be at the perfect place to do that.
Myself and Paul Taylor
On the Internship, in addition to Geoff Lawton, we had guest speakers that came in to teach us about their specialist subject.
Here are some quotes from the last few weeks that I appreciated:
“Well informed, is well armed.”
“Hope is not a management plan.”
“You are building a glider not putting wings on a brick.”
“Just because you are rich doesn’t mean you’re smart, happy or healthy.”
Some might say our teachers are a bit obsessive or eccentric, but I recognise it as passion. They are trying to pass on all they know, and not for money or fame. They know they can make a difference — and not a fake, corporate environmental kind of difference. I’m talking about a "game over" kind of difference.
Chris Darker and myself
In this old growth forest of giants I stand — myself as the seedling that’s just bursting from its shell, heading towards the warm light and the tree tops. I’m taking my time to set down a good foundation of roots. As each teacher comes and goes I begin to feel ready for anything — ready to take on the world and whatever it can throw at me. As the succession of the forest progresses and my trunk of wisdom thickens, so will my branches open up a bit, to allow the saplings underneath to rise. It’s not about me being the biggest or best tree. It’s about family, community — passing on all that any child needs to know in this world to live an achievable, sustainable life, so they can play a meaningful role in the ecosystem of life.
Dave Spicer and myself
These giants are turning up in unexpected places. Each of them is different and individual — all nurturing the new generation coming after them, stacking succession and spreading the edge, allowing yet more giants to become established.