Preparing for Complexity

Preparing for complexity could be easier than you think. Sometimes it is a process of giving in to it more than wanting to understand and getting frustrated in the process of doing so. Remember how easy it was giving in to complexity were when you were young. Generally, at an early age, you absorb and learn what you need to know simply so your learning could help you get started in life.

So now imagine what would happen if you would just try to behave more like the youngest members of our society. You awaken the child in you so unknown powers can be unleashed, and inoculate the education trajectory with some wholesome experiences.

Awaken the child! Drop fear and focus on something interesting. Connect this to one of the very basic and simple principles of permaculture, which states: start small, start smart, but at least start something! Children would embrace that. While being a bit reckless, you should give in to the given conditions, analyze quick and then throw yourself into doing something. So what would happen when we apply this action on the idea of grow, analyze the potential, and unleash the power in the things we do and say? Concrete results can be achieved immediately with a playful attitude, and most likely, some failure may be part of the equation as well. But then again, trial and error is the tool that will eventually assist us into succeeding. Of course the more conscious we become about this process, and when on top of this we apply additional knowledge and wisdom, we will greatly limit failures within the trial and error phase, and move on more easily with clear results.

Children being creative at the monkey bar

Children being creative at the monkey bar

Wholesome experiences at a young age! Indeed start them small, and while they are young. Why shouldn’t we teach beautiful things to children? We can overhaul the curriculum to focus on creativity and connectivity of the elements in nature. The education curriculum should be reconnected to nature so that everything that is being taught will be relevant and can be experimented with endlessly. All subjects can be traced back to nature and the nature of living and non-living things.

If both aspects are combined powerful things will happen and complex surroundings suddenly look more comprehensible and easier to deal with. Awaken the child and learn while entertaining yourself.

Village garden

Village garden

Personally, I like to act quite impulsively when standing in front of my garden, and yet I always feel that it is extremely difficult to do something wrong when your garden is a bit like a wilderness zone. However, it is more difficult when your garden looks like a typical farm, meaning shaped like a monoculture place with areas being constantly plowed and weeded for growth.

Leaving this image behind imagine your garden to be more like a little forest zone, with plants of different heights and sizes growing among each other. Focus on one element within the growing zone and start working around it. It may be something that just attracts your attention. You could start pulling out plants that are getting too invasive and mulch them below on the roots of those that seem to suffer a bit. You dig your hands in the soil and add some left over food or coffee residue. Take away some yellow or brown leaves and gently brush the leaves of the plants so they can breath better or release their inborn chemical compounds to ward off predating insects.

Stair garden

Stair garden

Hanging and ground plants variety

Hanging and ground plants variety

Park garden

Park garden

Remember complexity is about small scale, about starting them young and about whatever we do in a garden. (Forget the farm, instead we should all live in homes, factories, businesses or schools surrounded by gardens). As permaculture teacher Geoff Lawton said before: All problems can be solved in a garden (even mathematical ones).

Featured image by Yohann Salazar

Photos by Yohann Salazar and Cholita Dantes

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