Permaculture is life, is designing, is creating and building with living things. Our health is determined by the amount of light we let pass through or inside a system.
Darkness is often seen as the opposite of good health. It is the absence of life, yet the presence of sickness. Nature guides us through these things like in the case of anaerobic bacterial processes, which by their smell alone deter us from coming near. It is as if nature tells us to keep a safe distance until the process of repair has come to a close. Though all life-giving processes need the darkness at some time to process and bring the cycle to a good ending, in many cases it is undesirable to incorporate darkness into a design concept.
I thought of this as I was building the eco-house in Marikina and we were at the level of piping. I kind of needed to balance between what the engineering department approved and what would make permaculture sense.
Since I had already built an aerobic reactor chamber for the last leg of the wastewater, I also had build two compost toilets that would have separate holding chambers for the manure but likewise under aerobic conditions. All chambers leave enough room and are surely not devoid of oxygen. When it came to building the gray water drains, I decided to not put a cover on them and to let the water be exposed to gravel and with plants growing right into them. Challenging, but it would become a first natural step in cleansing the water and passing it on to a next level. This design would surely assist the already natural active bacteria in order to aid the next natural process.
The sun is a great catalyst in empowering natural bodies (including our own, but also in other living things) So it becomes more clear that by exposing water or letting it flow freely and bumping into hindrances would be the first step to repair and give back to nature. It is funny why we have been taken for a ride with the engineering feat of covering rivers, hiding canals and straightening natural creeks or worse even cementing complete rivers.
As a true permaculture practitioner you can never go wrong with planting trees, but you neither can go wrong if you keep bodies of water open and provide space for the living liquid to rejuvenate.
Featured image by Video of Kagnet from Youtube “Beautiful Sunrise. Rising Sun in Florida.”
Photos by Cholita Dantes and Bert Peeters