Updated: Jan 19
Here at Terreplenish, our wish is that this next year and beyond, we see worldwide focus on the ways we, as a species, have treated this planet and the ways that we must change our relationship to the planet in order for the destruction we have caused to be repaired. We wish for the year 2021 to be the year of regeneration.
Everyone knows by now that we are in dire need to change our environmental practices and that there are so many creative solutions that can address our agriculture, planetary wellness crisis. But why isn't the action lining up with the level of crisis we are in? Well, for one, So many people don't even know where to begin. It's understandable, it can be overwhelming! And two; for so many years we have become increasingly distanced from the relationship we once had to this Earth, we have learned to see ourselves as separate from nature and that nature is not alive. This is a practical solution we want to present today; start to begin to see the Earth as alive, and see ourselves as a PART of nature, not separate from it.
"If we see the world as dead, we will kill it. And if we see the world as alive, we will learn how to serve its healing." - Charles Eisenstein
Most of us do not see the Earth as alive, intelligent, or sentient. I believe that this is one of the many reasons why we have drifted so far from the practices and care that will provide the necessary healing for this earth to thrive, flourish, and be restored in it's vitality. Why? So many of our daily, unconscious practices to the planet includes things like spraying toxic chemicals, mass food waste, plastic pollution, etc,. and if we were to see the Earth as the living being that it is, we would see how this is not a sustainable way to treat any living thing, including ourselves.
We are not separate from nature, we are nature
Many people say: "let nature do it's thing!" or "humans only ever destroy the earth!" but this poses an unhealthy relationship to our planet; surely, if we are capable of mass destruction, we are equally capable of mass healing. In addition to this capacity we have to heal our planet, there have been thousands of indigenous tribes who have cared for the environment in ways that add to it's health instead of taking away from it.
For example, indigenous tribes of the Americas have used controlled forest burnings to aid in the decrease in wildfires and increase it's biodiversity. So many practices that the indigenous integrate into their culture are based on the knowing that we are an important part of the natural world. We can also see the evidence - and necessity - of our capacity to work WITH nature in practices such as permaculture, agroforestry, regenerative agriculture, and so many more. The importance of our role and inherent belonging with nature cannot be over-stated, nor can it go ignored for much longer.
"We and all living creatures are not just inhabitants of Earth, we are Earth — an outgrowth of its physical structure and an engine of its global cycles. Although some scientists still recoil at the mention of Gaia, these truths have become part of mainstream science." - Ferris Jabr from The New York Times
The invisible life within the planet; the complexity and wonders of it's intelligence, sentience, and synergetic wonders is beyond fascinating; here are a few things inside the life of the planet that I will leave you with today in the hope that it will inspire you to see the ways we can relate with nature and by understanding it's wonder, begin to explore and implement ways we can live in integrated harmony with it:
BENEATH OUR FEET Whether you are a large-scale farmer, or a home gardener you are more than likely aware of how important soil health is for the production of our food crops. In fact, soil health is important for all life on earth. Did you know that there are hundreds of millions to billions of microbes in a single gram of soil? Yes, really! This life that is teeming in the soil provides incredible amounts of benefits for anything we want to grow in the soil. The very things that make soil healthy are the living microbes and insects within it and how we care for that life within it. It is said that we know less about the life in the soil than we know about the ocean floor. This lack of knowledge about the soil is rapidly changing as the importance of soil is becoming more evident in recent years and more people are focusing on restoring it's health.
Stay tuned on our blog series for an in-depth look at soil!
Did you know that there is a mycelial network beneath the forest that is the reason the forest is alive? Around 90% of land plants are in a mutually-beneficial relationship with fungi. The network of mycelia takes on the role of communication within a forest and is responsible for connecting individual plants together to transfer water, carbon, nitrogen, and other nutrients and minerals. This network also boosts and strengthens the immune system of plants by colonizing its roots and triggering the plants defense mechanism, causing the plant to become more resistant to disease. Mycelia help with various things such as warnings of possible threats, where to send and how to cycle nutrients. For example, if one tree is under threat, the tree begins to send distress signals through this network of mycelia to warn surrounding trees, giving enough warning to them in order to prepare themselves for said threat.
There is an entire world beneath our feet that we do not see, yet it is responsible for so much of the life we DO see above the ground!
The sentience (the ability to feel and perceive) of plants is being largely studied in recent years as the interest in herbalism, gardening, and regenerative agriculture becomes more and more popular across the globe.
As mentioned above, the mycelium network beneath our feet help carry communications, nutrients, and minerals to tress and plants in the forest. In addition to this incredible phenomenon, a research team from Western Australia University designed an experiment to test pea plants’ ability to respond favorably to a stimulus and reward system. In this experiment, it was shown that plants have the capability to learn through experience and receive information that is given to them.
By observing plants, we can see that most of them operate in similar and in intelligent ways that we do. For example, our bodies use electromagnetic signaling for things such as intercellular communication and signaling, regulating our heartbeat, etc,. much like plants use electromagnetic signaling to secrete protective biochemical matter in response to predators, or to communicate with bees.
The element that covers 70% of the Earth's surface, water is, of course, one of the most important elements on this planet. Without water, life on Earth would not exist. For plants, water supports photosynthesis. During the first stage of photosynthesis, water splits into hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Oxygen is released into the atmosphere, while hydrogen is used in the rest of the chemical reaction to produce glucose to feed the plant.
But there are things to be known about water that goes beyond just meeting our physical, biological needs. Water has the ability, like us, to retain information and even memory.
"Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors. The implications of this research create a new awareness of how we can positively impact the earth and our personal health." - The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto
Water is alive.
Intentionally spending time near a river, watching it's spiraling patterns and taking cold plunges, walking barefoot in the forest, and learning about the intricacies of our planet will sow seeds of inspiration for us to relate to the planet in a new, holistic way. It will open us to the magic that is all around us. This new relationship we are forming with Earth will inspire the "spring" of regeneration to sprout and grow and flourish.
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
Evolutionary Herbalism by Sajah Popham