“Are you speaking?” asked most people, upon contact, at my first conference event. It was a dinner party at the home of John Roulac, CEO of RE Botanicals. Situated on the tip of Point Richmond, the house was crafted of wood by boat-makers. Sweeping views of San Francisco, and every bridge. Tiered decks, twinkling lights, the seductive scent of Indian food. Wind-blown attendees chatting, perky and passionate.
It took me awhile to figure out how to answer this question sincerely. I sensed a great love for this motley crew of visionaries and farmers, and I wanted the first word out of my mouth to reflect the Yes reverberating in my body. My first few attempts failed successfully. Soon, I had my answer.
I don’t run a large organization. My published works are not in the field of permaculture, or even food. I am a mother of three, bravely and boldly navigating toward Regenerative Living, which in Buddhist terms could be defined as the Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right concentration, and right mindfulness.
Thus I consider myself a peer, and signed up to volunteer at the conference in order to learn more about who is doing what, where, and how, and to see about being of service. In addition to clarity and connection, I came away with a mixture of dread, determination, and pure excitement—like a bird might feel, flying in formation through a storm.
Soil Not Oil was a melting pot of molten energy; we might still be processing information from the left to the right sides of our brains. With an eye to decolonizing conference culture, I’ve consolidated some of my notes into bite-sized pieces.
It truly seems that the way forward is together, merging knowledge across movements, traditions, sciences, and technologies, while utilizing every craft at our disposal. Regenerative activism looks at what we share in common, and embodies the paradigm shift from “Me” to “We.”
We are the microcosm of the macrocosm. Let’s tap our roots.
The High Five:
Finally, here are five of my personal “spark” notes, received while sitting alone on the floor in the middle of the empty Masonic Hall, under the enormous light-bulb star on the ceiling.