Before my departure of this beautiful state I was lucky enough to attend the Northwest Permaculture Convergence. What I learnt was that permaculture farmers are a rebellious law braking bunch o nerds!! I loved it!!!
We cheered people for illegally composting their own poop, for experimenting with mushrooms and following psychedelic visions. We celebrated cancer fighting mushrooms despite doctors attempts to shut it down.
But that wasn't the only thing I noticed.
Not once did I hear someone say they were doing it for the money. It's known farming isn't great business but no one was impressed by big bucks. It was a modern understanding of what wealth really looks like.
These people were free from the financial rat race and therefore received abundance in a plethora of alternate ways.
Also happiness. We all were so accepting of everyone else. There was no competition between farmers, only a shared empowerment over what we were all working towards. When you walked past someone they smiled. When you sat next to a stranger they spoke to you.
This is a perfect segway into how I feel about Songaia. The community that has absorbed me over the last four months.
This community have let go of the 'ultimate independence dream' of owning everything for yourself and surrounding it with big tall fences. And now, after living in community - what a bullshit dream of misery independence seems to be.
At first I was drawn to the idea of community just for the sustainability of it all. One set of tools in the shed, one mortgage, one garden with many hands. One kitchen with many hands. It made sense to me financially and efficiently.
But Songaia quickly became so much more than that. It became an exchange of life.
The interns I shared this summer with all came from different walks of life and the one thing we all have learnt is that we are not alone. We live in an era of isolation and have forgotten how to be with one another. We were all victims of the big dream of doing your own thing, owing your own business. Yet we've learnt that it's so much easier when you have support from others.
We also learnt to tolerate differences. So many people to connect with. People we wouldn't perhaps normally spend time with. Yet we've all learnt so much about ourselves through others. We witnessed our areas for improvements through seeing it in others. Or not seeing it in them too.
So if you think you're up for it-
I encourage y'all to step up outside your social norms and meet someone outside the normal comfort zone.
There's a lot of amazing learning experiences waiting for you beyond your edges. Ask:
What is it about this person I don't enjoy?
What is it about this person I admire?
What does that say about me??
Or if you're wanting something simpler: whenever possible look at someone as if you were looking into a mirror. What do you see?
It has been a true gift to experience Songaia. A gift I hope to carry with me and continue to give where ever I roam.