Astronauts and cosmologists always look up, they're stargazers, they're on earth but they dream of travelling among the stars, to build the US-Enterprise and go out and explore. Can you see how profound it is that from all human beings, it's the stargazer who realizes our work is on earth, that our planet is a spaceship and we're already among the stars. From my point of view this is an enormous paradigm shift.
In the short film called 'Overview Effect', which is part of the feature film 'Continuum', astronauts explain how it feels to see the big picture, to see the earth from space. It was only once they got up there that they realized how beautiful but also how fragile our planet actually is and that we should do everything within our power to nurture it.
What can I do?
Now you might wonder: what should I do? What is it that I, as a normal human being, can possibly do to keep the earth healthy, vibrant and above all a happy place to live? The earth and all its inhabitants, humans, animals and plants, are nature, so in order to take care of the earth you have to take care of nature. This includes yourself as well.
A great way to take care of your environment and yourself is to grow your own food. The exercise is good for your body and much more inspiring than the gym. The fresh biologically grown food with your personal attention is much more nutritious and when you do it properly you nurture the earth at the same time.
As the astronauts explain, it is the great effect of having the overview, to see the big picture, that moved them to action. We as Permanauts know that this idea of observation, which is a core principal of Permaculture, is vital to work with nature. Having this overview and growing your own food are interconnected, since in today's society it is considered a luxury to grow your own food, but once you understand the value and necessity of it, it becomes a vital cog in your life.
Imagine how much more productivity, joy and food we can create if we started to turn our largest crop: lawn, into vegetable gardens. We often believe that lawn is easy to maintain with the minimum input, but it isn't, because you have to mow it every week. It doesn't just take fossil fuel but also your precious time which you spend doing brainless work. Think of all the people who also add chemical fertilizer to their lawn, spray it and irrigate it with consumable water only so that it grows even faster resulting in even more brainless work, the mowing.
People might say: 'yeah but how about the sowing, weeding and digging!' In a conventional crop garden you do end up enslaving yourself to the system, but in Permaculture we've found that most of it is unnecessary, counterproductive and can be solved by clever design.
I would like to encourage you to feel like an Permanaut, to explore what nature has to offer. Rediscover the joy that we feel when we interact with nature, how it feels to see your food grow and above all how much more delicious your self-grown tomatoes taste. The great news is, you can do this on every allotment, balcony or behind every window. All you need is the overview, the understanding of your local circumstances, to know what will grow by itself on your desired spot, instead of bending reality to make something grow which always ends up in a fight.
People want to ski in the desert. Snow doesn't last in those conditions, but it is possible, yet at a price. The real question is whether you fully understand the price and if you do, whether you're still willing to pay it.