Monday, September 08, 2008
Yurtling Energy at Embercome
I've never been to an event such as the one I have just experienced this weekend. It wasn't a corporate event, it wasn't a conference, no workshops were advertised, in fact the remit was incredibly loose. Alongside 30 or so others working to tackle climate change, I had been invited to spend the weekend in Devon to share, plan and plot - and to sleep in a yurt.
Didn't take me long to say yes. I love geodesic domes, so yurts with woodfire stoves do it for me too. And the subject matter - well obviously that's my kinda thing too. I had no real understanding of what was to come of it, so I merrily pitched up with no preconceptions, just left myself open to the experience.
And it was inspirational. A bunch of equally committed individuals who are in so many varied ways making a difference; academically, politically, in business, with communities; by shaping, creating, facilitating, inspiring. All in a glorious environment, fuelled by the most delicious organic food from the gardens (all thanks to Andy, Alistair and team). Shaped by the lightest of touches by Mac, we discovered easily enough how to self-select on discussing various topics. This opened up new understanding, new connections, new inspiration. So many discussions bore so much fruit in such a short period of time, be it over wine in the evening, whilst walking in the herb garden, or sheltering together in the poly-tunnel whilst the rain poured off the sides. So much to hear, to say and to do.
It struck me that the core reason why this weekend proved so successful - why such strong bonds were established - was because we were all reciprocating. Giving and receiving experiences, sharing wisdom, offering assistance and skills. It's the stuff of true friendship, not just for us as humans, but for our interaction with the planet. Reciprocity is equally important just as it is for us human to human, but also for our interaction with our planet. It is not for us to merely take it's resources. We need to extend that reciprocity to our world as well. And that was something I learned more about this weekend when discussing how to create a sustainable world. That reciprocity applies both internally and externally if true sustainability is to be understood and created.
I left energised and revitalised, feeling the growth of not only the plants and trees in the woods that surrounded us, but also of us - individually and collectively. What comes out of this, well, that remains to be seen. But I know one thing - it will all be good for the planet.