Recently I was having dinner with a group of biodynamic practitioners when the question was raised, “ Is a farm truly a closed loop, supporting itself from within?” The debate grew around the dinner table about whether something can truly be closed as it is always being influenced from the outer realms, which are actually the inner realms. This led to asking if the farm is an island within the larger organism of the landscape, influenced by the watersheds, landforms and climate which ultimately inform the ‘island’ of the farm. You can see that this was leading in some interesting directions.
Ultimately where the conversation led was to think about our interactions within the farm organism. For me, the farm organism is a collection of moving parts creating a danceform in which I am but one of the dancers. These dancers are always engaging in a choreography that I sometimes know clearly and other times can only be aware of at a deeper more intuitive level. I see my role within the dance to know when to step in and when to step out, when to move faster or slower, when to carry and when to be carried. It is about collaboration with the dancers: the other humans, animals, plants, organisms, natural rhythms and the elements.
Collaboration happens when I quiet myself, when I slow down enough for deep listening opening the space. Within that space comes the ability to observe – to sense into the space of what is presenting and unfolding. In unfolding comes the forming of questions, of pictures which lead me to dive deeper into the unknown. Sitting with the unknown space I can sense what is emerging and resonates through me, a pulse that continually feeds itself – lemniscaping forward and backward again in an ever enlarging informed map of energy, light, sound, and rhythm. Information to be shared when I join into the dance, growing the choreography forward and engaging in the ever present emerging future.
The work of the Biodynamic Association and all of its members is to engage in the greater unknown. To engage ourselves with open space and open heart so that we may grow and collaborate with others; from the smallest microorganisms to the larger interacting cells of community. The need for this engagement has never been more urgent which is why we must slow ourselves to truly listen into what is emerging so that we are not left behind. Left behind as a movement, in what is socially and culturally emerging. Left behind as a species. Nature supports that which is engaged with her. To truly heal these deeper wounds that we have inflicted on this earth, our dance partner and ultimate choreographer, we must learn to engage in the collaborations so that we heal ourselves first and can free ourselves to have the space to listen into what can be – the ultimate twirling dance of togetherness. Or to frame it back to the question I opened with: Is a farm truly a closed loop or does capacity can only become stronger when nourished and nurtured through collaboration?
Collaboration and Capacity was featured in the Biodynamic Association Journal – Spring Issue 3 Feb 2018