We are all, to some extent, broken by our life experiences; and at the same time through our 21st century lifestyles we contribute to the broken-ness of our world. These are two halves of the same wound. And because of this repairing this wound can help both broken people and broken places to heal. There may well be plenty of other ways to do this, but this understanding and experience came to me as an integral part of learning about how to care for my forest garden.
Wherein lies the healing?
in pausing and in letting go
in watching and waiting
in doing only the minimum
in planting polyfloral polycultures everywhere
in lifecycle gardening
in supporting nature’s transformational magic
in harvesting only enough
in demonstrating appreciation
in welcoming the wild
These are the principles that underpin forest gardening and this is about starting the journey on the polyculture path to the heart of the garden. On this journey you learn first to do no harm, to walk with reverence and to allow nature to get on with the work of healing herself. In many places, where she is permitted the freedom nature still has sufficient capacity and intact-ness to begin and carry through her own healing.
And as the forest gardener as co-operator rather than controller gently and sensitively supports this healing they find that the experience also engenders a personal process of healing. A process by which nature begins to unravel the person you once were and to re-create you with a greatly heightened sensitivity to the natural world and a transformed understanding of your own – much more humble – place within it.
How I came upon these invaluable insights, and how they can be applied in practical situations is explained in my book ‘the garden of equal delights’. It is for anyone who is serious about learning how to help to heal the world around them.