For several weeks now, I've been working closely with soil. I have given it the mulch and fertiliser it needs to thrive. I've sown seeds in it and watched baby plants grow. And I have relished eating the first fresh greens.
I witnessed very closely how important a good, healthy soil is. As a Druid, used to reading the Book of Nature and applying it to life, that made me wonder how we can build the soil for a better world.
Let me be very clear about this. Our civilisation, our wealthy society of perpetual growth, is doomed and it is dooming our planet to a future of extreme upheaval.
In some places, that upheaval is a daily fact of people's lives already. Right here, in the green heart of England, things still seem to carry on as they always did. We need to use this time of relative calm to build better ways of living together, right from the bottom up. Right from the soil.
I asked my guiding spirits how we can build the soil of a flourishing world. The answer surprised me at first. But the more I thought about it, the more sense it makes.
The fertile soil we need to build is celebration.
Yes, that means having parties. Doing the three things that make up a celebration:
- getting people together
- saying a few words to remind everyone what is being celebrated
- sharing – food and stories and jokes and the warmth of an outdoor fire into the evening.
Can you imagine the effect of actually getting your neighbours together? The industrial growth society has driven us all into our family units, surrounding ourselves with our possessions, and barely speaking to the people next door. Just getting together a few times a year and getting to know each other as friends is a revolutionary first step towards a stronger community.
There is no need to have a solemn or big sounding reason for your celebration. People do notice and are uplifted by the return of the vibrant green. That is enough of a reason for a party. The first harvest of strawberries even more so.
And soon you'll find yourself finding out about people's passions and skills. About local resources and deep reserves of kindness. Mixing all those together, like earth worms mix nutrients into soil, is exactly what is needed. Being able to call on the skills and resources of a wider group makes it possible to stand strong as the upheaval spreads our way.
I'm looking at my vegetable bed. Yesterday's rain has made it visibly grow. Fresh, nurturing, vibrantly alive. Just like the connections we build with each other. And what better way to make them magical than with a good party?