After a few days of thought on the subject, I decided that I would start another series of posts on resilience within our communities. One of the main reasons that this thought occurred was a great post by Bec over at Eat At Dixiebelles, titled “Home Is Where You Make It, where in typical Dixiebelle style and grace, she has an argument with herself on the pros and cons of moving to a tiny cabin in the wilderness, or making a go if it in the suburbs by adapting in place. It is the “adapting in place” that I will be writing about, in the similar vain as my Suburban series last year. Similar, but not the same, as I will be talking about different ways that communities (not just suburbs) are attempting to become resilient in place, or even taking the initiative, mustering the courage and creating a new and purpose built community for the challenges that are rapidly approaching us. In Bec’s own words, “the grass is greener where you water it!”
So to start off the series, I can think of no better place to begin than with someone who started the concept off in the modern era, and that is Rob Hopkins of Transition Town Totnes fame.
Please have a listen to Rob, and his observations of why the Transition Town concept has been so successful, and is beginning to spread as a resilience model, where once there was just an unsustainable one.
Resilience to me means setting up a system in my yard that means we will be okay no matter what. It means having garden staples like pumpkins, potatoes and sweet potatoes that keep a family going through times of flood and natural disaster.I think that this can be done better if we connect with the people in our community and share what we have and teach others to grow things too. But it also means being like a reed in the breeze, bending with each gust of wind but never breaking no matter what other people say as they shake their head at the life I lead.
Thank you Gavin.But, no, they weren’t my own words!! I was being ironic by linking to Pinterest… but yes, I love that quote.
To me, the most important resilience skill I need to build is my own attitude! Being able to handle stress and stay positive in the face of challenges. Of course, I like having a productive garden, I like having emergency equipment and a food/ water/ medical stockpile, I like having tools and seeds, I like being part of a like-minded community group, BUT all that could be taken away so easily. My family and my inner strength are what it is important.
Resilience for me is teaching my children aged 29 to 15 about sustainability, growing vegetables in suburbia and encouraging them to explore skills they may need in the future.
“Depend not on another, but lean instead on thyself. True happiness is born of self-reliance.”
The Laws of Manu
I would love to live in Totnes, we cant afford it an ex-council house is about £250K… As a teenager I used to bunk off school on a Friday (shhh don’t tell my mum), so I could browse at the market/car boot held there. With its beautiful tudor arches and is weird and wonderful little shops, with sloping floors and weird steps to get it. Worn smooth with foot fall over the years of use. Cobbled down the middle. People look you in the face and smile. That is rare in England now. People darnt catch your eye any more.
I do hope that they get the old Dairy Crest building for the people. And the future generations…
I saved and saved for a pair of Conker shoes. (don’t know why I felt I need to share that with you…)
When someone says to me Totnes. I feel warm, I feel smiley. Yes there are people who have dreads and their clothes look like they have fallen into a charity shop and a dress up box, twirled around and stood up with what ever was attached to them, my mum wouldn’t say Hippy, she said Colourful… LOL. But what I admire about them is they seem to genuinely be happier. I think a lot of our problems in modern day is this need for stuff. So much stuff in these little new build box houses. All clean line walls and no storage, but every day at work I see people coming back with bags of stuff. Where does it all go? Have we lost our identity that much that we need a rag of clothing that is designed by some foreign named Italian, with a perma tan, and then made by a small child in the 3rd world where they sleep under their work table…? (am starting to rant so will stop)
Resillience to me is knowing who you are, knowing what you can and cant do. Learning to do the things you cant. Reading blogs and learning to grow your own food, going without so many material things. Knowing you can rely on your partner. Its a lot of knowing. So I say resilience is knowledge. It is a very powerful thing.
As normal Gavin, a fabulous post and a trip down memory lane. Thank you. It is a reminder to keep my mind on the prize and keep on walking it the right direction.
I think of resilence as being able to withstand or to endure thru situations
To do that I/we have to equip ourselves with as much knowledge as I can… we have to fortify ourselves against all the possiblities seen and unseen.
so we just recently purchased 18 lambs to breed for meat, we have a vegetable garden at the moment we have approx 40 raised beds(and planning more),
we have a large poly tunnel,we have chickens, we have ferrets for rabbiting, we are looking at going solar, we are installing a wood stove to heat our home and hot water(wood is free here)
we sew and craft,we mend things,recycle things, we preserve&ferment foods …we are in the learner stage of it all
All these things are the things that fortify us make us resiliant against the woes and foes of the world.
Resilience is a state of mind.
Plenty of people can’t make a go of it, no matter where they are, and yet others survive and thrive in the most difficult of situations. No matter where you are, or what your situation is, the key is to be aware, be prepared, be flexible and, most importantly, stay positive.
It sounds a bit contrived but it’s true.
“Learn from the past, Plan for the future but Live in the present”
Hmm! that could be the basis for another post. I’ll have to think about that 🙂
Gavin Webber says
Very true Mick
Kirsten McCulloch says
Great series, I am very interested in this subject at the moment.
To me resilience is about self-sufficiency to an extent, but it’s also about attitude, as Dixiebelle says, and having a support network. It’s about bending with the breeze, but it’s also about being capabale.
In my own family one of the areas I feel we need to work on is practical skills. Sure we can grow some food and look after chooks, but when it comes to fixing things or building things we’re a bit hopeless.
And another area is the networking. We have a great community around our kids’ school, and thanks mostly to Bec’s organisational skills the Canberra (and surrounds) urban homesteaders’ group is turning into a supportive community, but I think we also need to do more to develop community right where we live, not just in our city, but in our street.
That’s getting a bit away from resilience in a sense, but to a degree, in a real crisis situation, I think we need the whole community to be resilient, just growing our own food, in our backyard, is not going to be enough.