Hello to all present and past Permaculture Noosa members and all those lucky enough to receive our inspiring Permaculture Noosa PERMANEWS.

As this is my first of many President’s Messages, I thought I’d write about the topic of OPPORTUNITY. And I will touch on its closely-related cousin: COMPLACENCY.

As some of you might know, I’ve been attending PN meetings since around 2004-5. So I was very involved in the lead-up to the Global Financial Crisis, about which – despite the majority of the world’s ‘top economists’ lamenting Who could have seen this coming?– it’s got to be said … every person in the Permaculture world, my dog, my guinea fowl, plus many others who don’t rely on the antiquated mainstream media for news about what’s going on in the world!

There was a lot of fear around at the time, but also a sense of a great opportunity.

Often we need a crisis, health scare, or simply a damn good garage sale to clear space for something better to move in.

The Transition Towns Movement was one of those things when ‘sentiment and opportunity’ meshed. And although the energy of it has faded away somewhat, it was a hugely empowering time for people to collectively self-educate, prepare and plan for resilience to … whatever should come along! AND for a better future.

I once read Susan Jeffers’ famous book: Feel the fear and Do It Anyway – long time ago but what I so remember from it was the concept of it’s not so much the knowledge of what could happen to us (negatively), but the fact that whatever happens, we will be able to find a way through it. And, I’d personally add, looking for the positives out of any crisis – no matter how horrendous – gives us the opportunity for reflection, learning, forgiveness of ourselves and others, and the greatest healing gift there is which is gratitude.

“Yeah, the shark bit off my right arm but I always wanted to learn to write with my left hand!”

Another very inspiring quote I remember from The Transition Handbook was along the lines of if human history has shown us anything, it’s that people can cope with just about anything so long as they are having a bit of fun.

And a couple of quotes from my dearly departed mother:

Grasp the opportunity of a lifetime, DURING the lifetime of the opportunity!

Or in Permaculture terms J: Make hay while the sun shines!

Anyhow my point is it’s been almost 10 years since the GFC. I keep hearing that NO country is paying down debt; in fact, debt is far worse than it was in 2008.

Geo-politically, there is no major strife going on at present apart from sabre-rattling. There are creeping major issues, the biggest being climate change.

So I feel we have a golden opportunity at the moment to reassess all aspects of our lives, our vulnerabilities, and our priorities. AND to make significant changes for the better: for health, for happiness, and – every bit as importantly – to resilience, should something take a turn for the worse (or should that be ‘for the better’?).

Complacency, which I am so guilty of, is the enemy. And opportunity IS everywhere if you look hard enough!

Merry … non-consumptive … Xmas!