The days are shortening, the nights are cooler, my chickens have just had a bit of a break from laying eggs & the volunteer tomatoes are popping up everywhere (the main reason I don’t bother planting them anymore!). Winter is nearing- the season of introspection and of slowing down. This time of year is seen in many cultures as a time of rest, to curl up and to turn inwards. The weather calls for hot soups, nourishing broths & snug jumpers! In biodynamics it is said that winter is when the earth takes a breath in, deep into its lungs. Autumn has become very special to me and with each yearly cycle I am doing my best to truly honour and abide by nature’s rhythms. Although it is prime time for growing in the subtropics, it is also the time where less effort is needed on my part for the garden to thrive…nature giving us a little break!
This year I am going to do my best yet again to slow down a little more and to take the longer nights as an invitation to spend more time in silence, to rest my eyes more and to become more in tune with my body so that I can best nourish it, keeping those winter bugs away. This time of year calls for us to rest, much like the rest we give garden beds after a productive crop. We cover crop them, chop and drop, feed them with good quality organic compost and ensure that they are ready for when the next season arrives. If we were to treat ourselves, our minds, bodies & souls, the same, imagine the growth that is possible, come spring & summer? Imagine the strength of our immune system, our radiant health, the stored energy that we could call upon once the days lengthen, and the gardens call for our extra attention.
Imagine if we were to see the cycles of nature and embody them knowing that rest is just as important as growth. That down time is just as necessary as hard work. That we need to take time to listen inwards to know what we really need. Observe and interact, just as we do with our gardens. This is a time to take permaculture and apply it to your nearest zone, YOU. Apply it where it matters most because if we fall apart, if we run our system into the ground, we are being just as extractive as the conventional agriculture systems that we so often frown upon. Apply regenerative practices where it matters most, only then will you be able to expand those regenerative practices to the wider world.
Join me this winter, as I rest. Slow down. Take a breath and pause. Regenerate and ready our own garden for the next part of the cycle.