Nature is full of dazzling pattern. The golden spiral, Fibonacci number, nature’s mathematical order within chaos. This surrounding language of creation heavily influences health and happiness. In the current time of pandemic, when many people are “caged” within their own home, apartment building, or for some, the streets; recognition of place in pattern can at least offer some belonging, a glimmer of reason in this dark time of insanity. On the land here at EEC Forest Stewardship, spring is a fantastic time to look deeply into this recognizable order. It’s a reminder that all life is so interconnected; one breath, one exhale at a time.

Stranger than fiction may be the way of the world, but at home on the land, seasonal shifts compel a growing, thriving ecology that could out-compete any stock market through abundance and diversity. Sound planting returns in truly necessary dividends of fruit, vegetable, meat, and mindset. It is this cerebral gift that I wish more people had access to in these challenging times. No matter how much humans attempt to reproduce nature, she manages to hold her own as an irreplaceable part of our psyche. As soon as we step outside, out brain patterns begin to change, finding those familiar patterns scattered all around, in natural “order”, without forced symmetry, like square rooms, cars, and flat screens.

The difference between ridged formality and the organic curves, seeming chaos of nature, are critically important to recognize. While civilization hails its self as the great modernizer, order, safety, reliance, predictability, and stability; it is a dangerous false claim. Right now cities across the world are experiencing shortages. When there is a disruption in any one of our supply lines, the seeming abundance rapidly dries up. We’ve not been taught to layer our necessities in a rich tapestry of interconnected harmony. Instead, we’ve compartmentalized our needs and wants into uniform measurements of output. Each chain of industry is suited to its self. Even academia teaches separate disciplines, withholding the possible fertility of shared research and design (I have heard this is changing though).

What would an holistic economy really look like? Though my understandings come from working with the natural world, not financial, the concepts of growth and loss easily cross through these two disciplines. It is by arguing against natural order that we continue to crash as a species. What will it take to learn from these patterns? How do we raise our consciousness, becoming more in tune with the land we stand on? No army can stand without food. No human endeavor works without sustenance (including clean water to drink).

Routine is a blessing and a curse. In every perfection, there is imperfection, so watch out for habit forming- it can lead to deep ruts. We’re in one now as a society; trying to ignore the patterns to force an outcome. Exponential growth is a fantasy, brought on by gluttonous abuse of finite natural resources. Taking continuously without ever giving back leads to desertification. No matter how much this truth hits home, man (and I mean men for the most part) continue to take, take, take. Could it be a general faulty wiring in the male ego? I think so. The pattern there is undeniable. Since written records began, man’s struggle to dominate and oppress has dictated civil development into passive consumption.

When people begin to put there heads down and graze away, not bothering to look beyond the ass in front of them, we fold right into another pattern of human undoing- complacency. We have become a species of consumers, grazing along at a predicable pace, expecting more grass to keep growing in front of us. But then fences went up, pastures were divided into mine and yours, and we were told to breed for the economy of debt slaves needed in these modern times. Wealth is consuming us now, like cancer, and we’ve fallen under the spell of capitalization for too long. It seemed to put more grass in our pasture, but in reality, is was laying down AstroTurf.

How to shift the paradigm? GO OUTSIDE! Even sitting at an open window can influence your brain patterning, allowing connection with your senses, relaxation, and healing. Looking more deeply into natural patterns brings down blood pressure, relieves stress, and strengthens the immune system (read more here). Can’t say enough about looking past the screen and into the lush world of nature. Even while living on Manhattan Island in New York City, I was still able to look out my fire escape window or climb from said fire escape up onto the roof for sun bathing and pigeon watching. Night time in a city is the wildlife action hour. Watch raccoons, coyote, rats, and more moving through the cover of darkness to capitalize on all the refuse of urban decay.

In the long run, nature wins, but right now, for her to revive, many of our old habits and patterns must evolve into more sensible action. When you take, give- even if it’s just a little time picking up trash along the edge of the lane, walking or biking instead of driving, or even just taking a moment to smell the flowers. These pauses in our busy lives allow nature a chance to connect. Imagine all the patterns that are constantly reforming all around us, and take heart in knowing each of us has a place in the greater pattern. Please join me in embracing stewardship of self and place.

4 thoughts on “Patterns”

  1. Oh, how the mighty egalitarians have fallen.

    I have followed this blog for a while and enjoyed seeing what one woman could do with, year-round, hard work and dedication.

    As an equally hard-working, and socially conscious, male I take great offense to your words. Far from perfect, I try to be an upstanding person every day. Furthermore, albeit difficult at times, I try to suspend judgment if I possibly can (yes, I have been there and done that…). Once again, I am far from perfect but I help my fellow women and men both professionally and privately, to the greatest extent possible. No “faulty wiring” here.

    This blog post is not just offensive, it is poorly written, incoherent, and empty.

    I imagine you have never accepted advice, money, services, or any form of help from anyone who self-identifies as a man. Surely, the women in your life have not accepted anything from “faulty wired” men either.

    Perhaps in the past you have accepted advice, money, services, or any form of help from people who self-identify as men. If so, surely, you must be working hard to return all of it. Did you know where it came from, how it was earned? Furthermore, I imagine you will never accept anything from “a man” again. If you do it will render you an unconscionable hypocrite. Remember that!

    Of course you shy away from everything even remotely approaching “wealth” or “excess”. I am sure you never drive a car, use a cell-phone (read up on African strip mines and child labor), or fly (one of the most excessive, polluting, and “privileged” things one can do) either. Your conscience must be clear. If not it will be after today, right? You will not be a hypocrite (again), right?

    Denying that women can be as “bad” as men is not just an insult to every woman alive today. It insults women throughout history. Your ignorance is on display here.

    What have you really done for your community lately?

    Will you live by your words or are you just another keyboard jockey, compensating for a sad and empty life. For someone who promotes community-facing roles and equity, your words are strikingly divisive.

    Now, your actions will show who you really are.

    There are many good men out there, trying to do the right thing. Perhaps you should try to connect with one.

    I imagine you are, at heart, sad and lonely.

    Try not to follow the “sentiment du jour”. Rather, exercise your own (rational) judgment

    Congratulations, you have now joined the ranks of all other hate-spewing hypocrites. Divided we fall.

    I am not sure if I will return to this blog.

    Robert J. Hanlon


    1. Dear Mr. Robert J. Hanlon,

      Thank you for taking the time to vent frustrations and share personal reflections regarding my writing. I approve your post, for it strongly speaks to what I am sure a lot of men feel. It also seems that anger is high right now among the people, so taking time to listen and respond is most important. It is my hope, in writing this response, that we can see one another, perhaps in new light, and more importantly, ground the work I put into this blog once more, for the benefit of its message. Thank you for your time.

      Offensive, yes- I hear you, and sorry for any personal attack felt, but the words are true. I think the part of this blog that upset you was the following-

      “Taking continuously without ever giving back leads to desertification. No matter how much this truth hits home, man (and I mean men for the most part) continue to take, take, take. Could it be a general faulty wiring in the male ego? I think so. The pattern there is undeniable. Since written records began, man’s struggle to dominate and oppress has dictated civil development into passive consumption.”

      This statement about men is a reflection on the past leading to current circumstances in our modern world. If you are offended, good, we should all be, for the imbalance of masculine hurts all people: male-female-trangender-nongender, or whatever else you as a person define as. Now, if you want to say men have not dominated and “civilized” society till the present, I must disagree, basing my argument on The Western European patriarchy which colonized much of the world in the past few hundred years. It is under this lens that we all live now- from our judiciary system to the very constitution under which all MEN are created equal. Thank you for being a self-identified man who is working to change his perspective, seeming to say you embrace the feminine and strive for human equality, rather than outdated dominion thought. It is this thinking that will change the world for the better.

      With regards to poorly written- my grammar and spelling are not perfect, but I think you mean something else- as you have read my other blogs and not commented on the poorness then. Perhaps my attempt to put such huge concepts like the development of modern thought and fractal mathematics in the same writing was ambitious, along with trying to sum up concepts of psychology from the perspective of land stewardship- the list is endless and I do apologize for some of the vagueness. I hope to expand in future blogs.

      Emptiness would seem counter to your reaction, but as reflected above, I was ambitious in drawing in so many concepts at once. More chapters are needed to ensure the meatiness of my point. cheers on that

      The rest of your reflections sounded like typical wounded male ego- and the tone of mansplaining things to me, regarding my own experiences, were hard to connect with. Material wealth and a fixation on binary gender are all constructs of the patriarchy.

      No where in this writing do I compare men to women, but simply point out the history- and current continual domination of the patriarchy over general societal norms. I would think all people are human, and can err in there ways; including me.

      The rest of your words feel like attacks, not provoked by anything more than the pain I think we all feel in our moments of isolation and loneliness. I do have my moments, and thank you for being vulnerable with yours in this writing.

      If you do get a chance to read my reflections, I hope there are some words which resonate, and if not, that’s ok too. My intentions in writing this response, to your important reaction, is to reinforce the point of this blog post, which is to awake awareness in our habits, and encourage us to turn to nature and her wisdom during our struggles.



  2. Elizabeth,

    I appreciate your willingness to post my comment, including your reply. It shows character.

    Do you hold grudges? Do you believe in redemption? What’s a man to do?


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robert, I try to reflect the nature I love, which is a constant evolution of adaptation and collaboration. Though only human, the chance to connect and reflect with others is my ambitious goal. Thanks for sticking with me, and being open. If I could, I’d offer a hug- keep me on my toes! thanks!


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