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  • Writer's pictureMaggie

Regenerating Life in Relation

I need to say something about these beans. The moment I straighten my back and thank our mother earth for her bounty of strawberries, it's time to plant them. They will wind their way up these poles, gleefully connecting the energies of earth and sky, and by August they will be so fruitful with their flat "romano-style" alpine beans that my neighbors will be making bean salads. In the fall, we take the hard-to-reach ones we have left alone at the tops, and save them to plant (and to give others to plant!) the following year.

Perhaps as far back as my direct ancestor Ötzi, these beans have been companions to my human family. They fed them when times were hard. They hid them when the soldiers came. They carried them, trembling with fear and anticipation, to new soils. They thrived again, together. These beans are so much a part of my family that the pronouns float.

This is the first year I planted them in my father's garden, without my father, leaving me to reflect a little. My ancestors wanting to remind me of a few important things.

Face turbulence in life together with your WHOLE family of relations.

Always share the bounty and it will come back to you.

Never plant all of your seeds all at once in one place.

And most importantly, keep remembering that we humans are only part of the beautiful complexity of life. When we reposition our human perspective thus, we grow more connected, and we can regenerate our human-designed systems--leadership and education, how we work and play, economics of abundance and caring--rooted in life, the most durable system of all.

What a joy it is to feel so strongly, on this first Father's Day without my father, that I am not ever alone. Thank you for giving me this most valuable of all possible inheritances. The ancestral friendship of these very special beans.

Read more about the implications of regenerating life through education and how to go about it in Learning in the Age of Climate Disasters. You'll find plenty of shared beans in this book, my humble offering to the Great Turning of the world back toward life.

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