Permaculture : an interlude

Bill Mollison, 80 years old, toddled up to the
blackboard and wrote “You are so lucky. Three teachers!”. Then swinging around, he stood, cuddly as a lad, cocking an eyebrow up and smiling the friendliest conspiratorial smile you ever saw. That kick started the Permaculture Design Course [PDC] in Melbourne, Australia on September 22, 2008.

In the two following weeks, over 60 participants from around the world were to be seduced and informed by Bill’s integrity, wit and wisdom. For close to thirty years he has been spreading a way of thinking about our sojourn on this planet, calling it Permaculture. Now he was at it again- a man grown heavy with age and recently recovered from an illness, but with his passion undiminished, fire raging within, thoughts sparkling with clarity, stories unending and his impish humour intact.

Permaculture advocates the deliberate marshalling of natural elements to create a living system that sustains everything in it, including -incidentally- humans. The essence of it is obvious to those who are prepared by life to receive it; but it’d seem a folly of fools, to those who bliss through life without a single doubt. For example, Bill in his autobiography “Travels in Dreams” quotes Ronald Reagan: “See one tree, you seen them all; trees pollute the air more than cars”. The good man could not have been taught Permaculture by anyone, let alone Bill.

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