In my New England town
our local Democratic Party runs everything.
Some would argue these local celebrities
and self-promoting treasures
rather over-run everything,
and surely we could find some truth
in this way of seeing,
but we are learning a spirit of generosity
invites more healthy pollinators,
rather than swarms of angry hornets
nesting on the sidelines.
This Town Democratic Committee
decided to invest in a planning retreat
and were looking for a Permaculture Designer
preferably someone local,
and not too obnoxious
and holier than thou
about ecological wisdom
raging against short-term economic realities
of elective politics.
Which is where I came in
to this local municipality
as Zero through Regional Four Zone frame.
it was fortunate I knew no one
of these Committee stalwarts
or we would never have arrived even as far as the initial client interview.
in Permaculture Design,
the initial screening interviews
work in both directions.
the Committee’s Secretary emailed me
to ask if I would be interested
and even remotely qualified,
and, if so, how much
and could I possibly cut whatever that is
and be flexible on scheduling,
especially scheduling of payments
for services rendered.
if all that goes reasonably bloodless,
the Permaculture Designer interviews the client.
So I told the Secretary,
and thereby everyone who was anyone in town,
that I had recently completed a Client interview
for the White House,
or at least started one,
thinking this might suggest qualifying experience,
but she was unimpressed,
possibly even depressed,
and feeling suppressed
about that particular client,
and recommended taking the White House out
of future resumes.
long polycultural outcomes story short,
we did get to a Client Interview
which began and largely ended their planning retreat.
I begin with what purposes they have in mind
for the property in question.
If a real estate agent
or maybe a sharky developer,
were also Permaculture Design Certified
this would be the highest and best interdependent uses question.
The multi-sectoral responses
are all about healthy nutrients.
One committee member thinks a healthier, more robust, educational system
is today’s magic button.
Another thinks a healthier employment market.
Especially a Farmer’s Market, adds another,
with a wink to subtly let me now
she and I are kindred cooperative organic spirits.
Their wish list leaves little to not wish for
except for fewer homeless and hungry people
bumming cigarettes in front of the downtown real estate office
and over in the Chamber of Commerce’s newly paved
and extremely well-lit parking lot.
We want healthy, but cheaper, water
and more robust waste disposal systems
and more energy and heat and gasoline for less cash
and of course lower taxes are healthier taxes
and vibrant police and fire and medical emergency services
and, yes, even healthier food
in the cafeterias,
again with a wink
from the same, now creepy, committee member.
It sounds like you all agree
we need more integrated robust systems
growing health for all residents of Zones Zero through Four.
Except maybe not roosters
within town limits.
They gratefully agree
with obvious relief
as it is nearly time for Happy Hour,
which becomes something of an understatement
unless Happy Hours are, by definition,
We never did get to the second question
about what are our unhappy waste streams.
Nor the third,
about how these might shrink
to swell more inclusive Happy Hours
for Zones Zero through Four.
But, as I recall,
I never got that far with the White House either.