2020 will be memorable as a year of uncertainty and of course the pandemic. Plans laid for the year were largely abandoned and the world changed it seemed overnight. Even Sunday church services were cancelled, but there was an anointing of time… an experience of renewed awareness and vision. The instinct to grow food was apparent as seeds and gardening supplies sold out. Concerns about food security and the value of land were heightened, as well as health as a priority consideration.
While governments warned of sickness and disease, communities focused on wellness and vitality. Health is often described as determined by social, economic and environmental conditions, subscribing it to something or someone from the outside. Conversations now turned to health as something created within. In addition to families getting back to the land and gardening, old home remedies and family solutions were prioritized for well-being. Acknowledgements for cultural and spiritual inheritance were elevated, especially caring for the land as a way to protect the natural gifts that make us, our families, and society better. This is empowerment.
After 33 years, our mission for land stewardship remains as relevant as ever. We are awakening to a new social reality, but land was and continues to be the way toward liberation, the way toward rebirth. Land stewardship is taking on the front or backyard patch of land, nearby park space or the industrial polluter that butts the neighborhood or district. Land stewardship is preserving farms, sacred spaces and abandoned places to ensure healthy biodiversity today and for future generations. Land stewardship is a hand for land access and agency to conserve spaces for health and vitality. It’s for the Renewal of Life. It’s in our hands.