This week I got to explore Otago a little, I went up to Middlemarch to speak with some dynamic farmers about land-use options – not necessarily replacing traditional dairy, sheep and beef enterprises, but understanding what communities can grow which might complement livestock from economic and biodiversity perspectives. I also went to Oamaru to speak to a coffee-club group of about 80 women who are interested in food and health.
As I travelled, I was reminded of how closely we are connected to the land and how easy it is to lose that connection when we are busy or tied up with devices. When we lose that connectivity, we lose part of what it is to be a human – a mammal and part of the ecosystem around us.
I wrote an article about fungi this year for the Otago Daily Times (read here) which highlights the complexity of our extensive ecosystem. In that article, I didn’t talk about the fungi and fungal spores which co-exist inside our bodies – something which has been under-studied compared with bacteria and viruses and is something Darcy and I are beginning to research to ensure we develop products which fuel our internal ecosystem in the best possible way.
I love spring and when we first founded Zestt, we chose pinks as our colours because they reminded us of spring blossoms and the possibility of renewal – for Darcy the colour pink means health - pink healthy skin and lungs means good oxygen flow. For us, pink represents new possibilities, in our bodies, in our lives and in our ecosystem. To this end, I share with you a wonderful podcast episode I listened to during the weekend where Dr Rangan Chattergee spoke with Bronnie Ware about the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying.
It’s not a short listen (so allow some time) and I had the pleasure of listening to it while replanting my herb garden for summer, a grounding task in itself. Towards the end of the podcast they spoke of the life cycle of creation, birth, growth and decay as well as a state of being in awe of nature around us. It is powerful and inspiring to think of these elements as we deal with our aging bodies and the march of time – what ends, goes on in an unstoppable way (listen here).
Often we fall into traps of rushing to get things done or focusing on the wall of work ahead of us or we get bogged down by the daily battle of dealing with chronic illness or stress. The path out of those traps lies in taking note of the very small things happening around us, the birds singing, the blossoming trees, enjoying the pleasure of preparing a meal or planting a garden and sharing a laugh with a loved one. It is the small things which remind us we are part of a wider ecosystem and no matter how we feel, we belong to that environment in all its goodness.