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Reciprocity—The Root of Regeneration

Reciprocity is ancient technology for living in harmony with our world. There’s no regeneration without reciprocity. If we strip away the principles of regenerative design and unravel the processes of coexistence on earth we are left with this simple concept— reciprocity.

Ancient cultures from every corner of the world understood that all energy be it water, food, community health, all flows in the dance of reciprocal cycles. We give to the seen and unseen forces of our ecosystem communities and in return we receive the ingredients for life.

These days, landscaping and farming can all be used toward the opposite end of regeneration. Often, without intention to do so. Any of these activities can degenerate, destroy, dismember life.

Because the dominant culture and its version for living on current earth, celebrates the hoarding of power, it’s no wonder society has lost the sacred act of reciprocity as important to every day living.

The power of reciprocity is a force we get to choose every day. It is a power available to everyone at all times and it is so simple.

And… in this age, revolutionary…

In this day and age its revolutionary to give more than you take.

It’s as simple as that. If you take from the earth: the food, the water, the soil, the trees, give back to these sources that give you life. Give even more, and that investment will generate abundance that ripples inside the ecosystems and communities of your life.

Farmers, stop tracking only yields of food and money as mechanisms for success. Track the volume of water captured and stored. Track the tons of carbon increasing in your soil each year. Track the growing biodiversity of birds, insects, reptiles, and mammals throughout your Agroecology systems.

Landscapers, stop using beauty as a standard for success— measure functional relationships and ecosystem abundance instead. Beauty will always follow.

This is the difference of a truly ecologically regenerative system, versus one that pretends to be. The most ecological farms and gardens in the world are as wild as pristine ecosystems.

If reciprocity is at the base of all your decision making, then you have alchemically combined the success of your life with the thriving of ecosystems, nature spirits, and communities. This is true regeneration.

When the world around you generates more abundance, filled with more love, more connection, more opportunities, more joy— that is true wealth.

Reciprocity is more than a principal in regenerative design it’s more than basic manners of making offerings to the land, it’s a way of living which generates a thriving world.

Reciprocity is being a good host and a good guest.

Reciprocity is being a good friend and neighbor.

Reciprocity is what mothers do.

Reciprocity is the true food of all of life.

The fuel for a thriving earth.

The saving of seeds.

The planting of water.

The feeding of soil life.

The conversations with the ancestors.

It’s each bit of love you choose to gift every day.

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1 Comment

This is such well-written advocacy for perhaps the most fundamental principle in nature that we moderns have strayed from.

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