Restorative and Regenerative Leadership

“May is the month of expectation, the month of wishes, the month of hope.” 

— Emily Brontë

This time of year always brings glimmers of hope as nature reawakens and faces the sun and new growth appears wherever one looks.  We have had a particularly late spring which brought challenges and difficulties for anyone connected with the land and close to nature, however the longer days and increasing soil temperatures bring possibilities of harvest and contentment.

Watching the machinery cultivate and prepare the tillage fields in recent weeks set me thinking of the many generations past who did similar work in these same fields.  I recall as a child coming home from primary school and helping out on the back of an old corn drill where my job was to raise and lower the ‘feet’ of the drill at the headlands. I can still recall the feeling of adventure as I leaned back on the footboard at the rear of the drill and used my bodyweight to pull down on the lever that started and stopped the seeds at the end of each pass up or down the field.  I can still see my father looking back to ensure that all was done safely and correctly.  Perhaps as one grows older,  we become more conscious of our place in generational stories and how the connection with the past can sustain us into the future?  Sometimes, when I take some time to consider my connection to our place I am minded of the concept of ‘deep time’, that is, past, present and future all at once.

As a family and business we are looking at how best to be a more Regenerative destination while we maintain the tradition of caring for the earth that has sustained us all, in good times and not so good.  Recently I was reading a piece that referenced the Iroquois Nation in North America and how they acknowledged the place that the Elders held in their community and their deep-time vision which considered, “What would be good for the next seven generations?”  This is the challenge and opportunity for us all in this time of change and uncertainty, as we consider and act in new ways, as we remind ourselves of the wisdom that is ‘under our feet’.

Over the weekend we hosted a Leadership Team as they explored their work and how best to act in ways that are Restorative, Just and Sustainable.  It was a joy and honour to hear their deep discussions as they wrestled honestly with the challenge! As part of the closing ceremony each participant helped plant a tree, their intentions were brought to mind and they drummed out their hopes and gratitudes.  Watching on I thought of the future generations who might enjoy the annual blossoms on this Cherry Tree and I also remembered the Native American Sweat Lodge traditions where one says “All my relations!” and touches the earth.

So, if you have read this far, I invite  you to pause for a moment and acknowledge your place among “All your relations”. 

 

Thanks also to Inez Wilson Heenan and Grattan Donnelly for their great facilitative work in shaping the entire experience.