Tribute to Polly

By Aline Van Moerbeke

A couple of months ago we spoke, not long, but she was there, in flesh and blood, shining and vibrating, alive.

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Telling us about how it was in The Hague recently and how that epic picture came about. Egging us on to keep up the good fight with PermaMed. Willing to share information on women speakers she would want to share the stage with if we did get round to setting up that Bio-regional Conference on Regeneration, as she was always looking for an “excuse” to come back to Mallorca. Interested to hear more about the Permaculture Women’s Guild Online Permaculture Design Course. Congratulating the team with its project.

It was basically all “up” and positive. I surely was impressed by her, by her stamina, by her achievements, by her energy. By her willingness to share with someone unknown to her, and yes also by her humbleness, mentioning how her husband is her support in everything she does. Such an inspiration!

A couple of weeks ago we learnt about her aggressive cancer. 6 weeks to live she was told. That surely couldn’t be true?

Yet again Polly inspired me, by tackling it with courage, and asking the world for help by meditating for her recovery every day at 7pm, by setting up a facebook group and having Jojo share on her progress, reaching out to the community at large, making the connection in “down” times too. Inspiring even in her weakness, creating a new network of people joining hands for a common cause, her health.

How great a reminder to me it was that when I shared my own near depression story, I had huge positive feedback. Rather than spiraling out of control, running back to the devil I knew and hiding in addiction (computer, alcohol, party and just not care) or extreme manic-depressive behavior (the work hard — play hard approach was my motto), I felt lifted, ready to feel whatever I had to work through, change my habits, take control of my thoughts, carry on with my activism and volunteering work and know that I was not the only person on the planet going through this feeling of disconnect and lack of support. We are all human in the end.

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The Disease of Disconnect. The Support Deficit Syndrome. A lack of Community. The Great Disconnect from Nature. Co-Dependency. The Savior Complex.

Topics I have “studied” more and more over the last few years, due to my own co-dependency nearly leading to a depression after my separation, due to people close to me struggling, due to rising drug abuse all around me, due to my Permaculture Diploma Tutor Stefania “Stella” Strega pushing me to go further with my Life Design and look into the problems rather than just look for temporary solutions.

Why is there so much addiction around us these days? Why have we lost the understanding of the fact that we are all connected? What needs are we wanting to cover when we “escape”? Why the Horizontal Hostility and Fear of Leadership? Why the pain?

Well we sure do have a hell of a future racing towards us, a future that has been stewing in the recent past. And Polly Higgins was continuously fighting for the rights of the planet, our environment and our species among others. Ecocide is a crime, and a law should be passed to hold responsible those that commit it.

Polly is dead. She died on Easter Sunday. The Resurrection. New Life. And yes, I feel she is very much alive.

Alive in movements like Extinction Rebellion, Fridays For Future, Transition Towns, Permaculture, Regeneration Rising and so many more. Movements that promote true connections between people and our ecosystems.

They all show another world is possible again.

I believe that if we start by looking after ourselves, design our Inner Landscape and a Daily Practice, it will be possible for us to heal individually and as a society.

Some principles I need to remind myself about often:

Love yourself first. Place yourself in environments that cherish you, not put you down or intoxicate you. Our birthright is to be part of complexity, we all have our niche and we all are needed in the web of biodiversity.

Then go out into the world and love others. Show it. Share your positivism, but also your doubts, fears, anger, feelings of guilt. Be open. Be vulnerable. And above all be grateful. Such magic we witness every day.

Reconnect with yourself, your community, your natural environment. Let’s Reconnect to Regenerate. Design for connection. Observe, then interact. Take Response-ability and celebrate it. Be Pro-active. Don’t “save” anyone or anything, and don’t expect to be saved. Just get on with things. Reflect. Then Act.

One of those activities could be to become an Earth Protector, for Polly’s legacy, for us all.

Polly’s dead. But Polly is so very much alive…

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Gabor Maté: You Tube video — Women, Addiction and FASD

Integral Permaculture Academy online Manual: People Care — The Human Mind

The “Support Deficit Syndrome”, a concept that struck with me recently when watching the Interconnected Documentary Series, but find no material on online as such.

Heather Jo Flores, who teaches me about priorities, self care, the third Permaculture ethic and so much more. Thank you!

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