Adapting in Place - And When Not To

SUBHEAD: A course on adapting in place considers if you should relocate first. By Sharon Astyk on 3 March 2009 in
[Editor's Note: Sharon is starting a class called Adapting In Place. Its about survival and sustainability. Her website heading is "Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future". Below are a few paragraphs from first piece in her series. She lists reasons not to adapt in place before going on to discuss how to do so. She lists some reasons for considering relocation.] Image above: The proverbial log cabin with a satellite dish is one kind of adjustment. From at Some reasons for considering relocation:If you have young children or are elderly, have close ties somewhere but are living far away from them in a community that you are not invested in. Not everyone has people (family biological or chosen) who will give you a place at the table, thin the soup to make it stretch, let you sleep on their couch and otherwise cover your back. But if you do, recognize that these people are the beginnings of your tribe. Not all of us have tribes in one place - and some of us have multiple tribes. But if you aren’t rooted where you are in some deep way, if you live there primarily for a job, and you can get back to your people think about it seriously.

If you plan to move anyway. That is, if you have a family place or somewhere you have always planned to return to, if you can, now is probably the best time. It takes time to build soil. It takes time to get to know people. It takes time to see fruit trees come to maturity. If you were planning on going anyway after a few more years of earning, or something, now might be the right time. That said, however, I’d be awfully cautious about buying, and only recommend this *if you can* leave - either by selling your current place or if you’ve been renting. But building roots is important.If you aren’t prepared to live in the place you live as its culture demands. That is, as we get poorer and travel and transit become bigger issues, living in the country is going to be a lot different than it is now - instead of living essentially a suburban life, commuting to activities not available and relying on trucked in supplies, you may have to shop occasionally and mostly stay home in the country, making your own entertainment. Are you prepared to do that? Urban dwellers may have to make do in tougher conditions as infrastructure problems come up. My own analogy is this - if you’d be ok living in the worst neighborhood in your city as most of the people there live now, you’ll probably be fine. But if you’ve been affluent and comfortable and might not be forever, be sure you can afford the city and like the life. I believe strongly that city, suburb (most of them) and country all have a future - but the differences between them are likely to become more acute. If you aren’t prepared to deal with those differences, you might consider moving.Our native knowledge of our place is valuable - in fact, it may be the most powerful tool we have. Now some of us will have to leave our native places, to journey again as people so often have. But if we can stay where we are, knowing our flora and fauna, knowing what grows where and how things smell when the seasons change and how to heal or feed or tend with what is native here is absolutely valuable - as is the ability to adapt that knowledge as our places change. So if there is a place where you feel at home, and no other constraints bind you, perhaps you will want to go there, and be there, and help other people be there. See also:

Ea O Ka Aina: Adapting in Place 2/4/09

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