When soil is thriving and full of life, the community of plants and animals raised on that land will thrive. The people who farm and ranch that land will thrive. And the consumer who supports that system will thrive, for we are all inseparably connected to the soil.
This simplified observation is undoubtedly true when you spend time on land. The many examples of small agricultural communities in this country that have extracted their soil systems to the brink of collapse have collapsed themselves. It is with sorrow that many livelihoods have been destroyed, many natural resources depleted, and many rural communities now irrelevant. But the question is, does it have to stay this way?
When you look at the grace and capacity for forgiveness that Mother Nature templates, it is clear that she is self-regulating and self-healing. It is within the brilliant design of The Creator that Mother Nature strives to work at a high level on her own. In many circumstances, we would be better off stepping back, trusting the natural system, and allowing the time required for nature's self-healing to occur. But, humans (including myself) are inherently impatient, and recalibrating our internal clocks to that of a 13.8 billion-year-old universe is hard to do. The good news is there is another option, and that is for humans to collaborate and co-create with Mother Nature!
Humans are intended to be a part of the natural order (like the wolves, bison, and field mice; we are animals that coevolved with our planet's ecosystems). Through my time spent on many regenerative ranches, it is crystal clear that when humans co-create with nature, we can accelerate the healing capacity of our land. In fact, we used to believe that it took 500 years for Mother Nature to rebuild 1 inch of topsoil, but through implementing regenerative practices, we can accelerate that timeframe to under three years!
When it comes to land, rural communities, and our health, all is not lost. We have the potential to restore it, and we have the potential to accelerate the time it takes to reverse the self-inflicted degradation. Let's learn from our mistakes and return to co-collaborating with Mother Nature. When we change our mindset and ask for forgiveness, the virtuous cycle of regeneration can prevail.