I’m Felipe from Chile, now living in the southwest of England, an ancient and mythical land also known as Avalon. I’m an ecologist and artist with roots that extend to Wallmapu (South America) where most of my family still live, and overseas to Italy, Switzerland and Spain. I live with my son Tashi and some friends in an off-grid communal house.
When I step outside my home 20 years from now, I hear the melody of a song carried by the wind from a nearby field. It’s my neighbours gathering together for a spontaneous jam session – to reconnect, tune in and bless the land. After a period of massive social unrest and climate breakdown, a serious epidemic of mental health swept across the planet and nearly finished us.
Healing the land and society became paramount. It started in rural areas as a love letter to the Earth that held us, spoken through melodies and bodies dancing. Then, slowly, it spread through the cities. These cities, formerly home to a scattered and depressive collective psyche ruled by a concrete financial hub, have become constellations of regeneration and social justice, with economic metrics now focused on infinite human and planetary flourishing. Water, once contaminated and commoditised, is now so crisp, clear and free-flowing it calls you to kneel and drink from your cupped hands.
A new era of creativity has emerged. Once seen as a luxury, it is now an essential part of our survival. We ask the musicians to sing to the plants so that our food may grow healthier, and we ask the artists to imbue the fabric of our blossoming cities (and psyches) with beauty and colour. The doctors and the dancers work together, healing the mind and body as one through ancient knowledge and movement. A big shift happened when leading institutions decided to focus time and resources on improving people’s wellbeing. As a result, life is much more fun, and I am able to prioritise self care and being with loved ones. I have time for everything that brings me joy: working the land, reading my favourite poetry, just being.
Governance has changed forever and power has been redistributed. The collective now holds a dynamic hierarchy, and the world has learnt to operate much like the trees who take care of their most vulnerable in the forest first, so the whole may thrive. My city has become an inspiration for other towns, welcoming climate refugees and giving them a place to settle.
After many years following the hegemonic narrative of growthism, we realised that polyculture is the antidote – that through diversity, rather than a singular way of being, we’re able to express a more dynamic set of ideals which are the foundations for a resilient society. Instead of dropping bombs, we set up listening spaces where real conversation can flow, and ideas can cross-pollinate. But the real paradigm shift was in realising that we have more questions than we have answers. In allowing ourselves the space to not-know – together – in learning with each other and with nature herself, suddenly we’re finding what it’s like to have a little less certainty, and a lot more awe for ourselves, each other and this wondrous, expansive cosmos.