Issue #32: COMMUNITY

No life exists in isolation, we’re all part of a vast and complicated web. The gum tree, for example, exists not just because of a desire to live, but as a result of a complex and often invisible network of fungal, microbial and animal support systems. Like all living things – moss, caterpillars, and people – the gum tree is part of a community. It wouldn’t exist if it weren’t. Neither would we.

It’s a strong word, community, and one that can sometimes feel a bit earnest and overused. But at its core is a sense of connection, of shared values and goals, and a desire for survival. It’s these concepts we’ll be exploring this month, through a range of lenses. We’ll be talking to community builders and change-makers, exploring plant communities, human communities, and more. There’ll be gardens, lots of inspiration and maybe even some wisdom. Like these words written by English poet John Donne in 1624:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.