Principle: Observe and Interact
Observe and Interact


In the garden we need to observe when fruit is ready to harvest, when pests are attacking our crops and what plants need attention.
Actively observing increases our awareness of ourselves, others and surroundings and stimulates our natural curiosity. As children our sense of awe and wonder pervades our perception of the world, then as we grow up we take things for granted until the world around us becomes an almost invisible backdrop for our lives.
Identifying our patterns of behaviour, preferences, contradictions and habits allows us to see what is going well and what might need changing. Our observations are first hand experience that we can interpret for ourselves, rather than second hand sources from books, the internet or other people.
Our observations are not static pictures of reality; they can provide us with insights into how to change the situation or ourselves. Interaction is vital – there is no point in just observing an accident waiting to happen – we also need to be able to interact and prevent it. Observation can prevent further problems downstream and save us time and energy in the long run.

Icon: what do you see when you look at the icon? The icon can be seen as different things: a tree with a hole, a person with their head in the clouds, a peep hole though which one sees the solution.

Proverb: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Everything has different viewpoints and it is up to us where we stand to look. When we look with appreciation we can normally find the positives.

Self-reflection questions

  • What do I notice happening?
  • What do I see or feel in myself, what’s my body feeling, what’s my intuition saying?
  • What am I observing in other people?
  • What needs to change?

This information is taken from People and Permaculture by Looby Macnamara.