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The Mountain Peak


"When we picture the energy climax as a spectacular but dangerous mountain peak that we (humanity) have succeeded in climbing, the idea of descent to safety is a sensible and attractive proposition.  The climb involved heroic effort, great sacrifice, but also exhilaration and new views and possibilities at every step.  There are several false peaks, but when we see the whole world laid out around us we know we are at the top.  Some argue that there are higher peaks in the mists, but the weather is threatening.

"The view from the top reconnects us with the wonder and majesty of the world and how it all fits together, but we cannot dally for long.  We must take advantage of the view to chart our way down while we have favourable weather and daylight.  The descent will be more hazardous than the climb, and we may have to camp on a series of plateaus to rest and sit out storms.  Having been on the mountain for so long, we can barely remember the home in a far-off valley that we fled as it was progressively destroyed by forces we did not understand.  But we know that each step brings us closer to a sheltered valley where we can make a new home."

David Holmgren, Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability, 2002.

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