Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Art of Connectiveness - Shoalhaven, The Third Progression

I’ve written about the art of connectiveness before and came back to it because I feel ‘connectiveness’ as a word will gather strength and occupy thoughts in many people’s minds.

My proposed publication “Connections to the Earth” has been occupying my mind over the last two weeks. I prepared an outline and know the subject is relevant, but the storyline should have been told 25 years ago. It’s about 25 years (mid 1980’s) that a realisation was awakening that we humans were disconnecting with the Earth and technology and lifestyle taking us away from its bounds. We’re becoming aliens to our own planet. This trend and process has been accelerating and reaching a stage where people wherever are asking themselves “do I want to remain disconnected and have I gone too far in my disconnection?” 

“Connections to the Earth” will take a new twist. This one I propose to subtitle “Shoalhaven, The Third Progression” because the Shoalhaven on the New South Wales South Coast was my home and a land use study I completed (settlement patterns from 1797 until 1986), indicated European settlement within the Shoalhaven had evolved through three transformations or progressions.

The first progression was one of connection i.e. coming to terms with the land and being restrained by available technology. Resident’s access to Sydney was via sailing boat and steamer and the land tilled by horse and plough. Land users were self-reliant and supplied Sydney with timber, dairy products and vegetables.

The second progression was one of disconnection i.e. technology had given landowners and residents the means to leave the land or use it to its capacity. Shoalhaven became a region where service and manufacturing industries displaced rural and growth of towns and villages became dependent on Sydney for the district’s welfare. Residents lost touch with the land as provider and the land instead became something under their feet to build worlds of their making. 

The third progression was becoming aware to me as I completed the study in 1986. I termed this progression as something of rebirth and one of re connection. This process is very important for any community’s welfare, security and well-being. In the Shoalhaven’s case it became recognised when Sydneysiders (its residents) explored and discovered the Shoalhaven as a destination for recreation, environment, leisure and retirement. Shoalhaven’s beaches, bushland, scenery, rivers and relatively undeveloped coastal villages attracted Sydneysiders for weekend visitation and upon retirement, home. They were in part seeking a re connection with the Earth.

If you have any thoughts on this subject and want me to get stuck into doing the book, let me know.

Keep well, Ross

No comments:

Post a Comment