Swimming between Systems

Today I learned a new word: Ecotone.
An Ecotone is an area where two ecological systems or communities meet, transition and integrate.
That to say: Enough differences between meeting systems or communities to observe a boundary , however resources are constantly exchange enough to to describe any “boundary” as permeable. A simple example would be beach and sea, where minerals and small life are constantly be deposited or eroded.

I cannot help, but to think of my new word “Ecotone”, learned in my permaculture class and compare it withthe word “Contact” from Gestalt Therapy. Contact is the meeting of differences, where resources are exchange between. And so is an Ecotone.

It does not surprise me (anymore, that is) to find similar, if not synonymous terms in both Gestalt and Permaculture. Both approaches merge science and holism. Gestalt therapy places weight on one’s awareness of his/her real-time experience ; Permaculture places heavy emphasis on one’s observation and interaction with ecological systems.
What first peaked my interest about permaculture as an approach, is that permaculture may be far better suited to empirically support holism.
Permaculture design is anchored, concretely, in observing ecology.

I have other ambitions and curiosities with permaculture. Besides I am only beginning my course. None the less, I welcome any personal synthesis between the gestalt theory, permaculture, science and holism , as I continue to learn.

On a completely unrelated topic: It’s still cold here in Pennsylvania, It was sleeting when I left my class for home. I feel like I am swimming between seasons, much like the Swans in the picture above.


Seasons change and so doth mood.

grasping-the-sun ‘Twas a dark and stormy night Autumn night”… as I  write from Pennsylvania.
the daylight lessens each day as we head towards winter.

I like Autumn, but many others I know, Diagnosed with Mood disorder or Bipolar disorder often slide towards depression, fatigue or low energy at this time of year.

In fact many people with no mental health diagnosis will start to feel depressed, extremely fatigued, or sleep excessively in the Fall and Winter.

For those with extreme intrusive symptoms  a diagnosis of  SAD…
or Seasonal Affective Disorder may be made by a health care professional.

It is believed by many doctors that:   mood and energy levels are dramatically change  with sensitivity to season (also including S.A.D and seasonal depression)  are caused by a disruption bodily hormone cycle.
too much melatonin created in the brain, seems to be the biggest factor .

treatments for seasonal depression, S.A.D.

1. Let there be light Light!

  • there is less natural light in  Autumn and winter (in fact this is believed to be the major trigger of  S.A.D and the like)….
  • use increase light indoors: using brighter bulbs and or more lamps.
  • get as much natural light outdoors as possible.  Sun light is the best treatment.
  • many find it most important to get a lot of light in the morning to start the day (artificial or natural).

2. Let there be Blue light!

  • Sunlight is the most important treatment for SAD.   getting as much as possible….
  • many have found that  soft blue light bulbs, for no more than twenty minutes twice a day help with fatigue and SAD. Note: that too much direct blue light can be harmful to eyes.

3. Exercise.

a regular routine of light exercise in the morning.
walking, jogging or exercise outdoors is ideal since it is more time in natural light.

4. the doctor.

doctors can prescribe treatment  such as light therapy or medication, if necessarily.

I ..myself… am very sensitive to temperature. When the temperature drops I tend to sleep longer, and my entire body including my thinking  slows down.
So I start my morning with a long hot bath or shower, and dress to stay very warm.
So I’d advise others who are also sensitive to seasonal factors to think the same way.
Our interaction with our environment, including light and climate temperature, are integral  parts of us we must factor in or wellness.!