A Pilgrimage into Systems Thinking: Belonging

Updated: Aug 13, 2021

A little update on my pilgrimage and some pictures. Sharing my daily kms as I am getting into a flow now. First destination of Santiago De Compostela on the horizon.

Day 1: Santander to Comillas - 50km

Day 2: Comillas to Pechon - 25km. Lesson - don’t drink schnapps with a German the night before!

Day 3: Pechon to Nuevo - 50km

Day 4: Nuevo to La Isla - 30km. Lesson - don’t go on a track meant for Camino walkers only and thank you German man who fixed my bike from it!

Day 5: La Isla to Gijon - 50km

Day 6: Gijon to Soto de Luina, 60km

Day 7: Soto to luina to Navia 63km

The bee cape creates interesting conversations, sharing one I had with a Malaysian women named Jessica. She talked about how in Malaysia they were facing a crisis with the bee population and the solution to the problem was a big focus on queen breeding. I realised how education is such a huge part of bringing the bees back to health.

So we talked about the opposite of this action - creating safe spaces for the bees to return to their natural behaviour, in bee centred hives, allowing natural selection to occur. When you queen bred, you are weakening the gene pool of bees. In nature the queen can mate with up to 20 drones from other hives, they were the fastest, the leanest and have bought a diverse range of traits needed. Can you imagine altering the choice of the sperm that makes it to the egg inside a women's body?

It made me reflect on the sense of belonging. When we interfere in this way, when the lineage and natural selection is broken, how does this impact the bees role in the hive and their remembering? It made me then ponder the current human sense of belonging when we move away from nature. What happens when we don’t know where we have come from.

In recent history, cultures that honoured nature where banned. Our indigenous roots were cut, practices outlawed and people persecuted because of their ceremonies for nature. I believe along with the bees, us humans have been forced to lose our sense of belonging. We forgot we were nature and we are seeing the impact of this now with the destruction of the earth.

These conversations on my pilgrimage, thanks to the bee cape, reinforce to me how globally we control nature and then intellectualise it. How much we play God. Where has common sense gone? When you allow a species to behave how it would naturally, it will get strong again. We are shown this now through the science of studying bees in the wild. Our human ego has become so big we think our interventions are more effective then nature itself. We need to return to common sense.

Nature can lead us back to health - natural selection, our remembering, our acknowledgement and our own human return home. I am left to wonder where the natural beekeepers and wild bee guardians are in Malaysia.

In the meantime, I’ll keep cycling.

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