We arrive in Galicia, Ulloa is green, light green, dark green, almost brown green, green wrapped in flowers. Hydrangeas that get into our eyes and nest on your eyelids.
Hydrangea flowers are made up of different flowers arranged in inflorescences. To an innocent observer, to someone like me, they can look like huge flowers, green flowers that are gradually staining. The closer I get, the more I see. I discover little flowers that grow in unison, that collaborate in the construction of that optical illusion that fascinates me so much.
We find Maria at the edge of the road, surrounded by hydrangeas, stones, green plants, light green, green meadow. Surrounded by pilgrims, pilgrims who want to try all their lotions, meadow lotions, milk lotions, lip balms made of turnip greens and honey like the one that now seals my lips. María offers an infusion from her grandmother to regain strength, she smells like orange. Maria offers the last stamp of the way. You ask if she also stamps the pilgrim passport, it is an image – she answers – it is a pure image. You have to look closer, always closer, the seal reads Muuhlloa:
Muu, for your sister’s cows
lloa, by A Ulloa
María, Marta, Chusa, Carmela, Ángeles.
His hands heat the water, his hands gather the herbs, his hands milk the cows, stabilize the milk, transform it, his hands, the caring hands of which the veterinarian and writer María Sánchez speaks in Field notebook (The Beautiful Warsaw).
They tell us about each of their projects, the projects they started with and the ones they created together. That’s what cooperating is all about, composing a bigger flower, like hydrangeas. We ask questions, many questions, we ask what is good and bad working together. Nothing bad, everything is positive, everything adds up. Nothing bad, I repeat in my head and I know that it does not mean that there are no setbacks or conflicts. Everything is good, collaborating always adds up, I repeat, and it sounds more and more like a declaration of love.
We continue on our way to Asturias and on the road you tell me about Srecko Horvat. On The radicality of love (Katakrak) proposes that we cannot imagine a different world without reinventing love. María, Marta, Chusa, Carmela, Ángeles. They are creating a different world, are they also changing love?
We arrived in Gijón. Cristina welcomes us on the road, next to her house, which was her grandmother’s, next to her lands, which were her grandmother’s and before that of her great-grandmother. We discovered that Cristina has created a whole system. She plants kiwins and the geese and Asturian brown pitas graze the area and her eggs are included in boxes from other producers in the area. Troy, his sheepdog, protects chickens and geese from foxes. The sun is transformed into energy, the sun that ripens kiwins. The wind drives a mill that drives the water from the well to irrigate the crop. The system works thanks to the collaboration of all the elements.
So do you think love is cooperation? – I ask you – Cristina’s house, her way of life, don’t you think they are pure love? His hands, the hands that pick the kiwin, that pick the eggs, that caress Troy, the caring hands.
Yarrow, Meadow Cress, Wild Orchid. Fern. Flowers, flower petals, flower sets. Inflorescences. The beauty of the elements working together. From a cooperating system.
If we want to change the world, we have to do things differently, take care of the earth in another way. To love in another way. How? How do we speak of love as something that expands and generates more love? As something that does not limit us and is not necessarily limited to one person.
Nature – love – is it cooperation or is it competition?
The answer to this question has been marked since the mid-nineteenth century by the reading that has been made of The origin of species by Charles Darwin. We have extracted from Darwin’s work that evolution is based on natural selection and the survival of the fittest, that is, on competition. However, half a century after its publication, the also naturalist Pyotr Kropotkin proposed in Mutual support (Pepitas ed.) That what is read as “the strongest” can also be understood as “the fittest” and it does not have to be the strongest or the most individualistic, but the one that best adapts to the environment. In addition to developing this nuance, Kropotkin goes further and shows how mutual support and cooperation have served different societies to survive and evolve. Biologist Lynn Margulis has also developed her research in this line, Margulis studied the microcosm of the smallest known organisms, you have to look closely, always closer, and discovered that contrary to what many researches claim, cooperation plays a role. fundamental in evolution. Cells do not seem to compete, but recombine to create something new, cooperate to adapt.
María, Marta, Chusa, Carmela, Ángeles. Cristina. Charles, Piotr, Lynn. The caring hands. People who think they can do things differently, who build systems, who cooperate, who work together and adapt, who recombine their ideas to create something new. Horvat and the idea that to change the world you have to change love. The caring hands. The hands that weave a structure that cares, we caring, caring for ourselves. Allowing love to expand, reconfigure itself in this changing, evolving, cooperating world. Like hydrangeas, small flowers that form a larger flower.