A few years ago, when I was working at The Food Conspiracy Co-Op in Tucson, a customer of mine wished me a Happy Interdependence Day. He then smiled and said, “…because we all need each other.”

That message has stayed with me these past few years and has offered me inspiration and a sense of purpose regarding the store.

We depend upon pollinators such as bees, bats, and hummingbirds to help the plants that feed our bodies fruit.

Those pollinators depend upon the flowering of those plants, and those plants depend upon microbes and minerals in the soil.

Babies depend fully on others. Communities depend upon some form of communication between all who are part. Economies depend upon exchange.

Simply, interdependence is the web of life in which we are all woven.

We have been raised, especially in the U.S., with a story of independence. This independence comes from a desire to be free, true to ourselves, and to shed ties that might hinder us. A feeling of independence lets the psyche, whether that be the psyche of a person, community, or country — individuate.

And yet, independence is a slippery slope. If we start to think of ourselves as separate, greater than, or less than any part, we can dissociate from the web. We blind ourselves from consequences, numb ourselves from that which may be uncomfortable, and create lives in a loop which is cut off from the whole, both incoming and outgoing.

This is too easy to do in the modern world, where we are one step removed from the ground which feeds us.

We may feel fine. And should disease and disharmony be our norm, — it’s normal. We are accustomed to a reality of medication, techno-immersion, self-comforting addictive patterns, and participation in an economy that benefits a few people in the world that we will never meet.

But we are never fully independent. The web is still there, and we are still a part of it.

I choose to focus on holistic health because when an individual heals their body, any re-patterning they have done on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels naturally extends outwards into the layers of systems in which they are a part. They begin healing with their families, their front and back yards, ecosystems, and communities. The intelligence that desires wellness spans a microcosmic and macrocosmic scope.

And so, in the role I choose to play in a health-oriented retail setting, I also choose to bring local, fair trade, humane treatment, and sustainability to the table.

Thank goodness that by our design, we all have hearts, with their inherent propulsion towards something good. We have the desire to be responsible; to listen; to spend moments of quality time; to love by action; and to proactively create the future. Our decisions become life-supportive and carried forward by a greater life support moving through us.

This is what I call in for Sedona. May the concept of Interdependence plant the idea of a natural connectedness in the minds and hearts of people who come across it — to be shared among locals and gifted to all passers-through.