When I arrived at JuiceLand on Barton Springs Road, Patrice Peach had already arrived ordered me ‘The Originator’, JuiceLand’s singular concoction of fresh apple juice, banana, blueberry, cherry, peanut butter, brown rice protein, flax oil, and spirulina. The middle-aged woman, her friend Carlos, and I sat in the mid-morning sun enjoying our nutritious drinks and discussing tomorrow.
“I went to UT, but my real education is from everywhere else.” Patrice moved to Austin in 1982, via Durango Colorado and Houston, got involved in the permaculture movement, and has lived in Hill Country ever since. “We have a place in Blanco where Bill Morrison, founder of permaculture, started his work.”
Twenty-four-year-old Carlos was born and raised in Austin, grew up with a single mom, currently lives with his dad, but spends a good deal of this time with Patrice. They refer to each other as mentor, which reminded me of the Crosby Stills Nash song, ‘Teach your Children’ in which wisdom transcends age. The first refrain: ‘teach your children well; is countered by the second: ‘teach your parents well.’ Although Patrice and Carlos count different numbers of years on this planet, they acknowledge equal capacity to enrich one another.
Patrice is an acupuncturist and biochemist that works with long-term patients, often up to 20 years. Recently she’s been busy with a 26-year patient who had cancer that went into remission, and has recurred. She does body and mind healing work with him to augment traditional medical treatment.
Patrice learned her healing skills from other acupuncturists; now she works with apprentices. She envisions a time when acupuncture will be codified with postgraduate education and credentialing. She is hopeful that the new Dell Medical School in Austin will someday offer combined studies with the Academy of Oriental Medicine.
One of Patrice’s interns is an MD delving into eastern medicine. She also offers a meditation practice for physicians. “We have to be inside a system in order to change it. We have to get deep enough to know it, but not so deep as to be completely enmeshed. Without meditation I would not know where I am, when I need to get out, and when I can affect change. There is a broader perspective that covers it all.
“Austin is moving in better directions than any city I know, and it’s grass-roots. We need to focus on bioregional solutions. Keep everything within your region: food, shelter, governance.”
How will we live tomorrow?
“In villages, with young children and elders all with us. I have only ever lived in multigenerational households. I’ve always lived in community. Right now I live with four people from two generations.”