Friday, April 19, 2013

Love the Earth

Spring dandelion greens and crowns harvested from the garden.

Roasted dandelion root "coffee"

A hastily woven honeysuckle basket to bring up eggs, herbs and greens from the garden.

Omelets and salad for lunch!
The goal of Permaculture is, as my sister Marianne put it so well, to enable a landscape to take care of itself. That includes the humans on the landscape, who exist in partnership with the other residents. Each member provides not only for itself, but for the other members. This is done passively, but humans, of course, have the moral imperative to do it actively.                        

In Nature, there is no waste. Every "output" is another's "input", and no nutrients are lost. Rather, they are accumulated as biomass as long as the sun shines and there are tree leaves to photosynthesize. It is from this natural tendency toward abundance that we must track our existence, meeting our needs in a way that replenishes, rather than extracts and leaves compromised, denuded landscapes behind. Indeed, is it worth mining for minerals or fuel if it brings up salts and harsh metals, too much, too many at a time so that the land and water supplies are poisoned? Is it worth slashing the rainforest to grow cash crops for our addictive, high carb diets (and replacing the foraging diets of our livestock, too) if, after a couple seasons the rain washes away the topsoil, leaving bare places where nothing can grow? This can only be kept up for so long before there is nothing but desert, and no carbon sink. Or perhaps our worldview secretly gloats over the earth's destruction, and we think we will be among the holy, chosen few to drift above it all in pure, spiritual bliss if we just believe correctly. 

I have found that both the search for gold and the search for holiness are equally to be avoided, and both stem from a fear of some sort of death. The hero complex that sees Nature as "red in tooth and claw", the parochial patriotism to defend one's own against the constructed Other, and infuse it all with religious zeal...I hope to never walk that path again. Like Alyosha Karamazov, when his faith was in crisis, the expected miracle so long in coming, he remembers his mentor's love the earth. And this is the only fiction to ever make me cry (I am not the sentimental type)- he falls to the ground and embraces and kisses the cold clay. Yes, clay. Here. It is what we are all made of. It is where constant miracles take place. Where seeds spring to life, the ancient Christian hope for our bodies. And this reverence for earth, for life, is the essence of truth in all religions and belief systems that contain it. Love the earth. 

"For God so loved the world..."

1 comment:

  1. Just read this, Sara! Love your insights!