• Tag Archives song dynasty
  • Partners and Co-Creators

    Fall                                                       Waning Harvest Moon

    Went out and picked raspberries for pancakes this morning.  With a definite chill in the air the garden felt different, a bit sleepy, ready to bed down for the cold season.  After a month or so of feeling burdened by it, wanting it to disappear, my spring affection reappeared.  This patch of earth, these beds, work together with the plant world and Kate and me.  We share a joint stewardship of this property, each in our way committed to making it healthy, beautiful and bountiful.

    The soil has given of its nutrients, its water holding capacity, its sturdiness as a base for roots and stems.  The plants have combined the chemicals of the soil with that water and pushed themselves up and out of the earth, then blossomed and in many cases fruited.  Kate and I weed, tend the soil, watch the plants, picking bugs off of them, pruning, replanting.  We also harvest and, when the harvest ends, we replenish the soil with composted manure and mulch.

    When we use the plants and their produce, we take the leaves and stems and other unwanted parts and put them in a compost bin to return to the soil.

    This complicated working partnership among many different parties here is, in microcosm, the partnership we humans have with the natural world and the world of soils, air, water and sunshine.  It’s significant to note that the one unnecessary party to this the work is the human race.

    Plants will grow.  Rain will fall.  The sun will shine.  Soils will improve.  Fruits and vegetables will be made and distributed, all whether humans enter in or not.  We exist only as part of a richly integrated chain of being and we exist as its wards, not benefactors.

    We do have the capacity to intervene, but too often, far too often, when we do intervene, we disrupt what nature does willingly and foul the process, in the end harming ourselves.

    I wish our gardens and our orchard were more than supplements to our diet, but that is all they are, to be otherwise would require a commitment to the work I no longer feel able or willing to give.  Even so, as a supplement, this growing of flowers, potatoes, tomatoes, beets, carrots, leeks, beans, onions, lettuce, chard, spinach and peas, this caring for bees and harvesting honey, does keep us intimately engaged as partners with the natural world, a partnership so often hidden from view in this, the most capitalistic of all possible worlds.

  • Natural Disasters on the rise in the United States

    Lughnasa                                                                         Waxing Honey Extraction Moon

    “This has been a devastating year,” National Weather Service director Jack Hayes said. “Natural disasters are on the rise in the United States,” he noted, including records for heat, tornadoes, floods and fires, and with the bulk of hurricane season still remaining.

    So.  The economy has tanked.  The climate has raised hell, at least that’s one explanation that the right wing might find congenial.  Much warmer in that theological realm.  And, it might well have come up first through Texas and Oklahoma, seems possible to me.

    Then.  Our political parties stumble over themselves in making ridiculous policy, then bending the knee to the most extreme right wing and  apologizing for not having made worse policy.

    If these are the end times, it will be because the Great Spirit got so distracted from laughing at our self-defeating ways that She forgot to run the universe.

    Consider that the natural disasters Jack Hayes refers to are probably caused or at least dramatically reinforced by human action.  Then, consider the all to0 human disasters in Washington, Rome and Athens.

    If shooting ourselves in our collective feet were an Olympic sport, we’d all be medal winners and hearing our national anthems over and over again.

    It is also human that our Asian brothers and sisters, especially the Chinese, see all this as evidence of the inevitability of their rise.  Well.  Probably not.  World history shows the rise and fall of great powers to be a rule, played out over and over again on continent after continent in era after era.  The Qin Dynasty.  Rome.  The Khmer.  The Mughals.  The Macedonians.  The Persians.  The Greeks.  The Maya.  The Aztecs.  At some point in world history others will add, the United States of America, Europe and, yes, even China and Japan and India.

    We need to step back, take a look from the long view.  These are neither the worst of times, look at the fate of Carthage, for example, nor are these the best of times, see the Song Dynasty or the Classical Mayan period or Persian culture.

    Yes, I find the politics of our time, of this millennium, disheartening in their mean-spiritedness, their lack of charity and compassion, their polarization, but, as Cicero said, “No reign lasts forever.”  It could be that our knuckle-headed policy directions will put paid to the human race, it’s possible, for sure, but history tells me that we’ll muddle through somehow, in spite of ourselves.