Monday, January 21, 2008
The Forest Garden
This is evidence again at the simple wonders of permaculture. And shows (again) how the natural world can teach us exactly how to behave in a symbiotic relationship, versus our dominate-devour mentality.
I keep thinking about the earliest writings of the American puritans, like John Winthrop's "city on a hill" speech... believing that the US continent was a forgotten place of darkness, that God had given them a land to lay under his dominion. To save it from darkness, remove it from chaos by organizing the world into gardens (like the English and French) and create order, and thereby: goodness. The fear of the wilderness and the wild frontiers of an "unpopulated" land was overwhelming and demonic and filled with savages and the lost. (Hmm, they must've been reading Milton at some point, right?) I wonder if this mentality has really led to the agricultural practices that have becoming ubiquitous today... this desire to tame the wild Nation? But then I think of John Muir, Thoreau and Emerson (the Transcendentalist movement in general) and I am infatuated with their views. Take Emerson, who, when walking, notices the many farmers who each carve and foster fields and call the land: "theirs," but, he says, with wonder, that none own the landscape they create collectively... the view that he is witness to, belongs to everyone. No one can lay claim to it.
I don't quite know where I am going with this, but I guess I am just too much of an optimist, to much a reveler in the natural world, even if I am just really beginning to learn and love its complexity. It is snowing again, very lightly in the mountains... Yoga has been wonderful, and humbling and difficult, but good, overall I feel. I went again this morning and will go again tomorrow evening. But again, this is off topic: So may the forest garden bring growth, or ideas of growth into your day and may you go looking for landscapes that belong to the eye and the mind of those smart enough and brave enough to seek them, and open enough to see them for the beauty and not just a dark chaos.