"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Reverence for nature

Do you get upset when you watch a tractor and its machinery in tow going down the road hacking indiscriminately at the hedgerows along the side to cut them down to size – both in height and thickness? Do you silently weep for the poor little voles, mice, birds etc that must perish. Does any one else care as I do?

When I was young growing up on a farm we used the short cold winter days to do “hedging and ditching.” This involved tough manual labour, and skill, going around all the hedges and ditches on the farm, clearing the ditches out, making sure any water could drain away, and layering the hedges. Hedge layering is a vanishing country craft. It involves choosing good strong upright growths in the hedge, nicking them from underneath so they can be bent down and woven horizontally into and along the hedge. New shoots spring from those nicks. The result over time is a tough and thick hedge capable of keeping even the strongest livestock safely in the fields.

But of course such crafts take much more time, and time is money, and instead those monster machines hack their way along the hedge, weakening it, and blindly destroying anything, plant, animal and bird, that may get in the way. In fact nothing really stands a chance in the path of such massacre and I for one cry for these ravages of nature. Do I cry alone?

What is the alternative? The alternative is that we nurture a reverence, a love and respect for the natural world around us, listen to what it is telling us, be open to its healing powers.

Then we will no longer want to destroy it. We will no longer want to defile it with our gas guzzling cars, our litter and filth, our plastics, our bottles and our cans. We will regain our spirituality and seek a simpler life. We will discover humility and vulnerability and a compassion for all living beings. We may even walk barefoot upon the earth, because as Alastair McIntosh has observed, we “tread on the earth so much more gently barefoot.” Then we will experience a harmony of body, soil and soul and we may even become Wounded Healers for a fractured world.

I made the snowman in our front garden by the way!

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