Thursday, April 1, 2010

Greener grass, weeds, and so on......

Bhutan is still stuck in my head. I actually checked about immigrating there (curiously, not seriously), but they allow very few people to even visit. They are wise in keeping we westerners out. There is a Queen song, penned by Brian May, named I Want It All. It is one of my favorites in spite of the attitude - sort of a glorious anthem for globalization: I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it NOW! (I guess I just need to break free now and then.) We seem to feel entitled to everything, and if we could move to Bhutan, then it would become something else.

American is a land of immigrants for most of the population. My heritage is 1/2 Danish, 1/4 German, and 1/4 Bohemian. That said, I have always felt more related to the Native Americans. Vine Deloria said that in America God Is Red in his book by that title. The energy of American soil is Native American. I think I have always felt that, because when I first read Deloria's book it was like I got shot with an arrow of truth. Westernization has not been a good experience for Native Americans, nor for America for that matter. We could have learned so much from these first Americans. We still can, but now the damage is done and undoing it is another matter.

As I've already said somewhere, we live on about 50 acres, most of which is at the end of a dead-end road. Unfortunately Interstate 35 took the other half of this farm. Worse yet, they ran it out of it's straight course to get us, because the Army Corps of Engineers was going to dam the Skunk River, not too far from us, and they wanted this part to correspond with that with a scenic outlook. Fortunately they didn't end up getting to dam the river, due to opposition and changing attitudes, though they were serious enough to change the course of I-35 in the beginning. There is still a scenic outlook, though not the one that was envisioned.

I've always been sort of tethered here, either by keeping wood stoves going in the early days, or being tied to a workbench when I engraved firearms. So I have naturally become well acquainted with the natural features here and all of the other peoples, animal, vegetable or mineral. I have not always been on good terms with every other inhabitant here. But I have observed this place more intimately, as through a microscope. I engraved through a microscope so perhaps I just relate more to small things, though my father was a jeweler/watch repairman, so maybe it has a genetic factor.

The Creator did not make weeds. Humans made weeds. Raccoons are my weeds. If ever I needed to reframe a relationship, it is the one I have with coons. We have both done each other great damage through the years, and I don't yet have an answer. I guess I feel entitled to protect my own here. I don't think that coons see it as mine though. Mostly the havoc that humans wreak on the earth is inflicted on all of the other inhabitants, who don't have a voice in the matter, so I guess raccoons are just turning the tables on me.

I have always collected plants and been very curious about the native plants here. My reward is that my yard turns into a jungle of vines and other woodland and prairie plants every year. Some of our acquaintances look at the greenbriar vines and shudder. I do love vines in particular. I think it is because they are very expressive plants who are always reaching out. I have a very large grape ivy hanging in the kitchen. It has arms that dangle down to touch me, and is always so friendly and welcoming.

I must spend more time and effort this year in learning yet more about the interaction of the web of life here in regard to seeing the truth of those whom I still see as weeds.

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