Monday, September 5, 2011

Nature and Nurture

The morning glory arbor blew over again last night, sunflowers uprooted and the wheelbarrow is filled with rain water. Hearing the rain pummel the roof was once a welcome sound, but too much of a good thing is devastating. People are helping people across Vermont, dig, rebuild, feed their farm animals, and bring emotional comfort. To lose a house, land and everything familiar that has been built with love is unfathomable. It is hard not to feel betrayed when a violent storms hit.

I’ve been reading Coming to Land in a troubled world, essays by Peter Forbes and others. There is a chapter titled Lifting the Veil, in which he quotes Aldo Leopold, Scott Nearing, Rachel Carson and others to make the point that our connection to the land is vital to our human spirit. “ If there is ever to be a change in culture that might save our species, it will need to come out of the pull, joy, and restoration of healthy human life rather than the push of fear. No change will come out of any force that is not fundamentally grounded in ethos of restoration. Restoration, or the reconnection of our lives to the health of the land, is parable for healthy human future."

Reading this, I see my role as a gardener, one who is deeply connected to the landscape, recognize ways to step out of the comfort of my own garden to help rebuild. I’ve donated my books with garden design consultations to several charity auctions, yet it seems frivolous in the midst of such a catastrophe. Once the debris is cleared, it will be easier to see how I can help restore and replant with the hopes of creating a nurturing environment that will help to heal and restore faith that nature is here to help.

In the meantime, I think preparing a good meal for my neighbors is in order.

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