I recently wrote to a dear friend, and fellow champion of the wild edges, that I truly don’t believe that (most) people are willful destroyers of habitat or consciously set out to damage their own ecosystems. After all, that would seem very contrary to that millennia-old instinct of self-preservation. I believe that, in 99% of cases, people just simply don’t know any better.
I also believe - perhaps, as some would argue, a bit naively - that, given the proper information and viable alternatives, they would happily change their ways in favour of being good stewards of the earth.
The (not small) difficulty lies in undoing the great efforts of the vast marketing machines that have taught people that dandelions are wrong and that meat should be cheap and plentiful*
So what are we to do - we sensitive, prone-to-hermitude types that sidle away from direct conflict and suffer the effects of excessive human contact? Those of us who are at our best whilst remaining small (and yet big-hearted)?;)
I think that depends.
I think that it can be as simple and as complicated as choosing not to use chemicals in the garden; as choosing to buy local produce, only when it’s in season; as not using your front door all spring and summer because the eastern phoebes are nesting in the alcove; as planting a flower, not because it’s the prettiest or most fashionable, but because it provides food and shelter for another creature; as foregoing the lure of notebooks and choosing provenance of paper over gorgeous design....the options are as numerable and variable as there are people to enact them.
For me, at this moment, it’s as simple and as complicated as writing a blog post.
We all have our jobs to do and we, most likely, in our heart of hearts, know what they are and how we could best go about it. Again, none of it needs to be grand and that I, personally, have no intention of becoming worthy of a documentary — but it doesn’t mean that what I feel and believe and know emphatically to be true, is not of worthwhile contribution.
Same goes for you, my tender-hearted friends.
There’s a need for understanding, for people to know how so very closely woven we all are - that we are kindred to the dandelions and the long-suffering bees and to the wild edges we seek to trim into submission. Therein, I believe, lies the key to changing minds and hearts. People need to understand that it matters when you don’t stop to think, that there are always, always repercussions - perhaps not immediate ones, but there are always ripples.
I've been thinking a lot lately about my own ripples and how I'd like to add to them. More writing, more photography, more garden-love. And this, below, a tentative experiment (very tentative and very experimental at this point!)....an effort to capture, to document, to chronicle....it's hard to grasp the tangible reasons, other than I offer it in service of Beauty. Which isn't a bad start, I don't think, technical skills notwithstanding :)
Ripple along with me, then?
*Regardless of your position on whether or not we should eat animals, it’s an irrefutable fact that current factory-production methods of supplying us with food animals - methods which guarantee that meat is both cheap and plentiful - are a major perpetrator of crimes against the environment.