October 15, 2017
This week I’ve been visiting a Newsletter reader near Tepotzlán, in the state of Morelos, just south of Mexico City. My friend grows many ornamental tropical plants, quite a few of which are new to me. I’ve made no effort to document them all, though a few were so interesting and pretty that later you will meet them in this Newsletter
I continue these days in my “node time” mode – abandoning my usual habits while asking myself why I am living and behaving as I do, visualizing many conceivable changes, and anlyzing whether, how and why I might want to make such changes.
During this node time one insight I’ve reconfirmed for myself, but which usually I don’t articulate, is this: Things are getting along OK, with or without my input. By “things” I mean the general evolution of life on Earth, of which the human animal is part.
Of course I am vividly aware of humanity’s catastrophic effect on the Earth’s biosphere, of heartbreaking injustices and of ignorant and violently aggressive official policies fracturing societies and demeaning very many people. In declaring that things are going OK, I’m taking the perspective of a forester who judges that a forest has produced so much thick, dry undergrowth that it needs a controlled burn. The burning will keep the forest from reaching a state in which a fire would destroy even the biggest trees and the deepest roots that might sprout new growth.
From such a perspective, even Trumpism in the US is OK, in the sense that if a society contains such a large percentage of people willing – for whatever reason – to elect as President someone like Trump, then that society is analogous to an out-of-whack forest ecosystem. Nature takes care of such unbalanced systems in Her own “heartless” manner, sometimes in ways almost unbearable to think about.
For, Nature is concerned with the very long-term evolutionary process – going from simple to sophisticated systems composed of many interdependent entities. Moreover, when we look around we see that this process is almost, maybe entirely, unconcerned with the comfort and dignity of individual living things. Remember the six mass extinctions that Life on Earth has endured. Just imagine the suffering and miserable deaths of individual living beings during those times. And evolutionary biologists consider us right now as living during the Seventh Mass Extinction, this one manmade.
So, I don't think that anything I do or say can have much impact on the current flow of things, and with present political and social realities maybe anything I say would be counterproductive. However, I’ve already indicated that I am looking forward to sharing with you my pleasure in meeting new plants here. If any words at all are appropriate during these times, surely they are words of praise and delight for the Earth's natural things.
During upcoming weeks and months, until my next node time, now you can visualize better the mental context in which these words and images are being issued.
Best wishes to all Newsletter readers,
All previous Newsletters are archived at http://www.backyardnature.net/n/.