Beech, Sourwood and Maple grew up together, and are as close as can be, lives forever intertwined. Together, they make this portal that beckons.
When I first came to Herb Mountain Farm in 2005, the bank holding these trees was covered in moss. But a few years later, Hart cleared an area in the woods so there could be an outdoor classroom for the Forest Floor Camps we used to host,
humans were walking through this portal everyday.
And all the moss vanished.
Some of it was due to the unusually dry weather that has occurred here most of the 2000’s. Some of its disappearance was due to children picking it off and taking it elsewhere to make fairy forts. But mostly it was our daily steps, our footprints, that turned the bank to bare earth. I mean, who wouldn’t want to walk through a portal like this?
Yet every time I walk by or thru it, a knowing arises in me of how we must intentionally strive to balance our manipulation of the landscape with leaving other places completely alone.
And that’s hard for us humans to do, with our big curiosities and love of creating things. Especially if our attitude is that we have dominion over this earth. We’ve proven we can dominate, but can we prove that we can reciprocate, respect, back off, and solely appreciate what naturally is there? That is my prayer and my mission in life, to help shift our collective mindset from Human Supremacy to Supporting Biodiversity.
It really consumes me, this mission, like, probably not an hour of the day goes by that I’m not thinking of how to be of use in this way. It’s even in my dreamtime. Do any of you feel driven in this way? It can be really painful, because you see what is, knowing what could be, and it’s not something one person can change. It’s all of us, together, seeing the value in the Great Web of Life, which, yes, includes ants and hornets and snakes and swamps and dirt and spiders.
We have only one earth.