We follow the rhythms of nature here at Skalitude, and Fall is clean up time! Time to clean up from the activity of summer, and prepare for new growth next spring. The fires here this summer really made me look at the vegetation around our buildings, and I was highly inspired to clean and thin the excess. I had heard that the bitterbrush was particularly flammable, we have quite a bit of it growing between the lodge and bermhouse so I pruned all of that back thoroughly. I have hardly touched these bushes since moving here 15 years ago, so there was alot of material to remove!
This photo shows one out of four or five loads we brought to the burn pile, and boy did it burn well! Very satisfying!
All of this biomass got me to thinking about how nature just loves to grow – it is the impulse of life to expand and reproduce. Humans are part of nature, so we have this urge as well – to continue to grow and reach for new experiences. Unfortunately in the humans’ case this urge for growth has gotten a bit out of hand in its materialism and greed, but it felt important to acknowledge that it really is part of our nature, as a species we just need more intelligent ways to fulfill it.
The ponderosa pine trees here also have a tendency to get over-crowded. To get nice big trees they like to have about 20 feet of space between trees, but often little trees will sprout right under bigger ones. So I also thinned a bunch of little baby trees, triggering another human trait of being ‘anti-death’. I feel so bad killing these poor innocent baby trees! But if I cut them out, the big mama/papa tree has a better chance of having a long, healthy life.
So when I cut them I explain to all the trees that I’m doing it so the bigger ones will be healthy, and I explain that the little ones will be chipped up and the biomass will be spread on the land somewhere else that needs a little extra organic matter, so they are going to a good end.
So then I wondered if humans could ever see themselves the same way. I suppose the trees don’t thin themselves, so maybe it’s too much to expect that humans could thin themselves. Currently cancer and other diseases are our thinning agents, but maybe with increased consciousness life can come more into balance.
Trees are sentient beings too! An Italian photographer has taken some wonderful photos just using a camera and a mirror, found at http://culture.viralnova.com/amazing-mirror-photographer/