Saturday, June 19, 2010

Harmony and trash

While at the Farmer's Market today, Richard of Tantre Farms introduced me to Barry, who used to be a construction worker for the University of Michigan. We got into talking about what I wanted to do after school, and the conversation inevitably moved to talking about nature. He used a word in a phrase that I haven't thought about in a while - harmony in nature. He mentioned how in nature, even though there is constant change, there is harmony in change, such that at any given moment, there is a complex and beautiful relationship between all of the forces, lives and non-sentient beings that constitute nature. This got me thinking about waste and trash. Every living being produces some form of "waste," by expelling any surplus requirements back into nature. I use quotation marks because this "waste" is actually food for nature, and something that contributes to the harmony in nature. On the other hand, trash is something that is out of context with nature, and is totally inharmonious. By creating trash in our communities and in how we have structured our interactions, we have given up on harmony in and with nature. We are introducing synthetic toxins and chemicals into water, land and air that have been pristine for millions of years. What trash says about us is that we are not willing to do all it takes to make sure our impacts on earth are fleeting.

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of something I read by - surprise - Wendell Berry today regarding mountaintop mining. You can read the afterward to his book Missing Mountains here:
    I don't think he used the word harmony, but he was talking about the amazing diversity of life that is in both the soil and the forest, how important these two ecosystems are, and how the complexity and integrity of each is "the unknown of mystery." Harmony - seems like something we can't generate, only preserve.