I’ve been collecting pots, soil, and seeds. I’ve started to plant and have some seedlings. I’ve been crocheting hanging pot holders. I’m awaiting another order of heirloom seeds. Needless to say, I love gardening and I can’t wait to really get underway. The last possible day of frost in the North Country is projected to be May 31st. I’m reluctant to put much outside, and everything that can be planted outdoors right now has not yet arrived in the mail.
To satiate my gardening urges, I was looking at one of my favorite websites – Path to Freedom. The family and their urban homestead really inspire me. Anyway, while rereading their “10 Elements of Our Urban Homestead” page, I was really struck by this statement:
It may surprise you but we live under a constant dictatorship! Gardening is not a democracy. We are ruled by nature and there isn’t much we can do about that. This “tough love” dictatorship teaches us the valued lessons of patience and perseverance. One hard lesson learned is that we aren’t in control and can’t vote to change the outcome.
It made me think about my recent posts about our relationship to the divine. It’s all well and good to say that we’ve evolved to a point where we have a lot of power in our sphere of influence (to the point where we can mold nature to our desires), but is it really a good thing? We grow fields and fields of monoculture while poisoning all the competition (flora and fauna), we raise too many herd animals, and we use genetically modified seeds which, often, don’t produce usable seeds the next generation. I’m not saying it’s all bad. We had good intentions. We have a huge, huge population to feed* and greed/ignorance have made us complacent. I’m not innocent myself!
Anyway, thinking about trying to be more of a “natural” gardener is really humbling when you think of what may and may not happen. The above quote is basically what I was talking about yesterday in that, regardless of how technologically advanced we are, we are still at the mercy of Mama Earth and the divine energies of the universe. We don’t have the fear them. In fact I rather like what I’ve been learning about Stoicism. Stoics, it seems, would argue that we need to accept the fact that nature/the Gods are more powerful than us. We needn’t fear them – we just need to learn how to better respect them and work with them!
Does this mean we’ll always get a good crop? No. But we’ll learn so much along the way – lessons about ourselves, the world, and the Kindreds. If we aren’t successful does it mean the Gods don’t favor us? As long as we have been trying hard and are being honorable, I really don’t think we lose favor from the Gods. We may grow distant from one and find great friendship with another, and they may have hard lessons for us to learn, but the spirits we form close bonds with, I believe, won’t go out of their way to hurt us. If anything, the better the bond, the more they try to protect us from the powers of chaos and destruction that, while necessary, make life occasionally harsh.
* I’m very excited about the development of skyscraper greenhouses. If they can remain organic and sustainable, they could potentially be very helpful in feeding large populations without the pesticides and huge, huge tracks of land needed in the past. This, my friends, is admirable human ingenuity coupled with respect for the natural world. I think. I hope. 😉