Living “Stuff” Surrounding Us

17 Jul

So back to speaking about things.  Some of the things I have been thinking about this week are living things.  Those things we become caretakers of; protectors, guardians, sentinels.  For instance our animals who bring us great joy and comfort in our lives.  They are wonderful to share our hearts with.  They do come with their own “Stuff” and we do tend to like buying them “Stuff” so there is a caution there too. But we really can weed down their items a lot easier than we can weed down our own. And they are so worth the space they take up in our homes, because they take up that space in our hearts as well.

 The other things I have been thinking about lately are the various nature we surround ourselves with.  For instance, our house plants and all they come with (extra pots, fertilizer, watering cans, little tools to take care of them, etc.).  OK, I need the fertilizer and tools and one watering can, but I do need to weed through and get rid of some of the extra pots.  I did an initial sort and purge when I was packing the house to move. But now that I am unpacking I realize there are still some that have to go.

 And then there are the plants, shrubs, trees and garden ornaments we bring into our lives, or take over as the guardians of.  When I bought my last house, I bought it mostly for the yard.  It was a beautiful “park like setting” with a large variety of trees, bushes, perennials and there were all different little areas on the ½ acre of land.  The man who built the house had planted the little bushes and 40 years later when I am buying the house from him, and taking over as the caretaker of this land and this nature, the bushes and trees had all fully matured and blossomed.  It was a beautiful sight with blooms all spring and summer, shade from the very tall trees, birds everywhere and butterflies flitting about.  Chipmunks living under the shed, visits from a pair of ducks every year and an occasional bunny sighting.  Our neighbors had chickens, bunnies, cats, dogs, exotic birds.  We often spoke of loving nature and the trees. I would look at my other neighbors’ yards, barren of trees, barren of life.  They had removed the trees, and just have grass (probably the worst type of landscaping for the environment).  I would then see my rectangle of trees (as well as my one neighbor next to me- the guy with the chickens) standing out from the landscape. Standing tall, holding a diversity of life including bats, owls, birds, squirrels, and my favorite spring peepers (frogs).  I would feel a sense of pride as the caretaker of this rich land in the middle of suburbia. 

 Well, now I have had to sell my home due to financial reasons.  I couldn’t be picky on who bought my house and I had no control over what happened to the land after I handed over the keys.

 To my horror (and my tree loving neighbor’s horror) I drove by the house only a couple of days after closing, and ALL the nature on that plot of land was ripped out.  I cried.  It was such a sad sight, to see tire tracks over my perennials in the front lawn and nothing left in the back.  All those cool little areas, and secret places, all gone.  All the mountain laurels, rhododendrons, azaleas, birch trees, oak trees, chestnut trees, hickory trees, all cut down and thrown in a dumpster!  All the perennials, the expensive perennials that I put my heart, soul and sweat into planting them and taking care of them, all gone.  It was a horrible sight.  Just a barren plot of dirt. 

 So the land that I took over as caretaker from the man who so proudly watched his plants and trees mature over the 40 years, is now a barren waist land; waiting for a McMansion to be built with minimal formal landscaping and a lot of grass.  So sad to me.  It will never be the same. However, it was the closure I needed for the yard that I loved.  That is truly no longer my yard, no longer my house.  I wouldn’t want it for anything.

 Some stuff that we collect, or are given, is healthy and meaningful for us.  Especially the living things. We should honor them and not take them for granted.  The Great Spirit of the Universe, Our Great Creator (some of you may call God) wanted us to live in nature and enjoy all the nature that is put on the earth.  There is a reason for all of it.  We are just renting space here on earth while we are alive.  We need to remember we are caretakers and not “owners” of this earth.  So here is one place where I would say the more stuff the better.  Plant some diversity in your yards, plant something the birds will love to eat the seeds in the fall, or will attract bees and butterflies all summer long.  Give the animals and birds a place to hide and build their nests.  Become a part of your plot of land no matter how big or small, become the caretaker you were meant to be.



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