Harmony – Word of the Day
Photo: Dry creek bed – the Hull River, Northern Territory. This particular spot is also the site of Kulpi Tjuntinya also called Lasseter’s Cave. The river is mostly dry on the surface, and runs underground. There are many soaks along its route. When it does rain heavily the water can be one third up the height of those trees, which given the width, is a mighty volume of water.
The Australian bush, long before white settlers, was well protected with the harmony of traditional law or Tjukurpa – pronounced Chookapah (following the Central and Western Desert peoples view). The law is an oral tradition handed on generation to generation and memorised. One of its central principles is respect for all the elements of nature because everthing is in relationship and everything has an effect. While the words harmony or balance are not explicit, the principles are evident in the way Australian indigenous peoples treat the land and each other.
In the Balance
Where once where trees lie salted plains
and dusty cattle ruts.
Camels, mines and 4x4s,
billabong and creek consumed.
Settlers coveted and misunderstood,
but the Anangu have wise ways,
and through their ancient dreaming,
there came ways of loving nature whole.
(Photo: © Hayden Cannon)
Coccinellidae, or the humble Lady Bug as most of us would say. Definitely not micro, but definitely small. One of nature’s equalizers, it feeds on aphids, and therefore helps the market gardener, the floriculture industry, and the home gardener. Small but critical to the balance of nature.
Humans are not micro either, but we are the species that has an impact on the environment beyond our size. The creatures bigger than us have less impact on the environment. We are not particularly good at keeping a balance in nature, in fact, since the eighteenth century, humanity has pushed nature hard. I’m quite certain that if the Northern White Rhino had been crucial to agriculture or market gardening, or if the rhino could produce honey, or tea tree oil, it would still be with us. But, if we can’t save the rhino, what can we save? Or, more pointedly, what are we willing to save?
The way I see it, our carbon foot-print has to become micro in order to create a balance in nature that will enable all life forms to co-exist naturally. It’s not all doom and gloom though. There is some excellent work being done in alternative agricultural and horticultural practices, and in manufacturing too. The use of technology to resize and reorder how industry and commerce work (drones, micro-computers), where machinery cannot be decreased in size, it is streamlined and made more efficient. The attention to urban planning and using density as an option is (though hotly disputed by some academics) working well in cities like Melbourne (and, as yet, on a small scale). It seems we are coming to grips in some areas with the largess of our living.
The Lady Bug doesn’t just live for itself, it lives in a critical relationship with its predators and with its food sources as a predator. The Lady Bug is a great natural example (among many) for us, to live in a balanced, reciprocal, relationships. That sort of harmony is sacrificial, and if we want to live well, and if we want nature to survive, then we need to adopt the give and take of the Lady Bug, and the principle of sacrifice.
via Daily Prompt: Identical
The Gemstone Buildings – Shenzen. A series of identical triangles become both the strength and design of this building. I have a memory from school days, that identical triangles are a strong foundation for building, and are a basis for architecture.
The Jewish wisdom tradition includes the book of Ecclesiastes, which contains this gem: “A threefold cord is not quickly broken” which became a principle of modern rope-making. Roof trusses, honeycomed cardboard packing, bridge frames, bicycle wheel spokes, a fulcrum, all rely on three. In all the faith traditions of the world three is a significant number. A day broken into thirds of work, rest and play is a healthy process. And who remembers the dictum – meat and three veg for dinner? And, just for good measure, 3 is the first odd prime number. Clearly, there is something about three.
I think this speaks to the makeup, or potential awareness of the person: body, mind, and soul, perhaps the most important three of all. If we keep body, mind and soul in balance, I believe we are stonger, like the unbreakable cord. Three seems to keep a balance that one cannot provide, and two complicates, and where four potentially cancels out into two pairs. Whereas three creates a balance of thirds in all we do. Identical triangles can be one or two dimensional technical drawings. But as an object, identical triangles can be a thing of beauty and strength. But even more, the triangular of life, embodied in practice, friendships, groups, lifestyle patterns, and above all, keeping the balance of body, mind and soul is crucial for life to flourish and grow.
via Daily Prompt: Varnish
I don’t know how long the sign has been there, I’m guessing thirty years, but it could do with a clean and some fresh varnish. On the one hand I’d like to leave the lichen undisturbed, on the other hand, the sign is slowly disappearing and it is crucial to the trail directions. It represents the constant dilemma of balance in eco relationships. What is really so important that one life form must surrender to another? Maybe I’ll leave off the varnish.
I’ve been pondering this quote for some time.
“To take shape a journey must have fixed bearings, as a basket has ribs and a book its themes. The clearest way to understand … our journey … is to look at a single woven basket’s basic design … First, two splits or reeds are centered, like the cardinal points of a compass. Then, two more splits of equal size and length are added. These are the ribs of teh basket. Weaving begins at the center … over … under … over … under … until it is finished. From the simplest basket to the most complex … this principle is the same. The ribs must be centered and held in balance. In a sense, they are the fixed bearings that guide the rythm of weaving.” (from: Marilou Awiakta Seiu, ‘Seeking the Corn Mothers Wisdom”)
And therefore, the bearings that guide our journey. In short, we need to have a guiding principle, we need a frame, a community, a place in the world. And we need to be held by that community, held by those principles. When we have these things in our lives, when we are held, when we are centered, we weave a journey that is rich, under, over, under, over, until we are finished.