Connected

 

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”

~Walt Whitman

 

The sky is a deep cerulean and it is inviting. It is a spectacle decked out with puffy white clouds like cotton. The sun is warm and kisses my toes, inviting a stretch and a yawn. I am sprawled out on the grass, it is soft and cool and I feel at home here among the green.

The birds sing like mad and I can’t help but smile. I close my eyes and feel the sun’s warmth on them. I imagine being a feather on the wing of an eagle soaring ever higher in the sky. I feel the rush of air go through me, the power of the bird and the exhilaration of flight.   I feel a part of the bird and the sky and the sun beaming down…

 

…and I do feel a part of this greater whole. I can’t help it, especially out here, outside under the trees among the flowers and the weeds and the bees and the worms and the neighborhood owl that surprises me every time it hoots. I feel the grass under me…it’s alive and so is the soil that nourishes it, teeming with lifeforms from the obvious to the microscopic. We are all made of star-stuff. The grass, the trees my cat and me.

 

When I look at the night sky and gaze upon the lovely moon I cannot help but feel a kinship with its solitary light.  I imagine others gaze upon the very same moon with the very same thoughts. The stars twinkle and universe expands and time goes on and as I sit here in reflection I am awestruck by my existence and how really small I really am; like a speck…a drop of water in a vast ocean.

I know I’m not alone in this feeling and that comforts me. I also know that much of this feeling can be backed up with science and that is intrigues me.

The patterns of life…the sameness..the variety all beautiful, all beckoning another look…

 

For me it goes beyond The Fibonacci sequence and all that math I can barely understand.  It is more than pattern recognition and the appreciation of beauty and even the seeking of truth…

It’s a feeling, a real physical feeling and it’s emotional for me.  Perhaps it is because I am sensitive, perhaps it is because I am empathic, perhaps everyone feels this way…perhaps…

I can only speak for myself but it makes me more compassionate.  I see it as a gift although it hurts inside sometimes…but mostly it is the most wonderful feeling; this feeling of “connectedness”.

It allows me to imagine like I do and write what I do. It moves through me like music and this causes me to dance! The more I feel it, the more I yearn to seek it out. The more I seek it out, the more it finds me.

butterfly_blue_little_

~NLM

 

Around us, life bursts with miracles–a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life’s daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.”

― Thich Nhat Hanh

 

gif spider

 

Related articles 
Pink Floyd. Grantchester Meadows (Youtube)
Do trees communicate? (Youtube)
Music and the Fibonacci Sequence and Phi (Goldennumber.net)
15 Uncanny Examples of the Golden Ratio in Nature

∞
Advertisements

The Poisoner

Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

There he is again, my neighbor. The one I call “The Poisoner” and he is living up to his name. It is a sight that invades my vision 4 or 5 times a year; a big guy with a large canister spraying poison like a madman all over his yard.

Sometimes it’s the weeds in the lawn, other times it’s the poor green growth that dares to show itself between the cracks in the sidewalk. On a few occasions when he really gets going , he sprays the entire parameter of his house.  He wears no mask, no gloves, just him and the Roundup.

When he is finished, nothing is left alive. Except his poor lawn which is a sickly palish green despite the many hours he spends on it. He is a warrior of sorts; it is him against nature. I think he’s fighting an expensive and time-consuming battle that we all pay for in the end.

Whenever I see him with his spray can, I try not to become angry. It used to make my blood boil; to watch him spray his poison like there’s no tomorrow while I’m digging up dandelions by hand.  As the years have passed and my work has gotten easier due to the many organic gardening techniques I have learned and implemented, his work has not diminished…it has seemed to only increase.

Credit: SBI
YES, this is my actual yard. Credit: SBI

While I enjoy a healthy green lawn with a myriad of various flowers surrounding; a yard that is truly bursting with life. He lives in a dead zone.  It must be frustrating to him. He must notice during the summer while he waters his lawn every single day, I water mine once a week yet mine is still green and his has brown patches.

I suppose I could let him in on my “secrets” but they aren’t really secret. I learned about these techniques from books I found at our local library which is literally just steps from our houses.  I suppose I am shy and I hate to admit that although I have talked to his wife, I haven’t spent much time conversing with him. He seems to me somewhat hostile and the glares he gives me may just be in my imagination. Frankly, I am hesitant to go over there and point out to him that what he’s doing is all wrong. People don’t like that. So call me chicken but whenever he gets to spraying his poison, I just get out of his way.

I thought in my naivety that he might learn from mine and other neighbor’s examples on how one can have a lovely yard without the use of such harmful chemicals but alas he has not.

I know he isn’t the only one who resorts to such methods. In the United States alone 80 million pounds of chemical pesticides were used on residential lawns last year. A staggering number to say the least.

Toxins from pesticides can remain in the body and build up in the liver. Even at what is considered “safe” levels, a person’s reactions can be mild to severe. High levels of exposure can be fatal. Some people are seemingly unaffected or mildly affected, while others become severely ill from similar levels of exposure. Some possible reactions include: Fatigue, Skin Irritations, Nausea, Vomiting, Breathing Problems, Brain Disorders, Blood Disorders, Liver & Kidney Damage, Reproductive Damage and (gasp) Cancer.

Whether or not a person uses these chemicals themselves these toxins find their way to us by seeping into the groundwater and entering the environment where they damage and kill precious wildlife, toxic indeed!

According to the Environmental Protection Agency

Contaminated groundwater can affect the quality of drinking and other types of water supplies when it reaches the surface. Contaminated groundwater can affect the health of animals and humans when they drink or bathe in water contaminated by the groundwater or when they eat organisms that have themselves been affected by groundwater contamination.”

groundwaterjpg-c18e5dce766d777c

Here are some interesting Statistics about Pesticide contamination from The US Fish and Wildlife Service

  • In recent studies of major rivers and streams, one or more pesticides were detected more than 90% of the time in water, in more than 80% of fish sampled, and in 33% of major aquifers (Gilliom, Robert).
  • Pesticides are one of the 15 leading causes of impairment for streams included on States’ Clean Water Act section 303(d) lists of impaired waters.
  • Pesticides have also been identified as a potential cause of amphibian declines and deformities.
  • Pesticides are one of the potential causes pollinator species’ declines and declines of other beneficial insects.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

I can’t see how some would think a substance that kills something would NOT be harmful. I know it is a lot of work keeping a lush weed-free lawn. Many people would say it is not worth the trouble and definitely not worth the resources. I have read about people getting rid of their lawn entirely and planting a vegetable garden. I can see the merit of that. Perhaps I may try that in the future….who knows? But today this is not what I am attempting to address.

So besides digging up the lawn entirely which I am truly tempted to do…how does one have a beautiful lawn without resorting to chemicals?

dandelions-
Credit: Public Domain

W E E D S

“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I do admit that if one wants to go totally organic, which I will be getting to in the next paragraph, one will probably have to put up with a few weeds which aren’t so bad in reality. Many weed seeds provide food for birds. Weeds are a normal part of most lawns. When there are some types of weeds in the lawn such as white clover and bird’s foot trefoil, these weeds provide a source of nutrients for the soil and later for the grass itself. A good first step is identifying what weeds you do have and determining if they are annuals, perennials or biennial.   This helps you find out the correct method for controlling them. You can find some great information at WWW.msuturfweeds.net.

Annual weeds will generate from seeds and will grow to produce flowers that in turn produce more seeds. Remove them before the seed heads form and you will cut their life short. Biennials have a two-year life span, as with annuals. The trick is to get to them before they go to seed. Remove the seed head. This will do much to reduce the amount of weeds in your lawn overall.

Perennials are different. These weeds also spread by seed but they have nasty runners that spread under the soil. These runners produce rhizomes which are stems that grow horizontally underground and unbeknownst to you will survive the winter. These must be totally dug out of the lawn, when you do this some may come back. But don’t despair.

Weeds indicate the conditions of the soil. Certain weeds indicate certain problems and if you work to amend the soil this may help. For instance, if you have a problem with dandelions this could indicate that your lawn has an overabundance of nitrogen and on the other hand if you have too much clover in your lawn this could indicate not enough nitrogen. Nature is always in a delicate balance and problems occur when that balance is out of whack.

Monocultures are not natural and lawns aren’t really natural. They are just another symptom of the man over nature thing; something we humans have a problem with. I don’t want to sound like a broken record but the health and wellbeing of the natural world relies on a delicate balance and when that balance is thrown off problems will and do occur.

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

W A T E R

“Water is the driving force of all nature.”

Leonardo da Vinci

Water is essential to all life and a healthy lawn does need it especially in the summer. So how does one keep a green and lush lawn during those hot summer days?

Timing is important, Water your lawn during the early morning hours; the best time is between midnight and 9 am. This is giving the water a chance to enter the soil before it is exported by the hot summer sun. Watering in the evening causes the moisture to remain for too long in which there is a danger of fungus developing.

In general the optimal amount of water that a healthy lawn needs is only one inch per week. Of course some lawns have different needs. Some have more shade than others and it depends on climate as well. Be sure to leave your lawn a little on the long side as the longer blades help provide shade and aids in retaining moisture in the soil underneath. In addition, if you mow your lawn frequently it taxes the grass and it must work harder to regrow the top portion.

Of course you may if you choose to have your lawn go dormant in the summer; letting it turn brown. It may not look very good but dormancy is nature’s way of dealing with drought and your lawn will bounce back in no time once the rains return.

The subject of organics and pesticides is vast.  I am only covering a small part of this broad and expansive topic. Organic gardening relies heavily on soil health and the organisms living in the soil. This also depends on the elements present in the soil and how we can give back those nutrients which green growth thrives on. In future articles I will be covering that very important subject, but for now I will impart just one little tidbit on the matter…

Please try to be natural in the care of your yard and garden. Natural is not perfection. Nature is wild and random. It is what we came from and it is what is meant to be. We humans must stop trying to change this world too much. Mother Nature is turning on us, the very beings she created because we are destroying her.

The problem is huge and at times overwhelming but together step by step, we can save this planet!

Strawberryindigo.

.

“The Earth we abuse and the living things we kill, will in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.”

~Marla Mannes

.

OUR LOVELY HOME
OUR LOVELY HOME

References and Suggested Reading

“Organic Lawn Care” By Sandy Baker © 2011

Environmental Statistics (statisticbrain.com)

Pesticides and Wildlife (fws.gov)

Herbicide poison and groundwater supply (mercola.com)

Just How do Pesticides Contaminate our Marine Life (examiner.com)

The Effects of pesticides (globalhealingcenter.com)

It’s not just bees: Popular pesticides are killing birds, too (mnn.com)

Pesticides & Your Pregnancy – Birth Defects, Pregnancy Complications, & Miscarriage (everydayfamily.com)

27 Reasons Why You should Consume Food Grown Using Organic Farming Methods (agricbusiness.com)

Fresh Quotes: JULY (Truth)

T R U T H

“Whenever truth is injured, defend it.”

**Ralph Waldo Emerson (1834)**

“Every truth has two sides: It is well to look at both before we commit ourselves to either.” 

**Aesop ( 6th century B.C.)**

“The truth must dazzle gradually or every man be blind.”

**Emily Dickinson (1868)**

“The truth is not always the best basis for happiness… there are people who perish when their eyes are opened.”

** William Stekel (1868-1940)**

“YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

“We live in a culture that would absolutely fall apart if the truth were told.”

**R.D. Lang (1987)**

“ONLY CHILDREN, FOOLS, DRUNKARDS AND MADMEN SPEAK THE TRUTH.”

**Anonymous**

“You will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

**Jesus ( John 8:32)**

BOO!!!

“Truth sometimes comes out of the devil’s mouth.”

**Thomas Fuller M.D.  (1732)**
“Bring it on!”

I used to say when I was young that truth was the majority vote of that nation that could lick all the others.”

**Oliver Wendell Holmes JR (1918)**
“Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.”

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable must be the truth.”

**Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1889)**

“Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.”

**Walt Whitman (1855-92)**