Colder weather has returned and flurries fill the air. Even so, the snow and ice are increasingly found only in the deeper woods. The maple sap is running only intermittently, although perhaps we will have a strong run later in the week. There is some talk of snow for Easter.
This post, like so many of mine, is firmly rooted in the Nature; the Natural World is a crucial part of Jennie and my lives and spiritual practices. Yet, as the Natural world collapses under the stress of human greed and malice, we find ourselves struggling to stay positive and useful.
Jennie and I have been speaking about documenting the beauty, and perhaps fates, of some of our favorite open spaces in the city. In prior posts I’ve mentioned some of the development threats that face open space here. I’ve been trying to understand how to address these issues in a positive way, to allow myself rage and not give in to hopelessness. I spent much of Saturday thinking about these things.
One of the issues that’s very difficult to keep on the table with the city is the simple truth that the spaces under threat are sacred to many people here, Native and non. It seems we are not allowed to speak about the sacred, as it is not quantifiable in dollar values. Traditions of use going back hundreds of years are also insufficient cause to preserve the land, as is the presence of Native sacred sites and, most likely, burials. Unimportant, too, is the likelihood that development will displace endangered species.
Last night, after a very long day, Jennie sat down and wrote the first in what she plans to be a thorough chronicling of these last undeveloped spaces. She gave it the engaging and evocative title, The Nature of Space. I would like to share it with you.
The Nature of Space
In the last few days, nay, months, nay really years, I have reflected on the nature of space. I count myself as blessed to live in a city that has green spaces all around, including my backyard. In the last year, our mayor, a developer, has been working, with help from elected friends, to erode the green spaces that make our city so special. In the last few months, I have been working with a grass-roots organization (Save Open Space-Burlington) to support our elected officials in becoming more accountable, and to educate the public on what is happening in all our backyards. Its been eye-opening for me, and illuminating, to discover how intrenched our political landscape has become, and how, like one of my colleagues said, that we as a community have become complacent and, well, sheep like (no offense to the lovely sheep out there simply being themselves). I have been simultaneously encouraged and depressed. After three major actions in the last three months, I now know that there is a lot of interest in our human community about open space.