We have unwanted guests. I take up a machete and mercilessly hack, stomp, and yank the impossibly fast-growing bamboo stalks, young and old, that run rampant across our property. How many hours we’ve devoted to keeping nature at bay! Cattails, algal blooms, crabgrass, insidious briars that twine and strangle and grab. If we let up, we’ll be overrun. Only consider the towering, jungled heaps that pepper the landscape of Central America. I’ve seen them in Belize. “Mayan ruins are under there, but there’s no money for the excavations,” said our guide.
I pause to rub the scratches on my forearms, wipe the sweat from my face. Hmm. Who is the guest here? Who is the pest? Who’s in charge here? If ever the world made itself clear, it is now. Not just when winter decides to visit spring, or when Nature buries civilizations, healing past wounds inflicted by our species. A virulent virus is scourging the globe. Nature provided it; we disseminate it, authors of our own destruction. Our sense of superiority here is an illusion. Humans have overstepped their boundaries, overpresumed, taken the earth’s offerings as entitlements rather than gifts, forgotten to share.
The Earth, Air B&B to a host of guests through the millennia, has the power to evict us at will. We’ve been here for less than a half of one percent of its years in business. If we want to stay here, we’ve got to change our ways. Otherwise, we will be the ones hacked, stomped, and yanked away. Nature is very patient.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 256: 257 words, TOTAL = 42,527; 17,473 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is an award-winning author, poet, and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her children, grandchildren, and granddogs.