a tree grows in the barn’s skeleton
In my dreams, I envision a place. . . A place where the new grows inside the shell of the old – by design and by intention. A place where we can acknowledge that not all we have built in fact – or still – serves us as initially intended. Or remains necessary. Or, as in the case of this old barn, can or should be resurrected.
We have used so much of our natural resources in service to overcoming or harnessing nature to our own ends. But what could we learn from the return to what was here in the beginning? Trees, like barns, can offer shelter. Like barns, they can house a variety of life. Unlike barns, they do not require human intervention to serve those functions. And in addition, they provide us with life-giving oxygen in exchange for the CO2 we exhale.
With a win-win-win like that, who needs more buildings? Or, to extend the metaphor to a broader systems thought: is bigger, more, and continuing on a pre-established trajectory necessarily best, right or healthy for us, for the planet?
In my dreams, I envision a place. A place where we have the vision to let what no longer serves, disintegrate. Where we allow what is natural and original to flourish. Where we can distinguish between what we need and what human ego pushes us toward just because we can. A place that honors the wisdom of earth and living with mutual respect. Because we need to support that place before our entire beautiful earth becomes lost to human greed, manipulation and myopic vision.
In my dream, we recognize, as poet Wendell Berry so eloquently states in ‘The Wild Geese,’ And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.