The Sassy Sandpiper: Preserving Your Own Patch of Loveliness
By M.R. WILSON
Do not let the world distract you to the point of losing sight of beauty.
“In a low dishonest age, to raise tomatoes and marigolds is to testify to the loveliness of the world.” —Garrison Keillor
There is much distraction these days to make seeing that loveliness very difficult, even to the point of losing sight of it completely. We must resist missing it, even when parts of the world shudder collectively, loosing avalanches of despair and hopelessness.
In times of uncertainty and upheaval, I’ve always turned to places where the peace and security of the natural order prevail. One of those places is Joe’s Creek Greenway Park.
Another, of course, is my own back yard, where I raise tomatoes and marigolds. Homegrown tomatoes require no explanation. Hardy, colorful and fragrant, marigolds have long inspired me, to the point of creating pages facebook.comand blogs marigoldinit.wordpress.com on social media. They serve as my online scrapbooks.
I freely admit the natural world is my most trusted counselor. No need to fret about “fake news” here: Plants and animals live in a perpetual state of grace. No deception. No hidden agendas. No broken promises. The natural world listens and does not judge. Nature offers beauty, solitude, sustenance, and even occasionally, humor. Squirrels come to mind.
Never have I felt anxiety-induced chest pangs while “playing in the dirt,” tending my flowers and crops. Strength is to be found there, strength to resist the impulse to give up and give in to that increasingly low and dishonest “other” world; strength to resist its agenda to pull you down and rip out the best in you.
Yes, “resistance” has become a buzzword of late, but it really is what Garrison Keillor, Gandhi, and Jesus of Nazareth were talking about. Let that sink in, if you please. We’re into real power here. Personal power.
You know the old saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” You may thank French journalist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr for that gem. Regardless of age, marital status, political affiliation, gender identity, social standing or financial circumstances, everyone always wants and needs basically the same things, despite overarching changes brought about by presidential elections and other natural disasters. On a cold winter’s day, a homeless person with no money in his pocket still craves a hot cup of coffee. There’s a movement afoot called “suspended coffee” and it doesn’t involve brewing mechanisms floating in midair. It’s the practice of ordering for yourself, and buying a cup or two for someone on down the line.
Many acts of resistance that preserve your own patch of loveliness are what used to be known (and still are) as “getting involved,” “doing the right thing,” “being a good citizen,” and “exercising your civil rights.” Fast forward to 2017 and these actions may have more chutzpah. You can decide; everything makes a difference.
Vow to resist and testify to the loveliness of the world. Your world. Your way.
It beats burning your bra or draft card.
Columns | The Sassy Sandpiper | M.R. Wilson | Nature | TB Reporter
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