I recently re-read Wendell Berry’s 1987 collection, Home Economics. In the essay titled, “Getting Along with Nature,” he writes, “If humans want wildness to be possible, then they have to make it possible. If balance is the ruling principle and a stable balance the goal, then for humans, attaining this goal requires a consciously chosen and deliberately made partnership with nature.”

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Berry goes on to talk about human industry, preservation, “when to stop,” human economy, the wildness of the soil (fertility), the survival of wilderness and more. “I would argue,” he writes, “that we do not need just the great public wildernesses, but millions of small private or semiprivate ones. Every farm should have one; wildernesses can occupy corners of factory grounds and city lots — places where nature is given a free hand, where no human work is done, where people go only as guests. These places function…as sacred groves — places we respect and leave alone, not because we understand well what goes on there, but because we do not.”

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Not only farms, factory grounds or city lots, but every garden, too, if possible, should have space reserved for wilderness, a temenos, margins, wild spots, where wild things can happen.

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