Monday, May 9, 2011

Living in Harmony with Nature

This posting is dedicated to my good friend, Steve V. (aka, "The Pirate") who is a tireless warrior determined to protect the environment.

If you've read my blog for very long, you've probably learned that I love the outdoors. I consider myself a naturalist. I believe that there is a natural rhythm in life, and if we just learn to live in harmony with nature, life is better. I'm probably in the minority, though. Most people today believe in "drill, baby, drill", it seems.

Now, let me be clear about this. I don't want to live a primitive lifestyle. I do enjoy my creature comforts. I do like to keep cool in summer and warm in winter. But that doesn't mean we have to surrender our souls.

As a child, I happened along at a pretty good time. All the houses I lived in had indoor plumbing -- at least, as far back as I can remember. And Dad was a big fan of air conditioning. We moved quite a few times when I was a child, for Dad was moving up through the ranks of public education, from teacher to principal to superintendent. And as we moved, Dad took personal charge of 2 things: the window units (air conditioners) we had accumlated over the years and the TV antenna.

Both my paternal and my maternal sets of grandparents, though, did not enjoy these creature comforts. Much of my youth was spent visiting my maternal grandmother in the small Freestone County community of Kirvin as well as my paternal grandparents near Point Enterprise in Limestone County. Neither household enjoyed the luxury of indoor plumbing. We drew water from a well, and we took our baths in a number 2 washtub.

#2 washtub
 When nature called, we hustled out back to the outhouse.
My maternal grandmother was rather well-to-do for her neighborhood, so she had a 2-holer:

2-hole privy
Now, this wasn't my normal lifestyle. The houses we lived in had modern plumbing and modern bathroom facilities. But I'm grateful that I experienced an older way of life. It has helped to ground me, so to speak. I believe it has helped to make me a bit more humble, a bit more thankful, and it helped put me in touch with certain basics of life.

Today, there are certain basics of life I still try to adhere to. In most years, I do all I can to grow the vegetables I eat, and now that I'm retired, I plan on a large garden as soon as we get in our new home and I can get the garden area prepared (and this may not be until Spring 2012). Donna and I take our vegetable scraps and compost them, and we do the same with the grass clippings I accumulate whenever I mow the yard. I do not use chemicals on our lawn. To control weeds, I prefer to use corn gluten or other natural methods rather than harmful pesticides. We recycle aluminum, steel cans, paper, plastic, glass, and anything else we can.

In essence, we strive to live in harmony with nature. We only have 1 Mother Earth. If we take care of it, then it will continue to provide us with the food we need to sustain ourselves.

To learn more about living in harmony with nature, visit your local library and peruse the latest edition of The Mother Earth News. You may find it so interesting that you subscribe to it.

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