A natural gift

August 22, 2007

Deer live deep in the forest
surviving on water and grass
stretching out under trees to sleep
how wonderful having no cares
but tie them up in a fancy hall
and give them the richest of foods
they won’t eat a bite all day
and soon their loveliness fades

Chinese poet Han Shan c. 800 AD


It might appear strange to couple the above poem and photo together, but there are two comparisons to be found: appropriate giving and the importance of nature on our emotional, physical and spiritual health.

The best gift we can give anyone, including ourselves, is a natural world left vibrant and healthy for all ages and all species. Whatever is lovely in our life fades a bit each time the earth’s natural heritage is diminished. Nothing can make up for this loss. No fancy home, no gourmet meals, no nothing. We, like the deer, do best in wild nature. Take us away from nature and we slowly, imperceptibly fade away, shopping mall by shopping mall.

Baby Tama is having a New Zealand flowering Pahutakawa planted in her honour with the baby’s placenta placed first in the hole. The little girl standing, Arora, had a similar tree planted just behind this one three years ago. These children are directly bearing witness to the supreme importance of making a physical and spiritual connection to the living earth.

Along with each tree’s special birth significance, the parents Janine and Hape wanted to plant these trees here at Windgrove because, for them, the land itself is special. And why is it so special? I strongly suspect that it is the many people over the years who have contributed in so many ways that have made Windgrove what it is today. The $1,000 that went into the fencing of last week’s blog was donation money from people in America, Australia and Korea. Other people have given of their time to help build gardens and maintain the grounds. Today, a visiting person left behind a candle and three of her chooks’ eggs. Delicious.

A greedy man who piles up wealth
is like an owl who loves her chicks
the chicks grow up and eat their mother
wealth eventually swallows its owner
spread it around and blessings grow
hoard it and disaster arises
no wealth no disaster
flap your wings in the blue

Han Shan (known as Cold Mountain)

Footnote to poem. The belief that owl chicks eat their mother is an ancient myth in China.

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