How Sex, Politics, Money and Religion are Killing Planet Earth

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Dividends of Nature

Man and beast, plant and soil lived on and with each other in mutual toleration, to the mutual benefit of all…[but] the new overlords did not understand this. They did not include soil, plants or birds in their ideas of mutuality. The dividends of such a balanced economy were too modest. – Aldo Leopold in “A Sand County Almanac”

Dearest and long-suffering Readers,
You may have noticed my negligence in blogging lately. I have once again decided to subject myself to a continuing education at Harvard, two classes this time, which is taking up an inordinate amount of my time. When it rains it pours, and I have also found myself gainfully employed with real work in the past few weeks, an anomaly for an environmental scientist in the most-recent, budget-cutting frenzy of political shortsightedness. Hopefully, I will soon have some other exciting news to share with you, but I am keeping that under my hat for now.

Nevertheless, I will attempt to keep posting as regularly as possible. One never knows when the muse will decide to get active, but I will try to keep exercising her, lest she get too complacent. In the meantime, I need to nurture her, rather than expect continual productivity without nourishment for her inspirations. Perhaps this is why she remains reclusive in these times of external stresses of the modern world.

Last week, I was in the Bahamas, working and with my nose pointed to the woodland floor and counting floral species as carelessly as if they were mere numbers on a spreadsheet, when my colleague, who was operating the GIS aspect of the project, pointed out a spider to me. The banana spider (Nephila spp.) was a stunning example of the infinite creative capacity and ingenuity of nature. Downwind from the dump, the clever beast had strung her magnificent web across a twenty-foot span between two pine trees in order to capture the inevitable flying insect that might happen by. If not for the observations of my colleague, I would have missed this tiny miracle.

Perhaps she was a sentinel sent from the cosmos to remind me about what is important in my life. Paying down credit cards is satisfying, but at what cost do we toil for such meaningless purpose?
I hope you all take some time to nourish your own muses this week. Mine should be back on the job soon.

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