Sanctuary for Humanity

2/13/2011—Nature Connection: Who shares the land with you?

Today the 70 degree weather and tease of spring has brought the two-leggeds out in full force. The moment I stepped out my front door I was bombarded by the sounds of human busyness. At the end of the short street directly in front of my home, I see that someone has purchased the bank-owned home and is cutting planks for a new hardwood floor. The high-pitched buzz of the saw that punctuates this scene is oddly comforting—as is the whirring sound of the little pink battery-operated car being cautiously navigated by the three-year-old girl a few doors down. Her parents walk behind her, giving her words of encouragement and direction. Other neighbors are tinkering in their garages.

I sit for awhile and search for signs of beings other than the two-leggeds. Other than the occasional flurry of chirping from unseen trees in the distance and the crow of a roster from a nearby farm, I can find no sign of other life. I walk down the driveway and notice persistent grasses and weeds that have taken residence in the seams of the cement. My urge to pull them out is strong, but I force myself to just focus on this scene. I scan the edges of the lawn area and the flower beds, but I do not spot any bugs, ants, or other little critters. Perhaps it is a little too early in the season for them since this is a rather strange occurrence of warm weather in the middle of our winter.

Winter has kept this suburban landscape in a holding pattern. The Japanese Maple and the two Chinese pistache trees in my yard are still barren—no buds—but I wonder if this week of warm weather will urge them to sprout. I am eager to see how much bigger they have grown since last year. The carefully pruned shrubs look as though they were just pruned, but this was almost four months ago. The lawn is not very green anymore, despite the frequent rains. I will need to fertilize. My next door neighbor’s weeds are creeping into my river rock edging. Interesting how my mind constantly wanders to the tasks of maintaining this landscape in front of me. How differently I feel about nature that is not at my doorstep. I can more fully appreciate the wild and tangled when it is not in my yard.

From the personal journal of Deveron Long © 2011