On the Move

I didn’t get far
down the Gambles Mill Trail when we were traversing there during our Geography
class last Thursday. Once I made it past the initial area that appears to be
“The Road Less Traveled By” from Frost’s poem, I stumbled across something I
had been wondering about for almost a year, The University of Richmond’s
Community Garden. Naturally I was rather pleased at spontaneously finding such
a treasure and immediately my thoughts turned to all the delicious
possibilities that were now open to me and the rest of the world because of
this discovery. A community garden, being a garden for the community, promotes
friendship and general neighborliness between members of a community by
providing them with a common activity, gardening. This idea is common all over
the world from the suburbs of Richmond to rural Nigeria to urban Boston. Food,
flowers, and friends all being things that I love, naturally this sits high in
my admiration.

I realize now, as I did in the moment, that the benefits of said Community
Garden were not meant to be the sole focus of Earth Lodge’s journey into the
wilderness between our facilities center and the golf course belonging to the
Country Club of Richmond.

After exploring the garden for a
bit I sat down in the path to take in the contrast around me. I had behind me
an expansive field of golden grass kept in (almost)perfect condition so that
people in Richmond could come and play golf. To my right was another stretch of
grass, this time brilliantly green, that is meant to be torn up so people in
the Richmond community can sew new seeds where old seeds once were. On my left
were two huge mounds of mulch, which have a specific reason for being there, I
just don’t know what that is yet. But everywhere else, surrounding the path, pushing
through cracks and over fences, was nature undisturbed serving as a natural
boundary between the different purposes of man. We use nature for what we want,
it is an obstruction, it needs to be tamed, it needs to be controlled and
manipulated. Even when this “wilderness” becomes a destination, an escape, or
an object of worship we are still using it for what we want, forgetting that
wilderness cannot be completely controlled. I am reminded of how the characters
in The Lion, The Witch, and The
describe Aslan as being neither safe nor tame, but
being good. Chris McCandless may or may not have understood that nature is
neither safe nor tame, but I do think he understood that it was good, and I do
think it is important for everyone to understand these things.

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One Response to On the Move

  1. lm8nn says:

    It’s much more difficult to take in the surroundings when you’re surrounded by people you love. Something I do remember from our time on the trail last week was enjoying, as I always do,the beauty of finding things made by man in places unexpected. Maybe it is a comfort to me to find some communion with others in places that are wild, or not so wild. Maybe it makes me feel powerful. I think it I mostly find great beauty in the loneliness of these obscure objects hiding in creation. The solar seizmegraph is one such object. The fences the seperate the golf course from the trail also seem purposeless, especially since they only run for a few hundred feet and then end in gaps large enough for waterbuffalo to pass through. The opposite is also true, though. I find the same delight in finding ladybugs in the practice rooms in Booker and seeing our little stream running underneath the commons and past the coal plant.
    Last thursday was an especially lovely day. We had to keep stopping to look at all the flowers that had bloomed months too early. I guess we as humans just appreciate in things that are novel.

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