Maybe it comes from having grown up during the relatively apocalyptic 1960s, with the Viet Nam war, numerous assassinations, riots every summer, and our first cultural awareness of the limits to growth and ecological decay. Or maybe it comes from having read The Population Bomb at an impressionable 11 years old.
But for whatever reason, I’ve always had little or no sense of the future. I’ve never been good at multi-year plans, like saving to own a home or for retirement.
So it was that at 54, when I planted my first tree as part of a master forester class, that I first had a genuine sense of the future, that I had done something that would definitely leave the world a little better off than I found it. (Well, to be honest, the tree I planted has most likely been eaten by mountain beavers, but work with me here.)
This action helped me understand the truth behind the saying that we don’t inherit the world from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. This isn’t just a clever turn of phrase, but I think demonstrates the very real nature of succession and life on the planet.
In the act of planting that tree, I felt like I had paid on the loan of the planet from the future.
Note: I’m going to be asking myself “why restoration?” periodically, and trying to come up with different answers, as I prepare for the senior symposium for Antioch U.
Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.