Gaia

Tools for a New World

Tools are fun, and always handy to have around, like this:

One Retired Okanagan Fruit Farmer Hangs a Hammer Wherever He Thinks He Might Need One

It’s like having ten hands!

Tools are serious. If you start with a chainsaw, and set out to do a little gardening in your retirement, for instance, you might just find yourself having a lot of fun …

Gnomes Showing Off Their Work

The trees went off to a furniture workshop. Then the gnomes had their work cut out for them, for sure. Try growing lettuces in that! Whew.

Humans are often direct like that. Sometimes, though, they are indirect. Tools are a lot like that, too. If you start like this, for example …

Hummingbird on a Dead Staghorn Sumac

A moment of intersection between the earth and time, put to use as a great place to sit.

…you can do this …

Nice Tongue Work! (Did you see it? Look real close.)

If the hummingbird were any larger, it wouldn’t live at this intersection of temporal energies.

Tools are like that. They are gifts of the past. They continue the past into the present and allow for all the accumulated work that they represent to be instantly used. They are like bodies, that have evolved over time. Now, if you start like this …

Red Hawthorn Blossoms

Unlike apple blossoms, to which they are so closely related that grafting is possible between the two species, they bloom all at once.

…you can do this …

Red Hawthorn Fruit in its Glory, Beaver Valley

Notice the spikes. Weaponry like that has allowed many a tender asparagus or poplar tree to get a start without becoming deer browse. Kind of the natural equivalent of a fence. (The Grow-Your-Own-and-Share-It kind.)

… and you can also do this…

Hanging Around Outside the Home Thicket in September

This pair of magpies tended a handsome nest in this wild cherry and hawthorn thicket all the long summer through, fifty metres from the road, where there was always the chance of a tasty little bit of hit and run rodent. Thorns are great for this.

… and if you can make a fence that shelters your neighbours along with yourself, then you can even do this…

Black Bear and Two Year-Old Cubs, Beaver Valley

They crossed just thirty metres in front of the dog and I. I diverted the dog by showing him some deer sign, where the deer people had been nibbling at the hawthorns leaning over that fence you see there, allowing the bears to make a clean getaway.

So, that’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking that what you get in the end is determined by what you start with. I also think it would be a mistake to say that with humans conclusions are quite as predictable as all that. Human intersections with time also involve intention, and that can sometimes make a huge difference. For instance, I think that even if you start like this …

A Little Backyard Gardening Tool Set Aside for An Afternoon After Being Used for a Week to Tear Around and Move Boulders Like They Were Tooth Fillings

Don’t move to the rural suburbs for peace and quiet, that’s all I can say!

… you can still get there. Human languages might be cast out of steel sometimes, but the humans who use them can still use them flexibly.

Cornflowers Saved in the Nick of Time

Note the weed-whacked stalks at the plant’s base. Somebody got into the real swing of his machine, yet still managed to stop it before it was completely too late.

I’m holding out some hope for that ability to carry the planet through the coming years.

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