Note to self: pay attention to the road. But the random thoughts…
Driving along, and noticing council workers “trimming” flora that lined the side of the roads. “Trimming” in this instance was in fact a savage cutting down to create a straight short edge ensuring little or none impeded the thoroughfare of pedestrians and vehicles.
This ordinary event occurs regularly and is expected by all and sundry. Life would be so much easier if the plants grow at a pace we want them to, and at similar rate such that the straight edge we so desire remains. Easier? As we desire?
The reality of course is that it doesn’t. Hence with regularity workers are seen tasking with a degree of, I’d imagine, frustration and boredom?
These plants do not grow as we expect them to, their rhythm answers to the drum of nature. They grow free, that is their essence. Each grow at its own pace, that is their nature. Little can be done to manipulate their growth unless humans intervene – a spot of genetic modification, soil improvement; the seemingly endless chemical creativity. Plants do adapt as required of them. This adaptation comes from within, not externally imposed.
And so is human life.
The expectations, the normalisation, the conformity… that “civilised” society demands. The “interventions” – written or practiced norms, spoken or unspoken – which human society exercises to bend us and others to “their” will in the name of order and progress. I guess it is also easier if everyone is the same and predictable? Who defines this collective “their”? What characterizes this collective “their”? Systems and culture are not static nor determinative. They are not all bad, but they must evolve too.
For each of us, the interventions, and the savage cutting down for some, only work to a certain extent and for a certain time. Inevitably, nature reclaims “control”. Adaptation must come from within; it cannot be imposed. What compels human adaptation beyond survival? When we have food and shelter and safety, we then seek meaning that comes from within, which inspires us to connect to the spirit of who we are.
We can only deny our desires, our needs, our calling for so long before something gnaws at us, that unsettled feeling, the dis-ease, the regret, the dissatisfaction, the anger,…
We too, like those plants, cannot grow except to our essential self.
For those who pay attention, the time comes when we must vibrate to the rhythm of our soul.
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