I came across this diary entry from a few years ago. It was Thursday 5th April 2012, as it happens…
“-the tax year ends…
Lambing season… Thursday before Easter… trip to Burgh Island… trip to the local dump and recycling centre… volunteer day with folks with their hearts and trowels and fingers in the soil… love of the earth – a falling in love with our earth, harsh bits as well as delicate flowers picked by loving hands…
The empty, neglected, open spaces of the world… the less immediately valuable-enough-to-be-enclosed-quite-yet-spaces…
The road to Burgh empty in places and quiet except for a few sheep sounds… so much of the earth unloved.
The caring by tilling of a little of it, however small, with loving hands – the understanding that every grain of dirt, every well-handled dock root, every carefully printed tax and charges demand, every morsel entering the local dump and recycling centre, is there, ready to be cared for with all sorts of tools held by loving hands…
This caring, this understanding of a whole cosmos of sacredness, of stuff needing care and love, these acts of husbandry are powerful and immense and potent.
Husbandry is humanity. It is the art of caring for patches of earth and all that they hold. It is a tradition in this part of the world.
We English cultures have much to be proud of. As, of course, do ancient cultures everywhere on earth.
Civilisation is the act of bringing into civil law that which is universally and deeply acknowledged to be natural law. We have traditions of legal evolution that are some of the best invented so far in this earth’s story. There are also flaws in our laws.
Our English cultures have a need to atone and to make some amends for the terrible collateral damage our conquest of the earth has incurred. Still incurs.
We sometimes call ourselves English lions, after the huge fierce European cats with whom our ancient ancestors fought and defeated so many thousand years ago. We have proven our courage. Bringing a payment of due respect for the earth into legal law would be a true courageous act of England.
We humans are – have been for quite a long time now – top of the earth’s food chains.
Our self-interested fight for survival – our search for wealth and security – now coincides with the survival of our food chains, our ecologies, which we can follow to all parts of the earth.
We base all our earthly finances ultimately on the collateral of title deeds measuring out parcels of the earth. Bringing a payment of due respect for every square metre of earth we occupy, a literal annual due – a fee simple – a fee, simple enough for us all to understand – into our legally enforced financial systems would be an act England can be proud of.
Shall we together lead the world into a future of wealth and prosperity in our relations with the earth? Shall we together lead the world into a fresh understanding that we are an intimate part of the harsh and flowering soil running through our fingers? The sacred stuff that we and the earth are made of is everywhere around us. It is under our pavements, in these Devon lanes and in city low emission zones. It is in our hearts also. I was once told that courage is the action of following our hearts…”
I have a few more of these entries and I shall be posting them here in the next weeks. Together they form part of a plan that may contribute to a better understanding of what to use as solid ground, foundation stones if you like, in our quest for humanity to take up its part in restoring the thriving nature of life on earth.