What is it that creates our perceptions, our opinions of beauty?
Walking in town yesterday, I smiled at the scene. After sunset, the dim light still held a pink hue and only the robins called from trees. The smell of cut grass lingered after all lawnmower engines had ceased. They’d been replaced with singular notes from an untuned piano, which spilled from the open door of the church hall.
My smile broadened as I passed a homeowner working in his flowerbeds long into the evening. How good it was to be able to garden again! All was well, until he picked up a five gallon jug of commercial “something-ecide” and began scattering the granules all over the garden.
I couldn’t judge him; he was only doing what he had been taught to do. He will not see the rain wash the chemicals to the aquifer. He cannot know which molecules will enter his lungs as he takes in the cool evening air. All he will see are the resounding results; his flowerbed will probably be a source of much pride.
But why? Why has the cherished task of putting our hands in the soil turned into a need to command control? Why on the home front is wild not as scenic as tamed? Since the days when we Europeans first came to this country, what makes us regard our nature-based creations higher than the ones nature creates on her own?