Man is the tool of the Creator and creation. Man can help nature do what would otherwise take many years. Man belongs to the earth and the earth belongs to man. -- Coyote Thunder, in Tom Brown's "Grandfather".
Since today is National Arbor Day, I thought we should hear from a tree. Okay, it's not really a tree speaking, it's a story of a dream and a lesson that Tom Brown's "Grandfather" experienced. I am, of course, paraphrasing to condense it, but it really is a wonderful read; I hope you take the time to do so.
Grandfather fell asleep under a very large, old tree. He had a nightmare that a horde of people came to destroy the tree. Nothing Grandfather did could stop the onslaught. Eventually the tree died in agony.
When Grandfather awoke screaming, he was relieved to see the tree still strong and healthy. He did begin to wonder if he truly was any better than the hordes. True, he did have reverence for the tree, and all living things, but he still depended on killing things for his survival.
One of his elders, Coyote Thunder, came to Grandfather and knew what was wrong without Grandfather having to explain. He took Grandfather to a remote mountain gorge. As they walked silently through it, Grandfather noticed that on one side of the stream, the forest was strong and healthy, but on the other side, the trees were twisted and diseased. He could see no reason why the two sides could be so different. Finally, seeing Grandfather's perplexed look, Coyote Thunder explained that he was the difference. He took care of the strong, healthy forest, even as he fulfilled his needs. The key was that he always considered what the forest needed first. Then he only took what was a hindrance to the forest.
No matter whether we are in a forest, a garden, or anywhere else, learning to give as we take, considering the needs of everything as well as our own, will help us regenerate the world so we can all continue on the Long Ascent.