The Slip


Sometimes the best way to get a handle on understanding a topic, such as Soil Erosion and Soil Quality, is to go to a higher level plane of thought and reflect upon it. For centuries poetry has served this purpose. I think the following poem deserves attention because with all the is happening in the world right now; in Haiti, in the hardwood forests of Argentina, to Portland's ivy overtaking Forest Park and the horrible oil spill off the Gulf Coast, this poem brings some sort of hope in all the catastrophes of man and nature.

The Slip- by Wendell Berry

The river takes the land, and leaves nothing.
Where the great slip gave way in the bank
and an acre disappeared, all human plans
dissolve. An awful clarification occurs
where a place was. Its memory breaks
from what is known now, begins to drift.
Where cattle grazed and trees stood, emptiness
widens the air for birdflight, wind, and rain.
As before the beginning, nothing is there.
Human wrong is in the cause, human
ruins in the effect- but no matter;
all will be lost, no matter the reason.
Nothing, having arrived, will stay.
The earth, even, is like a flower, so soon
passeth it away. And yet this nothing
is the seed of all- the clear eye
of Heaven, where all the worlds appear.
Where the imperfect has departed, the perfect
begins its struggle to return. The good gift
begins again its descent. The maker moves
in the unmade, stirring the water until
it clouds, dark beneath the surface,
stirring and darkening the soul until pain
perceives new possibility. There is nothing
to do but learn and wait, return to work
on what remains. Seed will sprout in the scar.
Though death is in the healing, it will heal.

Perhaps there is a prescription for healing, even in death. Endings can become beginnings. With the raging forest fire and charred remains comes new growth. Sometimes through struggle we unite for a common good that benefits our community and our world. You can get involved in your own community, right where you are. Please look at our calendar of events and choose one. This weekend will be nice weather, so why not get out and spend an hour volunteering to pull invasive ivy from trees in a local area park, or plant your own garden, grow your own vegetables or plant a tree. Your participation makes a difference, and if we all do a small part that equals a large whole. Thank you for reading EcoMerge blog and be sure to visit our website.

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