“The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your actions will be. ” Katherine Mansfield


There are many types of love including sisterly love, motherly love, and the love we have for our companion in life.
There is also the kind of love we have for our furry family members. And for me, there is also a love for the Land, for Mother Earth.

Each type of love comes with a different set of circumstances. There are societal rules for how a mother should act with her children and how a sister should relate towards another sister, societal rules passed down for generations, age-old guidance regarding what is expected within any particular relationship.

Regarding our love for the Planet, are there similar conditions or rules in place for mankind to follow? Yes. To get to the heart of the matter, I propose that we weigh such love against other relationships we value in our lives.

In the mindset of human relationship terms, you cannot love someone, in this case Gaia or Mother Earth, if there is an over-abiding need to control. How can we say that we truly love and/or honor Nature if un-natural rules are in set into place within this fundamental relationship, including unreasonable goals or demands that put us at odds with our environment and the Natural Laws at work in our world?
Remember, Nature is chaotic by design.

This overall philosophy can apply to how we manage our backyard landscaping, but it can also be expanded to ideas underscoring the macro-management of our parks, lakes/rivers, wilderness areas, coastlines and oceans.

A couple of years ago, my companion and I decided to not chop down the 4-acres bordering where we lived; we decided to take a “wait and see” attitude regarding what nature would do with such a massive “lawn”.

Much to our delight, we discovered many species of flowers that we had no idea existed because of the previous, precise approach to the cutting and maintenance of the lawn and overall landscape.

Many beneficial herbs manifested, too….for our own home remedies; these medicinal herbs also benefited the many animals and insects that made themselves home there.

The resulting mini-wilderness-area was not a popular spectacle for our neighbors; frankly, they saw “an unruly mess” vs. the natural beauty our eyes beheld….Yep, beauty truly is in “the eye of the beholder”.

That said, Nature is messy; it’s not a perfectly-controlled or simplified system. A downright vicious competition is maintained within the plant genus that I understand all too well. For example, the milk thistle, a plant that can be used as a wonderful tea for cleansing the liver, also attracts an over-abundance of grasshoppers. Yes, nature can be brutal…the grasshoppers love milk thistle yet they inevitably end up dying within it’s sharp thorns.

Nature, left to its own devices, never fails to provide an abundance of Cosmic Irony along with breathtaking Beauty.

“In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.”
Charles A. Lindbergh

Balance. To the controlled eye of a landscaper, my lawn looks chaotic and messy—but I see the Sacred Design hidden within the deceptive outward appearance. Sometimes, in order to see past the camouflage worn by Mother Nature, we must invoke the vision of Spirit.

While walking through the impressively tall grasses and weeds, I often find birds’ nests, secure in the cover that was not there before. The preying mantis, although hard to spot, can sometimes be found on the tops of wild sage; this graceful insect seeks nourishment under the cover the thick brush.

Deer find the soft grasses to be safe places to bed down and sleep safely. Skunks happily roam within the dense underbrush; it provides the cover needed for them to find and eat the small rodents nested beneath the yellowed grasses. Black-eyed Susans, cropping up through the swaying weeds, are embraced in clover, nourishment that provides sweet feed to certain critters.

Our land is filled with an abundance of life of various kinds and we consciously provide a refuge for those animals who lost their habitat due to the short-sighted clear-cutting we witness all around us.

We feel blessed to have been able to support a delicate balance on this sacred land, the kind of balance that is often thrown off-kilter by the standard mono-cropping of most farmed fields in our area.

As much as my neighbors would like to see a finely manicured lawn with rolling hills of green, we find true joy in nurturing wildlife and we do so in a manner of acceptance of Nature’s rules.

We nurture all creatures great and small who come here, both seen and unseen. This is our truth and our hearts rejoice in what we know and feel is true unconditional love.

“We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.” William Hazlitt