Friday, October 10, 2014

Wild And Clean


Photo courtesy Flickr

The first rains of autumn washed the garden last week. Mostly native plantings were beginning to wheeze in their lively urban context. It doesn’t take much of a shower to float the dust off a leaf’s surface wax. When stronger storms come along in a week or three, they’ll massage small branches back to life, drive dead foliage onto the ground to mulch in place, and revive summer’s odorless soil.

If I were keeping house in a tent, I would not find life in the field cleaner than life in town. A minimal roof, floor, and walls, though, make it clear that the woods and beach as they existed before Euro-american development are close to spotless. Little exists that does not clean itself in the short cycles of weather, annual growth, and organic decay.

An adequate water supply, running or not, solid fuel and small efficient hearth, decent privy, daylighting, and passive solar are all it takes to sustain respectable domestic life-as long as income is reliable and medical needs guaranteed. It is crowding and pressure on personal time that generate demand for more complicated higher tech facilities.

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