The Committee

The CommitteeWe have a new addition to our household. A plant. Or rather a collection of them nestled in a pot together.

I'm trying my best to keep them alive.

This plant makes me vaguely uneasy. Plastic ones are just objects, to be arranged at my whim. But a real plant is fragile and sensitive. I worry that it’s judging me as inadequate. That it knows my houseplant history. I worry that I have some bad plant karma.

As a child, I hated the family yard. On sunny weekends, the whole family would go outside and mow, rake and water with religious zeal. Grubs were the enemy. There were brown patches that had to be thatched with a rake. I couldn’t wait to go back inside, away from this hot, impossible task. The yard was all about endless work.

My uneasy relationship with the outdoors has continued throughout my life. But recently, I’ve had a change in perspective, thanks to al little book called  The One-Straw Revolution  written by a Japanese rice farmer.

It's not really about farming but about people.. Where do we fit into the world of growing things? The author makes the claim that farming (which is way beyond yardwork) doesn’t have to be about endless struggle. He calls his method “do nothing” farming. “Nature can do the work that we have unnecessarily taken upon ourselves”.

The message is that maybe we shouldn't be interfering so much with the way things are going outdoors. And that we don't have a clue what we are really doing.  

Hmmmm. In the meantime, it’s been 2 weeks since the Committee arrived and they are still alive!