Blossoms and Parking Lots

Mother Nature and Asphalt Parking Lot

The trees are blooming now and we’ve had so much water this winter, they are quite beautiful. When I’m walking Max, whose 11-yr-old old hips are really starting to bother him, I see the flowering trees and bushes planted between the sidewalks and the asphalt parking lot–and every day, I’m struck by the difference between them. I’ve read the histories of people trying to travel where there were no roads or who emptied buckets of human waste out the windows into the street, so I do understand the need for roads and parking lots and an effective system of dispensing human waste. Still, the living things–trees and flowers and birds in our neighborhood—have a beautiful glow around them, and the sidewalks and parking lots are dead.

I haven’t been to Europe, but I know people love to visit there, and a lot of it is probably the amazing stone architecture and cobblestone roads, which aren’t dead. There is love in creating beautiful places, though the best we can do is to mimic nature. I think being an earth-centered architect, in buildings or landscaping, could be an incredible opportunity to spend one’s life planting beauty-seeds, making our places the best they can be and in harmony with nature.

As I’ve aged I’ve understood less why anyone would look at the Earth simply as a supplier of resources to be extracted and used for making money. Some people are really good at making money and it seems to them that this is their life purpose. But it is a disconnected-from-their own-centers kind of purpose—it’s not real and does not serve them well. What a wonderful world it would be if we worked cooperatively with Mother Earth, giving thanks and living love-filled lives.