Report From PIA – September 17
Today I knew that the majority of my day would be spent outside of the garden. I had a zillion errands to run, and some deadlines to meet, so I knew that a great deal of time was going to be spent in the car and at the computer. Some days are like that.
But since my mantra for this Report From PIA is one of Barry Commoner’s Four Laws of Ecology, “Everything is connected to everything else”, I decided to dedicate this day to connectedness.
How things are linked is easy to see in the garden. Predators and pray, live plants/dead plants/compost – the circle of life is clear in the natural world. But how are my errands to the post office, Staples, the bank, and the gym connected to my garden, for example?
It’s amazing to me that when we ask for something, and keep your minds and hearts open, how we often get an answer…even when that reply isn’t what we might have hoped for.
Here’s what happened: I was driving to Staples, and needed to make a left hand turn against on-going traffic. I waited, apparently, a beat too long to let the oncoming cars go by, and the person behind me laid on the horn, hard and long. “Yikes!” I thought, “this person has a short fuse!”.
Entering the Staples parking lot, I turned down and aisle and turned on my signal, showing my intention to turn into a particular parking place. An SUV whipped into the same aisle and without slowing down, pulled into the space I where I was intending to park. I grumbled and swore, and found a space further away from the store.
Next I went to T.J. Max to look for a dress to wear to a wedding. Amazing! I actually found something that fit and wasn’t too expensive! Walking into the line leading to the checkout counter, I noticed that there was only one clerk at a register. Since there were only two people ahead of me, I felt confident that I wouldn’t be late for my one appointment of the day.
Had I been able to proceed in the order of that line, this would have been true. But a woman with a return came up to the cash registers to my left, avoiding the line, and when the next in the queue was ready to pay, this person cut in and proceeded to return her former purchase. I seethed. I was trying to make it to my meeting, and now I would likely be late!
That’s when it dawned on me. I’d asked for a day of connectedness, and here it was, like it or not. All of these encounters, the person who wanted me to be faster through the intersection, the driver of the SUV who sped into my spot in the parking lot, and the woman returning her purchase, all wanted to go and take care of their business right now. Just like me.
We all think that we’re special, that our concerns and schedules are unique. We all want to take care of business, and we think that our concerns supersede those of others around us. We are exactly alike.
In and out of the garden Barry Commoner was right: “Everything is connected to everything else.”