Do Nothing for a Change


Rosemary blossoms are among my favorite flowers. Small and whimsical, clown-like really, they must attract insects with a sense of humor. The white Satsuma plum blossoms are far more formal. The serious insects pollinate them. You’d want to put on your Sunday best before landing on them.


This morning I started reading The One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka 福岡正信. He is well known for advocating farming methods that rely on working with nature. He is also known for his insights on life. I enjoyed this tidbit near the beginning of the book:

“If you think there is life on this side, then death is on the other. If you want to get rid of the idea of death, then you should rid yourself of the notion that there is life on this side. Life and death are one.”

I’m reading an English translation of the book this morning, and am looking forward to getting my hands on the original Japanese version so I can read his words as he wrote them.

His take on modern agriculture made me laugh. It is so true about much of modern life. People seem to be busier than ever, running around in circles faster than their legs can carry them, or sitting in traffic, getting mad at not getting to somewhere they’ll want to leave soon after arriving.

The usual way to go about developing a method is to ask “How about trying this?” or “How about trying that?” bringing in a variety of techniques one upon the other. This is modern agriculture and it only results in making the farmer busier.
My way was opposite. I was aiming at a pleasant, natural way of farming which results in making the work easier instead of harder. “How about not doing this? How about not doing that?”—that was my way of thinking. I ultimately reached the conclusion that there was no need to plow, no need to apply fertilizer, no need to make compost, no need to use insecticide. When you get right down to it, there are few agricultural practices that are really necessary.
Excerpt From: Masanobu Fukuoka, Larry Korn, Wendell Berry & Frances Moore Lappe. “The One-Straw Revolution.”


It’s a quiet, drizzly morning. Along the wooded driveway, mushrooms are in bloom. I didn’t have to do anything for them to display their beauty. They’re blooming on fallen logs, or gently lifting the decaying leaves of last autumn as they push up out of the soft humus. Do nothing for a change and let nature show you how beautiful it is.


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