Tuesday, June 14, 2011
This feather has drifted lightly around the top of our living room bookcase for at least a year. I found it in the field behind our apartment one day last spring. Today I think I'll take it back outside and return it to nature.
I've never felt comfortable throwing away natural items. In years past I've found seashells or beach pebbles among my belongings, for example, that I decided I really didn't want anymore. But I couldn't just put them in the trash. I had to take them back to the beach and return them to the waves. It just seems appropriate to allow them to become sand.
I have some large shells that I've owned for many years -- probably since I was about 13, when I found them on the beach at Sanibel Island. Now I'm wondering what to do with them. Do I take them all the way to England? Or should I return them to Florida and throw them back in the Gulf of Mexico, where they belong?
This compulsion is all about my sense of order. Everything has its place -- the place where it was created, the place it dies and returns to the earth. All the travels in between don't change that order. And throwing a rock or shell or feather in the trash, along with the coffee grounds and the Chinese-food containers, seems to violate nature.