“Nature is, above all, profligate. Don’t believe them when they tell you how economical and thrifty nature is, whose leaves return to the soil. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to leave them on the tree in the first place?
It is a good thing I wasn’t assigned the role of Designer because all would have gone awry in my dedication to resource management, efficiency and creating less waste. There would be imposed limitations on earth, wind and rain storms. No wildfires or natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes and tornadoes. To avoid having to blow around, rake, pick up and compost those fallen autumn leaves, all trees would be evergreens, needles long-lasting for decades. There would be fewer insect species, in particular wasps, fleas, chiggers, bed bugs, mosquitoes and flies. Fewer rodents, viruses, toxic bacteria and pesky parasites. The list is endless: things would be different in my Thrifty Design Of All Things Natural.
But of course the balance of living and dying things would then be disturbed and off kilter.
Rather than worry about the wastefulness, I should revel in the abundance as I watch death recreate itself to life again. Nature has built-in redundancy, teems with remarkable inefficiency and overwhelms with extravagance. As just another collection of cells with similar profligacy, I can’t say much and better not complain. Thank goodness for the redundancy and extravagance found in my own body, from the over supply of nasal mucus during my upper respiratory infection helping me shed viral particles, to the pairing of many organs and parts allowing me a usable spare in case of system failure.
Sometimes cheaper costs more. Sometimes extravagance is intentional and rational.
Clearly things are meant to be as they are.
If I am ever in doubt, I can simply look out at the leaf-carpeted front yard…or in the mirror.
Then I will remember and know.
“So let us go on, cheerfully enough, this and every crisping day,
though the sun be swinging east, and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.”
~Mary Oliver from Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness