Friday, April 04, 2014

Practicing Gratitude and the need to take Action - Signing up for Permaculture Design Course

(I've signed up for a Permaculture Design Course - check out their website for hope for the future)

Sure we tell ourselves stories, rationalize our choices, on a good day with ourselves the heroes. But I can trace a story that goes back to 121-43 Buell street - in grade four or five. When I made a rainforest in a blue tupperware that I wanted to enclose. A perpetual motion machine. I can't remember where the idea came from - maybe skylab or something in the space programme. It could have been Cosmos - I'll check the dates - but I got excited about the idea of a homeostatic (not my words at the time) self-contained system. Life everlasting. Those are Verna's words, speaking of her progeny...

The maple tree I picked out of Hampton park and planted in the tupperware is today in my parents' backyard. Taller than the house. The tupperware, knowing Dad, might still be kicking around - I'll adopt it if it is...but the story is:

I love life.

The process of life - and early today I got to thinking: there are two tendencies in the Universe - Order and Chaos. Life arises when the raw elements of the Universe combine, randomly, in ways that decrease Chaos and capture energy. Molecules arise because two hydrogen and one oxygen atoms are more stable together than apart. And the properties of chemistry - how molecules interact - emerge from this greater stability.

2H2 + O2 = 2H2O + ENERGY (572 kJ)

[origin of life animations]

And so - completely just because - because elements combine into molecules, and molecules combine into polymers, or minerals, and polymers and minerals and molecules and atom interact in ways that increase order and release energy, to the point where collections of inorganic materials find themselves contained in micro-environments that make their continued replication, locomotion, reactivity, [the other defining characteristics of life] inevitable.

Which leads to us who are able to stand slack jawed at the wonder of it all. At least for a few hundred thousand years until we start teasing out how some of it all works, and we realize our responsibility to choose. Do we create Order or wallow in Chaos?

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