29 Jun Banana Sluggish
“If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture—that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves.”
The Kwis Kwis Trail in the Lewis and Clark NPS boasts a rich, healthy, mossy, well-ventilated forest. Mushrooms, lichens and sweet berries are abundant. As I cut through the thick grass and low-lying shrubs during my first trail maintenance work, I think about the bulldowzed mountains all around the Washington and Oregon region. The history of logging in the Western States is a strong foundation of the early economy. Clear cutting is a tradition that shapes the industry and strong advocates challenge environmentalists to maintain their long standing habits. As a recent implant in the community, I don’t advocate for or against any practice because of my lack of understanding in the matter. The sight of these incomplete landscapes, however, has been truly daunting me. All I can think about as I plow through the grasses with my powerful motorized weed-wacker is — the audacity of humans. The smell of fresh cut spruce buds and Himalayan blackberries surpasses all the fresh grass smells and I don’t deserve to smell them. As a human, I understand how lucky I am to have the power to use the environment to my advantage– but I think we overdo it. I think about how silly it is that we try to groom nature. It is obviously much more powerful than us– and will outgrow the path in a few years if given the chance. We cannot simply sweep up dirt. We cannot keep invading the homes of tiny critters and much needed pollinators for our own aesthetic pleasures. If trails were overrun with old-growth forests and native flora in its natural form maybe we would respect it much more by seeing its true power. Big technology has bred an impudent lack of respect towards natural spaces. When in reality, without them, we cringe at the sounds of a small fawn in the bushes. However naive and exhausted these ideas may be, it’s time that we humble ourselves in the greater scope of the Universe.