irish at westminster ponds - london, ontario, canada -

Meadowlands Of Democracy

That crooked man with little hands, wants to build a wall to divide and conquer his crooked land, and who among them has the will to stand against him? I understand, sure, democracy is messy, you can lose it all for nothing, or for everything, it is as imperfect as the people allow it to be, or not to be, it always comes down to that, about the many, of getting a say, not to grant the petty desires of just a few.

With its deep roots back to Greece, is still in practice globally new and fragile in spots, as voting is a freedom some still do not have, but also a right not all of our ancestors knew, sometimes going back just decades, and well into the distant past of peasants and slaves, servants of their lord or master. And so democracy grew, from revolution to revolution, across the earth it spread like seeds of grass and trees and flowers too.

teasel at euston meadow - london, ontario, canada -

Democracy puts the onus on the people, not the powers that be. In theory.

In practice, well, that’s where it gets messy. We are observing today throughout the world a backlash as right-wing ultra-conservative extremist parties take over governments around the world and the movement afoot is in direct relation to worldwide globalization of economies, as once vibrant industries that defined a place have disappeared. Where communities slogged 12 hours days in a mine digging for coal, or off on some rig pumping the product of dinosaurs out of the ground are now left floundering for ways in which to feed their families. Where some countries, counties, cities are flourishing in a shiny new world of technologies unheard of just a decade ago, others are watching jobs move offshore or south to Mexico, where operating costs are lower. We are at a crossroads.

It is not just here, or there, it is everywhere. Trump is not the problem, he is a symptom of the fear of this change that has spread across the globe, and in many ways, unstoppable, try as some might to drag us all back, the tide is turning, inevitable. Whichever way this goes we are in for a bumpy ride ahead, as some remain shackled to the past.

horses in a meadow in grey county ontario -

Reliance on finite resources for energy is akin to sticking your head in the sand as the costs of extraction rise, as the cost to the populace paid to work in those industries rise, as healthcare costs rise because of unsafe and environmentally damaging conditions, as the earth does her best to protect the air, the waters, and the trees, her lungs, we are living in unsustainable ways, costly ways, inefficient ways, and it could cost us everything.

“If diversity is a source of wonder, its opposite – the ubiquitous condensation to some blandly amorphous and singulary generic modern culture that takes for granted an impoverished environment – is a source of dismay. There is, indeed, a fire burning over the earth, taking with it plants and animals, cultures, languages, ancient skills and visionary wisdom. Quelling this flame, and re-inventing the poetry of diversity is perhaps the most important challenge of our times.” 

― Wade Davis, The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World

The right-wing, ultra-conservative extremists can deny this in the comforts of their suburban lives with their green and perfectly manicured lawns, they can balk at sciences they do not understand, they can be snowed by those with an invested interest in, so-called, happier times, but science doesn’t give a damn what they believe.

Within this environment, with great and mysterious change on the horizon, fear is not an irrational response. I do get that. I see it with my own eyes all around me, even in my generation that bridges the boomers from the rest of the pack that comes after, those who will have to live with this mess.

You know, I’ve always thought it was better to leave something better than how you found it, not worse.

One of the reasons Russia keeps popping up is they have fashioned themselves the ultra-conservative extremist dream, you know. Of authoritarian leadership, dictating to the many, even with a show of democratic elections, kind of, manipulating the populous to their ideology, or else. This brazen leadership can be very appealing, soothing even, to those who have watched so much disappear, those that still cling to the promised lands of the past.

Photo by FWStudio on

Dictatorships are monocultures, monolithic, with a tiny few at the top reaping the power for profit, and the rest at their feet, beneath their protective shadow. Monocultures over time become unsustainable and weaken everything around them as they take more than they provide, totalitarian, prone to disease, and by blocking out everything else they slowly suck the resources from their respective environments and wilt and die just when things heat up.

Dictatorships, like monocultures, for instance, let’s say a lawn, have to be sustained by artificial means, and maintenance of these regimes gets costly, and the profits only ever flow up, rarely down to those at their feet. Anything different is considered just weeds, repressed, as the monoculture is the only thing, nothing else can be.

Now as for a meadow or an ecologically diverse lawn, with native grasses as well as foreign, lots of diversity, requiring less water, fertilize themselves, and gives us a glimpse of the beauty of wilder places, inheriting a natural and self-sustaining strength that can stand the test of time. They go with the ebb and flow, surfing along with any changes with a resilence no monoculture can achieve via artificial means.

clover and queen anne's lace - Euston Meadow - london, ontario, canada -

A lawn, a dictator, a despot, an artifice, a facade, a crook replacing mere power for natural strength, freedom for false security, misleading them to a promised land of hypocrisy.

Anyway, enough of that for now.

Here are a few more meadows I love to meander through, catching the light and full of possibilities.

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