Also in unit 12 of Solo is a natural meadow. Forest defenders i spoke to didn't know what caused this clearing in the trees; it wasn't a cut and there were no signs of recent fire. Perhaps the soil is rockier there. Whatever its origin, it is beautiful.
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When i first stepped into it, the first thing that struck me was the light and warmth of the sun, which one usually only experiences in small shifting patches in a Cascadian forest. This quality alone makes it a rare place. Another enjoyable distinguishing characteristic of the meadow was the multitude of flowers, many of which i hadn't seen under the forest canopy. This tiny space -- maybe the size of an inner Southeast Portland horse block -- was its own ecosystem, tucked into the heart of the forest and thriving in a different way than everything around it.
i took off my heavy hiking shoes so as not to smash anything and picked my way carefully across in bare feet, enjoying the magic of the spot. i looked around the edge of the clearing and saw only two trees marked with orange to be "saved". If this unit of Solo is cut, the meadow will be gone. That idea makes me sad and angry.
As a natural clearing, this spot will probably be a great place for the lumber companies to pile logs or keep equipment, and all these flowers be smashed.
The sickness of human consciousness that encourages such reckless destruction disgusts me.
i don't believe it's natural for humans to behave this way. i believe most people have become trapped in a repressive system that denies them awareness of the importance of beauty, and drives them to destroy it.
And though this system of repression is most visible in the wretched institutions of civilization -- governments, corporations, organized religions -- the deepest repression is that which occurs within. The ego, fearful in its delicacy, latches onto intellect and denies the heart's intuition and the mind's real eye. The soul is slowly smothered within an increasingly empty corporeal body and light leaves the eyes. This internal death is then repeated at the macro level -- through the acts and ignorances of billions -- and the result is a murder where the victim is the planet. Look at the eyes of mall shoppers, drivers stuck in traffic, or overworked laborers and you will see this deadness in the face. It is sad; people are trapped. They have trapped themselves and are afraid of escaping. Corporate news and entertainment media stoke these fears and paralyze whole populations. It's a sick system full of sick people.
The crisis facing the earth takes physical form, but comes from consciousness. To save the world we must save our souls, and the first step is to admit that we have them. The scientific method, with its cold detachment, will never help us there. Instead, we must act and live from faith.
In an uncut living forest -- in a place untrammeled by "civilization" and its lies -- this truth is self-evident. That's why we must save these places -- because experiencing them can inspire us to save ourselves. Only then can we save anything else.