Nature Knows No Perfect

Reductionism.  Rob and I have been commenting a lot during discussions in our home about this phenomenon.  It is one we come up against again and again.  One which permaculture seeks to override with its tenet of ‘integrate don’t segregate.’  Our culture often tries to reduce things to their very essences in an attempt to understand them.  Examples would be in our diet (‘fats are bad for you’), healthcare (‘high cholesterol causes heart disease’), consumerism (‘it’s the cheapest price’), or any other number of other approaches to justifying our choices.   But what is lost when we have this ‘tunnel vision’ is that life cannot be reduced to its ingredients.  Just as bread is bread once baked (and even once mixed into dough)  It is only when something is in its wholeness that it can be fully understood.

Our calendar of days must be adjusted for leap year every five years because nature doesn’t operate on mathematical schedules.  Even in music, as you go up by octaves, the notes become slightly ‘off-pitch.’  Modern instruments have been adjusted to accommodate this natural phenomenon, so now when we hear a ‘natural’ scale, it sounds out of tune.  Our minds can’t seem to handle nature, uncertainty, and the possibility that we can’t get it just right.

I have veins of perfectionism that run deep…ingrained from years of engaging with the traditional education system.  I am afraid of messing up, and this fear comes up more than I would like.  I am trying to accept this emotion, by acknowledging it but not investing in it.  If I can embrace the fear, it won’t have to shout quite so loud to be heard above the clatter of my life.  I am trying to understand it as part of my wholeness and to have compassion for its presence in my life.

Nature is not perfect.  It can’t be.  If it were, it would not perpetuate itself.  It is through diversity that species survive and growth is able to happen.  A few weeks back during one of our many discussions about my fears, Rob said to me, “There is no perfect, there is only nature.’

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9 comments

  1. My wife and I were just discussing similar things the other morning at breakfast. You hit the nail on the head when you said, “Our minds can’t seem to handle nature, uncertainty, and the possibility that we can’t get it just right.” Whenever WE make a decision, we are ALWAYS second guessing it. It would be so much easier just to reduce things down to black or white, yes or no, good or bad, but if you think about anything deeply, there are many shades of gray. In gardening, there are many chances to fail. Oh well, there’s always next year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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