This blue marble

– and yet it spins

Borders are a human invention – part II

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loviisaforest-1Borders are a human invention. Ownership of anything is a human invention. We cannot function without slicing and dividing this planet into pieces, each claiming ownership of one plot – or several. In society at any age in history, landless people were always the sorriest lot. In many countries owning land is common, whereas in other cultures the divide between land owners and the landless is broad and deep.

But Nature knows no borders. Nature owns everything. And so we must work to keep the borders between my father’s forest and the neighbor’s forest clear and visible. Yet I could not find the borders of our forest if I tried. A rock here, a cleared corridor there. Fortunately we have no fences as animals know of no borders either.

As we walked around, trying to get a feel of which turf and tree is owned by whom, I got a sinking feeling of being a badly programmed human. Because I would easily overlook any border and happily chop off a christmas tree in the neighbor’s forest. And I thought of a passage from my favorite poem in the whole world, “Progressive insanities of a pioneer” by Margaret Atwood:

He stood, a point
on a sheet of green paper
proclaiming himself the centre

with no walls, no borders
anywhere; the sky no height
above him, totally un
enclosed
and shouted:

Let me out!

loviisaforest.3(Loviisa, Finland; March 2016)

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