The Sustainability of a Beech Tree

Elizabeth's picture

We talked a lot about sustainability when we were at Harrington House yesterday. Sustainability meant something different when Bruce used it in terms of Harriton House, and when I hung out in my spot afterwards, it made me think of the sustainability of the beech tree that I've been sitting in.

A lot of the trees and deer that are around Harrington House are really abundant now, but they were hardly in the picture when Harriton was built. Even though I sit in a tree every week to observe "nature," I'm really sitting in an arboretum--a pale, human-made replica of what nature "should" look like. I observe a representation of nature, next to a grass lawn, this week with pop music blaring from the athletic fields. Like the "nature" around Harriton House, the tree sit in, and other bits of "nature" on the campus allows the collegiate image of Bryn Mawr to be sustainable.

Like the deer near Harriton, the squirrels that scamper around the college are probably a lot more populous than is "natural." But I still see the squirrels as being a part of nature. I still think that my issues with squirrels reflect a greater problem with animals and anything not molded or consciously protected by humans. Now I just need to figure out what humans have influenced, and what's really supposed to be out there. Or even what "supposed to be" really means.

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Elizabeth's picture

How I Write

I think that this blog post was a bit more reflective than my usual posts are. I thought about my observations a bit longer before writing them down, and I think that helped me tone down the pastoral notes that usually overwhelm my posts. I also generally talk about specific things that I was observing or what I was thinking at the time, while I stepped back a little today.

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