Inspiring spiritual and cultural transformation through connection with wild spaces, with the help of God and neighbor, to create a world where wildlife and wild spaces are known as neighbors worthy of our love, kindness, compassion and care.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Laws of the Forest Community

Pine Creek Rail Trail near Darling Run 1/18/2020
As a student of wild spaces, I find forest ecology a fascinating topic of study. During a recent adventure in the Tioga State Forest, I wrote down a number of ecologically significant "laws of the forest community." I thought about how, as humans, we have a tendency to disassociate ourselves with the environments around us.

I wonder, if we are to consider ourselves as members of the forest ecosystems that surround our towns and cities, what do forest communities have to teach us about living well, and living responsibly in community?  

Here are the "laws of the forest community" as worded in my field notebook:


Laws of the Forest Community

1. Nothing shall be wasted.

2. What is taken from the forest must in some form be given back to the forest.

3. and 4. Competition and Cooperation among its members makes for a healthy forest community.

5. Daily and seasonal rhythms are to be observed by the members of the forest community.


What lessons does the forest community have for those of us who desire to live sustainably? 

What lessons does the forest community have for those of us who seek to follow Jesus by loving our neighbors as ourselves?

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