The Anthropology of Green- The Pastures, Silage and Moss Of Fair Isle

I, the land

Now on Fair Isle, because of salt water, and clearings for sheep, there are no such things as trees on Fair Isle. The Life of wood, and how it shows growth death and  rebirth, is just a soveneir. There is another kind of ecosystem here, and it works, a solitude but not lonlieness, and a general unwinding of the worlds we have known.


The only thing to stand guard between the solitude of me is two defient rocky mountains in the distance, as I look out of our kitchen window. Yet these rocks rock! Love it here. In all its stark spledor. I have had this saying: I haven't been everywhere, but it is on my list. Well, Fair Isle is North Of Everywhere.

 

 

I was asked today, "Who is the most important person I ever met?" I answered: "That mountain."


Gathering Moss
Paying attention  to life here at all scales, I obviously can see these big mountians but it is the little moss that grows on them that fascinates too. 

Mosses, to be sure, are scientifically impressive beyond measure — the amphibians of vegetation, they were among the first plants to emerge from the ocean and conquer the land.But beyond their scientific notoriety, mosses possess a kind of lyrical splendor that  Fair Isle unravels with enchanting elegance — splendor that has to do with what these tiny organisms teach us about the art of seeing. 



Mosses  number some 22,000 species and  they inhabit nearly every ecosystem on earth and grow in places as diverse as the branch of an oak and the back of a beetle. 

I look at all this vastness and return to all this smallness, the magic of moss-an extraordinary celebration of smallness and the grandeur of life,. This  humble moss is  surprisingly magical , covering the whole island. It is the signiture of all things here- The sheep eat it, we walk on it and the mountians are clothed in it.

Walking on this soft sponginess is like walking on a bouncy conveyer belt...



Nature itself is one vast miracle and each of us in our  personal life repeats that miracle. Human nature? Perhaps.


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