Monday, November 26, 2012

Wissahickon Style IX: The Comedy of the Public Good

Post 57

Gorgeous, yes? And pretty sure to being a smile.

This is not my yard. This was how a stretch of Willow Grove Avenue looked for a few weeks this fall, thanks to the generosity/stewardship/ Santa-spirit of a house-owner who, spring, summer and autumn, fills her front yard with a dazzling succession of blooms.

I drive by it whenever I can.

People sometimes talk about the tragedy of the commons but what about the comedy of the public good? --People who everyday try to make life a bit better for people they will never meet.

 Thousand of people drive by this scene every day. There are numerous ecological reasons to have a garden instead of a lawn. We know it makes the earth, the birds and the bees happy. But it also makes us happy, improving the human ecosphere.

 Drab, ugly, uniform surroundings may be efficient and effective from a classical economic viewpoint--but it's hell on the human psyche. Destroying the human ecosphere is like an animal fouling its nest -- something animals instinctively know not to do.

 Everyday people all over the world go out and do things that make the world more pleasing for others. They do not get paid for it, they often do not get thanked for it. But they keep doing it.

This woman was out working on her garden when I stopped to take these pictures. She gave me permission to show her garden and herself. This woman works hard, she says she does it out of a sense stewardship. She let me in to take pictures and as I left tried to give me a big bouquet of dahlias. I was on my way to do errands and, made shy by her generosity, I took one, an orange one, which I keep, now dried, in a crevice on my car's dashboard. As a reminder.

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