Smallness of Scale
In my last post, "Erosion Control," I mentioned Wendell Berry's Peru-farming observations. I want to discuss each observation as a way to approach life in general. Today is "smallness of scale."
As Berry looked out over the fields, he noted...
"For those fields hold their soil on those slopes, first of all, by being little. By being little they protect themselves against erosion, but their smallness also permits attention to be focused accurately and competently on the details." (p 26)
"The fields have to be the right size; to make them too big would be to destroy them....What I was thinking, then, looking down at the little fields of the Andes, was that the most interesting, crucial, difficult questions of agriculture are questions of propriety. What is the proper size for a farm for one family in a given place? What is the proper size for a field, given a particular slope, climate, soil type, and drainage?" (p.43)
How can I apply Berry's "smallness of scale" ideas to my life— to keep things intact or, better yet, to encourage abundant growth? I thought of a few ways I already do this...
• In homeschooling my kids, I keep our lessons short and sweet. Children learn quite a lot in small spaces of time.
• Buying a small house has meant we have less to clean, care for, spend money on, and pay back in mortgage cost.
• In choosing a small dinner plate, I find that I eat an appropriate amount of food.
• I developed and follow (though not slavishly) a 30-Day Meal Plan.
• In reading just a little bit of scripture each week, I eventually make it through my whole bible every so once in a while.
Some new ways I want to incorporate "smallness of scale"...
• get on-line for shorter time periods, and on fewer days (I think I'll try posting on Tues/Thurs for awhile, instead of Tues/Thurs/Fri... I'm over on Green Inventions on Wed/Fri, and my daughter's picture of the Sermon on the Mount, complete with computer on the "me, me, me" side, has made me realize I've once again slipped into too much computer time.)
• focus deeply on a few good relationships
• read only the best books (put the boring ones aside, without guilt!)
So what about you? How might you use "smallness of scale" to make life good, or just prevent erosion?
(If you do a post on "Smallness of Scale," let me know. I'll link to you. Speaking of links, check out what Craver & Son did in response to my "Blessed are The" post. Check out his comment in the original post too. Cool.)
Turtle in His Small Home. Photo by Sonia.
NEW LINKS TO THIS POST:
Smallness of Scale
Narcissus Gone Wild
Smaller Scale Meets Toy Closet
Smallness of Scale As I See It