If we are fortunate to have some land, we like to think it is ‘our’ land. Foolhardy battles have been fought over land and to whom it belongs to; lives lost or forever changed. Neighbors turn against each other over such disputes. In reality though, the land is not owned by anyone. We may rent it for a while, but we don’t actually own it. Taxes are paid on it, we may build on it, we can keep other people off of it, but the issue of ownership is an illusion. No individual owns it, no municipality, no country. When we are gone, the land goes on being the land regardless of who supposedly ‘owned’ it. I can remember this poem from elementary school. Perhaps you read it too…
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
Robert Frost wrote this famous poem. So the woods fill up with snow. They aren’t anyone’s woods per se. The woods belong to the earth and the universe. People are just being territorial about it like animals can be.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
That sums things up pretty well. When we have the chance to appreciate, we seldom do. There is always something else to do or somewhere else to go, something else to appreciate; like we are checking things off a grocery list.