Sunday, October 18, 2009
The End of Nature
Recently I had a conversation with a neighbor who asked me, "Why wouldn't you want synthetic turf--what do you do with grass?"
What do you do with grass?
Is this the end of nature, as people have been predicting?
I was so shocked by the question all I could do was stare back stupidly.
"Fly kites," someone helpfully suggested.
"Walk your dog?" I blurted, while I stalled for time. Who was this guy?
"Have a picnic," I said, regaining my stride. "Throw a frisbee."
The point is you can do anything on grass, right?
Another neighbor reminded me that even if you aren't on the grass, you appreciate it as you drive by. It marks the pause between work and home. It tells you "relax, you're nearly home," or "I'll still be here when you get back."
So that even if you don't see anyone else out there, its presence is soothing.
What if we fostered that presence in our neighborhood by putting the soccer field elsewhere and nurtured a Japanese garden here? Is there room in the neighborhood for both soccer and contemplation? For a water feature and a skate park?