Wednesday, October 7

think green thursday

I want to lie down in dappled leaf-shade,
In quivering shadows of quivering leaves-
be they oak, be they maple,
be they elm or birch,

I want to rest in the play of shadows
over my reclining form,
The massage of shadows
which consoles me in its way,
Restores for me
with whatever restoration
Flickering shadows of leaves afford-
be they willow or aspen,
be they poplar or beech,

I want to be caressed by shadows
of wavering leaves,
Soothed off to sleep
feeling the gentle breeze,
Looking up at the rustling
sun-drenched crown-
Be it basswood, be it chestnut,
Be it walnut or hickory,

after all is said,
after all is done,
This is the way
I would die. -ANTLER

The ultimate natural family living resource, mothering, has an article this month called "Eco Baby Shower." Imagine having a baby, and bringing it up in this world, without the mountains of handy, helpful baby gadgets. Imagine! One couple did... and they insisted that no one give them anything new. Nothing packaged, wrapped, or plastic. They didn't want any of it. Husband insists, "I don't want any plastic crap."

Imagine what they received instead: a pair of denim overalls saved from the baby days of the mother-to-be, a collection of favorite baby books that have been outgrown... things that have been made beautiful by wear and tear.

I very much liked this article because it reminded me about my revolt against baby gadgets when I was pregnant. I didn't want to think about it. All I needed was a comfortable place to live, a warm bed, good food... I refused to think that I'd need anything more.

It helped that we were living on a boat at the time. We told people not to buy us all those gadgets simply because we didn't have space. I didn't want to get philosophical, and it worked.

And we did just fine. No monstrous high chair (I am truly amazed at the amount of space these things take up in my friend's houses). No crib... not even a pack-n-play. No swings or saucers. We had a few simple things (and of course the mandatory car seat... but we opted for a convertible one that could be used for two years... no "baby buckets"). But far less than what you find on the "essentials" list you get at Babies-Are-Bucks. And my punks grew just fine. Safe and happy, calm and curious.

There are so many things out there. Interesting, wonderful things. But do you really need it? Do you even really want it? Take some time to imagine. Take some time to think.

click for more thoughts on think green thursday


  1. We've been sorting through our things again recently and realize how much "stuff" we hve accumulated over the years. So many impulse purchases didn't need at the time and we certainly don't need now.

  2. I just love this post!

    First, your pictures are so beautiful, and the words that accompany them.

    Second, the idea of none of that baby junk is so wise and wonderful. Back in the stone age, we did have a crib and high chair, and a carriage that I used to pile the first 3 into (3 in 3 years) and walk a couple of miles. But other than that, it was pretty basic. And the crib was one my husband and his twin brother had been raised in. I guess you can call that recycling

  3. What a wonderful post to think about! Beautiful nature shots and strong words. TY for sharing. Have a great week :)

  4. Anonymous5:03 AM

    Wonderful post. Thanks for stopping by my blog.


  5. Owen is still wearing some of your punk's clothes. We built a HUGE tower with the Legos last night that you gave us. Reduce-reuse-recycle. Looking around the room at all his "stuff", I'd estimate 80%+ is second- and third-hand. And he's as happy as a clam.

  6. amazing pictures and beautiful words, I agree with you on the baby stuff, my daughter wore my sons baby clothes and people kept asking me if she was a boy,even when she was wearing yellow and green sleepers!! Unfortunately we did have all that unnecessary crap...if I were to do it again it would defiantly be different.

  7. Simply beautiful.

    We are trying our best to stay away from plastic crap but it is a struggle.

    I am glad to learn that you lived on a boat. Do you write about it on your blog? I would love to read it.

  8. Wow great comments!
    Cairo: it's nice to see you around these parts again ;) Ready for November?
    bobby: stone age... you sound like my son. He calls time before him "the olden days." So many people can't believe that things actually get easier without so much stuff.
    Rosidah: Thank you. I love my walks in the woods.
    Paz: Just catching up with you ;)
    tk: You guys are my think green role models. You can actually feel the peace in your home. And I'm glad you're loving all the baby legos as much as we did.
    Melanie D: I love a girl in blue! (and boys in pink for that matter). There is so much pressure on parents to get all that crap... people will swear to you how some contraption saved their sanity. At least you can pass on what you have to someone who thinks they might need it ;).
    Ocean girl: thanks for the thoughts. I haven't written about living on our boat. Maybe as a future think green post, since I think everyone should live one year on a boat. It forces you to minimize, simplify, and brings environmental issues right to your doorstep.

  9. I shared your post with my newly married daughter. She and I tease each other that we are ready for her to have a baby, but the timing doesn't seem quite ready. (When is it?)

    Anyway, I love love love this eco shower. Brilliant. I look at these monstrosities that people lug around, yikes!

    But I must say, it would be nice to have a carriage or stroller when I go shopping . . .

  10. Ruth: So thrilled you shared the post! How cool to think I played some part of that conversation. This makes me smile.
    Do you read Mothering? The couple in the article did pick two "big purchase" items and they were a wooden high chair and a stroller. I personally found a sling to be much more convenient, but my Mom bought a stroller when she came out to watch my son for a few weeks. It basically was only used by her and babysitters until #2 came along.... but the whole point is just to really think about what you really need/want and not blindly signing up for a whole house full of STUFF that will not only clutter your life, but our earth too!

  11. Oh what a great post for Thinking Green. I have been out of the baby business for a long time, but you are so right about all the stuff that we buy and how much lives on forever in a land fill. I will keep this in mind when I should be in the position to become a grandma.. Thank you.. Michelle

  12. I am so taken in by the words and the pictures. There seems to be a seamless weaver at work here...lovely !

    I wonder if studying Italian can have this kind of effect !!!! ;)

  13. Well done. I'm with ya here, beautiful things, but hate the collection routine people get into. I'm all clean lines and open spaces :)

  14. Yes Michelle... I too am done with the baby days, but this philosophy applies to other phases of our lives... and how we give gifts to our friends.
    Kavi: the photos are mine and I also felt at one with the words of the poem, but they are written by someone that goes by "Antler"... curious.
    Braja: You give me a sense of peace whenever our paths cross. Step by step I am getting to the life that moves me everyday.


...and you may ask yourself, did I get here?