‘Tis fruition, and not possession, that renders us happy. –Michel de Montaigne, On the Inequality Amongst Us
I came home from riding Sunday and this Ikebana arrangement pictured above had been created in our home. Mai calls it Fall Celebrations. During this time of culmination we absorb the benefits of the fertile summer season and are subdued by the power of nature.
“He has a great train, a beautiful palace, so much credit, so many thousand pounds a year; all these are about him, but not in him.” –Montaigne
And I’m reminded when I take a bike ride how rich I feel. How the wealth of these lands, these public places, are here for all of us to share and enjoy. And the treasure they hold is the same power that flows in and animates me. I try to emulate the smooth and perpetual force.
Each bike ride is perfect and makes me happy. It is nothing we can possess but only something to do, a journey. And if you have good lungs and able feet, the power is all yours.
“Every man frames his own fortune.” –Cornelius Nepos, Life of Atticus, quoted in Montainge
The integrity of nature is something we are born into. All we can do is live wisely and help other people do the same. Montaigne says “nothing is so distasteful and clogging as abundance.” This is true when it comes to unnecessary material possessions. And also true when we regard the world’s material wealth as something inexhaustible and ours for the taking. Biking and walking helps me harvest the wealth that is free and naturally replenished. The only development required is that of my own capacity for being, and faith and freedom in becoming.
Above photo from the New Mexico Safe Routes to School Handbook at the excellent Active Transportation Tookit designed by Tim Rogers at the Santa Fe Conservation Trust. Thank you for scaling up the sustainability excellence in New Mexico.