This post is not intended to be a political statement, it is simply a testimony to the marvels of nature. However clever we think we are, nature will always beat us.
Like most countries, the past 15 years in Spain has brought forth a boom in technology and people have turned their back on “traditional” occupations and skills like farming and mining in order to earn more money quickly with the banks, IT companies and so on. Technology was and still is everywhere and lots of money is being made with relatively little outlay. The farms, mines and small businesses that support the farming and mining industries have been ignored and slowly over the years the buildings that housed them have degenerated as the weather takes its toll and opportunists help themselves to construction materials. As families have died off, no-one has taken on these sometimes majestic properties. Country roads have been abandoned in favour of the faster autovias and many of the family run ventas (inns) and tallers (car workshops) that served people for years along these roads have closed down and become deserted. Mines have ceased operations due to costs of extracting minerals and sometimes of course the environmental impact was too great, farm land lies barren and bereft of life… everywhere you turn, there is desolation.
It is perhaps time now to introduce the idea that nature always finds an equilibrium when there is imbalance; we watch as the flowers, grasses and animals take control and appear to reclaim these buildings but is there a bigger picture? Whilst all the technological developments and the amounts of money people are amassing are reaching an alarming pinnacle, greed was (and is) more rife than at any other time in history, the gap between rich and poor is growing larger, religious and economic wars are at an all time high; what happens next? We now have a recession or crisis – could this be natures intervention? Natures way of finding the equilibrium? Natures way of dealing with people’s greed and avarice? An interest thought maybe…
History has proved that nature has the upper hand in every situation and one person proving the point, is King Canute (Cnut the Great) who sat on his throne demonstrating that no matter how powerful a person is in their social and economic standing, they could not truly outwit the forces of nature – he had his throne carried to the seashore and sat on it as the tide came in, commanding the waves to advance no further. When they didn’t, he had made his point that, though the deeds of kings might appear ‘great’ in the minds of men, they were as nothing in the face of God’s power.
We like to feel smug when we build our flood relief projects and such like and think that we are really in control. Well, whilst these things may offer some protection history has shown that we are helpless when it really comes down to it.
Let’s stay with this idea that the “crisis” we are currently experiencing is nature addressing an imbalance and observe what has been happening over the past six months (and I am not the only person to notice this). There has been a slight and increasing regeneration of the “older” traditions; I have seen people returning to the land to work, there is an increase in the use of community huertos (allotments), two weekends ago, I even saw a young couple washing their clothes in a public “lavadero” in Alboloduy – this was actually very sweet to watch, both appeared to be a little embarrassed by what they were doing but they were having a good laugh about it and actually enjoying themselves, an absolute moment of unity… perhaps a little better than staring blankly into space whilst being hypnotised by a programme on the washing machine, am I the only one who skips out during commercials? 🙂
So summing up, although this post is a bit tongue-in-cheek, my questions are – are we seeing nature redressing the balance? Is the current recession / crisis natures way of telling us that enough is enough? What do you think?
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the gallery below of abstract photographs taken during this day out. BTW, no buildings were harmed in the making of this blog post 🙂
There is for me a certain abstract beauty in seeing these places being slowly reclaimed by nature, watching as colourful flowers and wildlife inhabit the dwellings that lie empty for years.