Nautilus

What the Meadow Teaches Us

Anyone who believes that life is a battlefield full of individual warriors should go out into the meadows on a spring night. There, you can learn that the biosphere does not spawn cutoff, clearly differentiated individuals who compete against one another—assuming you find such a meadow; that is, now that some farmers have started to sow a single, standardized species of grass.

In my little Italian village, the narrow streets climb into the hills where the meadows are still allowed to grow wild in the springtime. Within two or three weeks, the stalks swell into a multitude of meadow-grasses and blossoms as tall as my waist, fragrant and enveloping. I think then: It might have been this way once, when the plenitude of existence could spread everywhere and it seemed unavoidable that every corner of this biosphere would fill to the brim with life.

When you immerse yourself in the natural world, you wander a little through the landscape of

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