Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Y

I just read another blog about hiking to the Y. "Y" Not?
I was leaving a long comment when I realized that I should just post in my own blog. I have a habit of making long comments this one I thought deserved my own posting.

I hate the Y on the mountain. There is nothing good about it, it is ugly. If some kid did the same thing in the city, it would be considered graffiti and they would be arrested for vandalism. Why are there so many letters on the mountains of the Wasatch front? There are big enough cities below so I don't think it is for letting people know that we are here. I love the mountains and feel it disgusting to see them marred by huge letters. When I go hiking I pick up any trash I see and pack it out. I also get after people for littering, cutting trails(causes erosion) and marking trees. I know I have done all of these things in the past when I was young and stupid. Just because you made mistakes in the past it does not preclude you from doing the right thing now. I don't understand how the forest service could allow such a destructive thing to be done on their land. Maybe it is BLM, they seem to be far too relaxed. Maybe there was money exchanged or it was back in a time of ignorance. I don't think building huge letters on the sides of mountains would be allowed today. At least I hope not.

I have vowed to never hike the Y again. When you get to the top all you do is look at the city down below. I find this to be the same for those who hike to the top of Mount Timpanogos. The valley at the top of Timp is stunning, I don't know why you want to stare at an ugly city. I am happy that I have hiked to the top of Timp a few times. It is a good challenge. Now when I go I stay in the valley with emerald lake, it is a much better view there. When I go hiking it is to get out of the city I don't want to stare back at it.

Caveat: I will hike to the Y again if I have a backpack full of dynamite. With full compliance with the law of course. I would love to get funding and buy the Y from BYU or whoever you would buy it from. I would remove it from the mountain and replace it with scrub oak and grass.

I was having this discussion with my neighbor once and she became very upset that I would go against the church seeing how they built it. I told her that BYU was not the church, and the church was not BYU. She was either more offended or just confused by that comment. When I had this discussion with one of my friends his mother overheard. She became angry with us and told us that she and her mother helped to construct the Y. It was a great time and it was their way of showing their love and support for the school. Well, I recognize her feelings to be good and genuine but the activity was still wrong. History just means that it happened it doesn't mean that it was good.

I think we have the responsibility to be good stewards of the magnificent gift which God has lent us. The Earth. It is wrong to abuse animals plants and geography, the environment. If you want to call me a tree hugger to try and dismiss my argument with name calling, please do. It will only show your ignorance, besides some trees are probably more inviting to hug than you anyway.

I must admit that I kinda like it when they put lights on the Y for special occasions. It seems they are having a lot of special occasions lately. I think they could just get a spotlight with a stencil and shine it on the Mountain. They could get creative and have all kinds of stencils. It would be a lot easier and it wouldn't create any permanent damage.

I recognize that we are going to make an impact. Every creature does. When we have the ability to make such a large impact we need to be careful that we only do that which is necessary. Tagging Mountains is ugly and not necessary.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Life Weeds

I like to pull weeds. Honestly, I like pulling weeds. I often weed the yards of friends when they are not looking. It is the quickest solution to a parasitic problem. I feel great doing it. Weeding is a great time to think. There isn't much else to do with your brain while weeding because weeding takes very little brain power. When you first start out gardening you have to be careful not to pull the desired plant along with the weeds. After practice the identification of weeds and desired plants becomes easy and automatic. You can also recognize younger and younger plants and get rid of them before they get bigger. (the only thing that makes a weed different from another plant is how welcome it is. A tomato is a weed if you don't want it growing in with the peonies.) My sisters tell me of a time when my father reluctantly helped my mother with the weeding. He was almost finished when my mother screamed that he had just pulled all of the onions. He thought they were grass. I think he just doesn't like to weed and didn't want to be asked to help again. He prefers to help in other ways.

In our lives we have things that like weeds are parasitic. I will call them life weeds. Our lives are cluttered full of way too much stuff. We have distractions, bad habits, addictions, laziness, procrastination, fear of failure, insistence on perfection which prevents completion and obligations that take our time and give nothing in return. Wow, I could do a post on each one of those. They keep us from harvesting those fruits of life we wish to harvest most. But unlike physical weeds, life weeds are not quickly dealt with. Some of them we are unaware of. So, maybe this is one of the reasons I like to do physical weeding. I can pick a patch of garden, assess the need, and have it clear of weeds in what seems to be just a few moments. It is simple. I am not as adept at weeding life weeds. I could identify many of them, probably down the the genus species if there were a taxonomy for life weeds. Ridding my life of them is another story.

I have learned that it is extremely important to quickly remove weeds, the literal and the symbolic one. Weeds when left to their own will grow in strength and become nearly impossible to deal with without causing harm to the desirable plants in a garden. When left alone weeds propagate and become a much bigger problem. Life weeds are similar to this behavior as well. In regards to religion I compare this to sins, a topic for a different blog. When a behavior is not corrected it becomes a habit and much more difficult to deal with. Bad habits lead to other bad habits. It can be a devastating cycle. How do I change behavior? How do I do some weeding in my life? It is hard. Often during introspection I wonder why I keep doing things that I hate and why I can't seem to fix them. Why do I resolve to correct the same thing week after week? I am sure this is not uncommon.

The irony in this blog called
In the Garden and this post called Life Weeds, is that sometimes I use the garden and weeding to avoid other more important needs. Instead of weeding my life I weed the garden. I am working hard and doing a good thing. That should be a good use of my time. I wonder if other people do good things to not feel bad about not doing the more important higher priority things? For me, weeding the garden can be a life weed.