Finding Wisdom at the Edges
August 2, 2016 Kosmos Community News

Call for Essays | In Harmony with All Life

Dear Friends of Kosmos, Twice a year Kosmos invites our readers to submit an essay up to 830 words. We […]

Reader’s Essay | Forests Restored After Fire

By Maya Khosla

My colleague Tonja Chi and I are entering a forest two years after fire. Our work is part of a series of surveys directed by Dr. Chad Hanson to search through forests that rapidly recover after wildfire. The trees towering all around us had been engulfed in the flames of the 2013 Rim Fire, which burned massive areas of Yosemite and Stanislaus National Forests.

The tallest trees are pines and firs. Some have been blackened from their base to eye-level; others higher. Yet the forest floor is packed with conifer saplings, mosses, blazes of saffron-petaled wallflowers, mushroom heads standing like bright beads. It is a veritable carpet. Splashes of white blooms the size of small faces adorn the dogwoods. Rapid regeneration is at work everywhere. Dark, flaky remains of fallen trees are crumbling into soil. Fire brought the forest’s own fertilizers back to earth. It was an agent of rejuvenation.

Reader’s Essay | A New Approach to Stuff

By Martin Oliver

In every episode of the 1970s British children’s TV series Bagpuss, a young girl finds a lost and broken object in the village street and leaves it in her shop window for the passing owner to collect. An oddball cast of animal characters inside the shop then repairs the item and imbues it with meaning and value by giving it a history.

It’s quaint, cute, and a novel approach to jetsam that in the modern world would be likely to find its way into the nearest garbage bin. Our society’s attitude to stuff is too often characterised by glut and waste, driven by indifference. This attitude, in turn, can be traced back to the spirit-matter divide instituted by the 17th century philosopher Descartes. In Cartesian philosophy, matter is treated as dead and devoid of spirit, as opposed to the inner world of the mind that is considered alive.

Reader’s Essay | Service Great and Small

By Fay Loomis

In the early ‘90s I met a woman of similar age. She could no longer live in her home and moved into a nursing home where she was challenged by an imposed daily routine and diet that served the needs of the healthcare center, not her own.

She accepted her decision and focused on what she could do to be of service in her small and greater worlds. She meditated for a major portion of each day for humanity, for the United States, and in particular for our president. Each morning she would move slowly, with the aid of her walker, to each room in the building. If the person was asleep or unconscious, she would stand in the doorway and send them loving energy. If they were alert, she would go into the room and say hello.