I was thinking the other day about a phrase I sometimes use, although altered so that it is not male-centric: “no woman’s land.” Of course, to be truly egalitarian, it should be “no human’s land.” Of course, to be truly egalitarian species-wise, I suppose it should be “no creature’s land” or “no being’s land.”
What is no human’s land? (Notice my deft switch between quotation marks and italics.) Merely a place uninhabited by humans? A place no human owns?
When you get down to the deep reality of the planet, no one can own land. The Earth (land) has existed, in one form or another, long before humanity and will exist long after humanity has colonized not-so-distant planets or has faded out of memory. Humanity may drastically change the planet, but I do not have the arrogance to think we will completely and irrevocably destroy it. I do think it is a kind of arrogance. Yes, we are causing major damage and destruction; however, the planet itself will carry on with or without us (unless we utilize an Osterhagen key).
The world as we know it will eventually change, but there will still be the world…at least until the sun expands.
Back to the point, though: how can one ultimately own land? Or, for that matter, how can one draw lines across it and tell her or his neighbours “Do Not Cross?” A human construct may create reality, but that doesn’t make it ultimately True. However, people have died, people have killed over this concept of land ownership. It’s ridiculous and tragic in the bigger picture. We all live on this planet. We all bear responsibility for what we do to the land, water, air, and other creatures (including humans). Shouldn’t we all start acting like it?
Before this post sounds too much like a reprimand, I’m saying we don’t own the Earth. We work with it, as do the rest of the animals and even plant life on this planet, to sustain life. We need to remember that. There really is no human’s land. There is Land. We share it, grow on it, nurture it, and it sustains us. Let’s remember that.