striped sea shell

I was born into the working class who owned no land or property, who labored with the earth or coal or iron dug from it. I grew up in a mining village and was due to go down the pit when I left school.  Instead, I became a gardener. I have no land – I dig other people’s earth like my ancestors. My social class told me I never could own it, and nature taught me that the nearest anybody can get to ownership is to be a temporary custodian . . . 

In the garden, I come eye to eye with snails that hang from ropes of slime and mate. While I weed around her, a moth digs from a chrysalis, hauls herself on a twig, pumps up her wings, and flies. A squatting toad watches me watch. Nameless living things crawl on my body and I am equal to the plants and animals, the air and the wind, the rocks and trees. Like them I do not own this land – this land owns me as it owns them, and we are its fruit.

Are those who think they own land sadly mistaken?