Driving up north today I heard two news bulletins in a row that talked about the world economic crisis and our descent into the mire.
I couldn’t listen as it hit a depressive chord in me. But a few kilometres up the road, I started to think, what is a mire anyway.
It was a bit odd really. The sentence in the news used the term ‘the mire’ as if it it was something objective and scientific that we were all sinking into. The news is weird like that these days, one minute facts, figures and statements, the next some strangely juxtaposed word or phrase spoken as truth.
Descending into the mire.
Middle English, from Old Norse mȳrr; akin to Old English mōs marsh — more at moss
Date: 14th century
1 : wet spongy earth (as of a bog or marsh)
2 : heavy often deep mud or slush
3 : a troublesome or intractable situation
(source: Merriam Webster Dictionary Online)
So we’re in the muck, poo, sh**.
I might be at odds to most people, but I quite like a good swamp, bog or wetland.
They are full of life and opportunity. They are dangerous too, but thinking carefully, walking with care and though, observing what is around, they are great places full of stunning and beautiful plant and animal life.
In fact, many wetlands, bogs, swamps, mires are the source of life for our oceans, full of nutrients, stunning diversity, that feed us all.
And mire, comes from moss, a most useful form of plant life, from being the fuel for the smokey taste in single malt scotch whiskey to use as an ingredient for bread and also absorbant first aid dressings. Spaghnum Moss, sometimes called ‘the green gold ‘and used as a medium for growing in horticulture, can be worth a great deal of money (triple AAA grade upwards of $18 US a kilo).
So a descent into the mire could well be not a fall into muddy murky depths, but a tumble into a soft, beautiful life giving, economically rich place.