In a time, before modern industrial power plants, water wheels were constructed to convert flowing water into useful power. At the time they weren’t considered beautiful or charming. They simply served a need; milling flour, grinding wood, hammering iron, crushing ore or pounding fibers. Papermills, sawmills, gristmills, textile mills, hammer mills and rolling mills all utilized the water wheel. Today they only serve as a reminder of an innovative time when nature was put to use in the service of an industrial revolution
What started off as the forerunner to the modern hydro-electric dam has become the charming reminder of our past. It wasn’t an easy past. It was all very hard work, but the water wheel was a significant step forward in making goods cheaper and available to everyone.
Today we can romanticize and wonder what it was like living next to the stream, in the lap of nature, working with nature’s power. That romanticizing holds a real respect and appreciation for those who came before and innovated. Our ancestors saw opportunity, recognized ways to harness nature’s power and worked tirelessly to achieve their dreams.
Today we find ourselves not just wanting to use the power of nature and conquer it. With great respect, we want to work with nature and use that collaboration to support both nature and our lives, in harmony. In the search for this harmony, we attempt to find our intrinsic connection to nature and recognize our interdependence. In the end we realize that humans and nature are inseparable and that our thriving requires that nature thrives. We realize that we are the same.
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