"Thatch" refers to any plant material used on a roof. It's always been beautiful to me, but until I lived beneath a thatched roof I had no idea of its significance. Thatch is used everywhere, but it's locally determined; in Ireland they may use seaweed near the ocean, but in my part of Japan, the roofs were covered in miscanthus grass. In England, thatching was what people did with the wheat straw after they'd threshed it. Thatch is a metaphor for the right way to connect with the earth. The "McMansion," on the other hand, is a metaphor for the wrong way. Both intrigue me. How can we be drawn to both solutions to the question of how to live?