We increasingly live in a society that is divorced from nature — from the natural world. This has been growing since the advent of the Industrial Revolution to our present age. The Internet has deepened this void due to its level of imagery and fantastical narrative. Birds, bears, and bees are simply creatures that oscillate on a movie screen; stories of great adventurers attempting to overcome nature are simplistic and distant tales. (1) They are just depictions on celluloid, in animation movies, and have no intrinsic value.
One of the greatest examples of this is the blockbuster, “Jaws.” (2) In the motion picture, the Great White Shark is turned into a caricature of evil, satanic forces acting through nature. This film has assisted in the vilification of sharks, in general — allowing the oceans to be slowly mined of these types of predators. (3) The net result has contributed to a perception of “us against them,” human beings against nature.
This is a great dilemma, of course, for if we are truly distant from the natural world, we are dead! The canary in the goldmine, (4) the bees, are in decline. (5) This is perhaps because of the usage of pesticides, but no one is exactly sure. These creatures are responsible for 80% of all pollination, according to some reports. Literally, no bees and no fruit as we know it. This is but one small example of the dangers that we face as a civilization. The question becomes, “How can I forestall or stop the inevitable?”
First, I must become aware — truly aware — that I reside in a living environment, a planet that is covered with many other life forms distinct from myself and my species. Second, I must acknowledge that my actions, no matter how insignificant, have implications. Every time I throw something away, I must reflect on its recyclable nature. Third, if I truly appreciate that I live amongst an interconnected flora and fauna, I must ponder before I kill anything — a mouse, a fly, a spider, even the lowly cockroach, to name but a few. All have their part to play in the unfolding of existence.
We have the concept that we live in isolation on this globe. At present, over 55% of all citizens live in urban areas. This is projected to grow to almost 70% by 2050. (6) What chance do we have to truly interact with a purely wild habitat? I would think very little. It behooves humanity, therefore, to begin to reflect on our part in nature. How can I get closer to her, to Gaia, and to truly protect and thus ensure that my grandchildren live on God’s verdant creation? Rachel Carson (7) the founder of the environment movement, leaves us with a thought: There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
A closing thought: How can I get closer to nature to truly experience this magnificent Earth? One way is to simply go to a local park and take your shoes and socks off. Then, spend 10 or 15 minutes walking directly on the grass. This will produce an invigorating and exciting feeling. If you do this regularly, your whole worldview will change. Finally, keep a plant or a pet in your home. Personal identification with something living will alter the way you feel about life. Nature is our friend and life force, our identity with God, Gaia, and the Universe.
To sum up: This week, we spoke about nature and all her magnificence.
To be noted: From Ralph Waldo Emerson (8) — Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
Just for fun:
This week, on your reflective walk, please ruminate on what nature means to you.
Every day look for something magical and beautiful.
Don’t be a wage slave –critical thinking is great!
Quote: The sound of the morning rain calls forth images of a new beginning.