(photograph: Yachats, Oregon, The Pacific Rim trail/ Julie Cook/ 2013)
“Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.”
I often find that if I can remove myself slightly from my world–form those things which constitute my world…a city, an interstate, a town, a computer, a cell phone, a house, a school, a television, concrete, wood, metal, plastics, glass, gasoline, oil, synthetics, chemicals, buildings, manmade structures, electronics, stores, malls, strip-malls…on and on the list goes and grows—if I can remove me from all of that or remove all of that from me–or at least from some of it….striping down to the bare bones…stripping down to me and what remains—then it’s pretty much just me and what is not of me and my world…that which is left behind from all of the bravado of man—and that is the simplicity of “nature”—this is when, finally, I can clear my head, my thoughts, my vision….I can gain an entirely new perspective—
Standing Bear is correct in his observation. Man’s heart does become hard in “his” world. We incorrectly take the stance that we are masters of our world. We falsely believe we have conquered the world—as our high rise buildings rise up into the clouds. As our mass transit whisks us here and there…as our planes ascend heavenward taking us with them to new lands and new people…as we bombard our senses with the constant drone of noise—music, television, bells, whistles, engines, sirens, screeching…..on and on it goes…..
But the silence—-the silence of the wind, the lapping or even roaring sea, the swaying rustling trees, the songs of the birds, the rambling, babbling streams and creeks, the small buzz of a bee moving from blossom to bloom…..that is the catalyst for a calming spirit…the ability to finally exhale. To clear the mind. To hear one’s thoughts. To hear one’s heartbeat……….
I need “nature” and all that it entails. I need it to cleanse my spirit and soul as it helps me to be more humane…a better human. It reminds me that I am not master of the universe. That I, and my world may come and go, but that “It” will remain—perhaps battered and bruised in our wake, but it will indeed remain long after I come and go.
If it’s been a while since you’ve gotten to remove yourself from your world and seek that which is not man-made—it is important that you do so—even if it is to make for a city park, taking your shoes off and setting foot in the cool grass. To hear the birds sing, to breathe in something other than exhaust. To slowly meander by the waterways……it immediately has a physical effect on your body as your pulse and heart rate slow—your breathing not as labored…it is refreshing and renewing and essential…..
On this new day to a new week, promise yourself some time to seek that which is not man made—even if it is but a drive out in the country—just being able to change your view to that which is of Nature and not of man is powerful!
Breathe deep whenever possible………