Monday, March 14, 2011
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
By now we have all pretty much seen the devastation that occurred recently in Japan. Nature at its worst. Destructive. Deadly. Scary.
But nature is life. And many of us are seemingly removed from its beauty and awe.
And that is a shame.
I hate to date myself, but I spent pretty much most of my youth outside. I looked for and watched all sorts of things, even bugs; I actually watched ants carrying food into their anthill for hours. I sat in grass and searched for four leaf clovers. I clearly remember the smell of spring, the crispness of a fall day and ran outside with delight to catch the first snowflake on my tongue. I can remember playing in the rain on a summer day and splashing in puddles. Even as a teen.
And now? I don't do any of those things. Not really. And neither do many of us. Nor our kids.
Which is even sadder.
I am not sure what brought about this disconnect from nature. Maybe TV started it all. Or perhaps it was even further back, when clocks first started appearing. We used to tell our time from nature. From the sun and the moon, the stars, the seasons. We were in touch with the world and that was a good thing.
Once clocks became the way to tell time, we became prisoners to it. We ignore nature's call, and instead look to the ticking of an inanimate object to guide us. Why, we even change time so that we can have more daylight. Seems wrong somehow. Messing with nature like that.
Anyway, I guess the time change, the earthquake, the resulting tsunami and all that devastation got me thinking about all of this. About nature. And time. That and a blog I read about a guy and his dog who climb mountains near our home in the White Mountains of NH. And I realized, I have not climbed them. What am I waiting for?
I know. I am waiting for the right time to do it. When I have more time.
And that is where we all go wrong.
We think we will have more time. Someday. We are all just so freaking busy. There is so much to do, so little time. We just can't get things done. The clock is on the wall and on our wrists and lit up on our phones constantly telling us to hurry up, we are almost out of time. The clocks imprison us. We need to be somewhere, doing something. We have no time to waste. Hurry, hurry, hurry.
It is maddening.
And that is why it is time to go outside.
We need to get in touch with our own internal clocks, our own rhythm. We really are one with nature. And the more we remove ourselves from it, the more isolated we feel. More stressed. Not understanding ourselves anymore. Sometimes I think it makes us sick. Physically sick.
We need to take back our lives, our time. We need to own it again, just for a while.
For one day it truly will be gone. We will have run out of time. Our time. For real.
So turn off the phone, the tv, the computer. Take your watch off and look around. It doesn't have to be a mountaintop that you are looking out from. It can be just your own backyard. There is nature there as well. And don't look at what has to be done in your yard. Look instead at what is happening that is just part of nature. Look at how the trees know when to bud and bloom. The flowers now starting to come back up from the earth. Look at the grass getting greener, the birds flying and picking up twigs for a nest. They don't need a clock to know what they need to do.
And neither do we.
We just think we do.
When was the last time you left the drapes and windows open and let the sun awaken you? When was the last time you sat in grass or looked up at clouds or the stars.
I know it will soon be spring. The calender and the clock will tell us. But just go outside and let nature tell you. There are signs of spring all over the place. You just have to take the time to look.
I know that we have to keep track of time. We have jobs and kids and deadlines and responsibilities. But every once in awhile, we need to get back in touch with nature, with ourselves. With life. Real life.
So, just go outside. It is there waiting for you. It is as simple as that.
Be glad of life, because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars; to be satisfied with your possessions, to despise nothing in the world except falsehood αnd meanness and to fear nothing except cowardice; to be governed by your admirations rather than by your disgusts, to covet nothing that is your neighbour's except his kindness of heart αnd gentleness of manners; to think seldom of your enemies, often of your friends and to spend as much time as you can with body and with spirit."
~~~Henry Van Dyke
I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
What humbugs we are, who pretend to live for Beauty, and never see the Dawn!
~~~Logan Pearsall Smith
Here is the link to the blog I mentioned, it is excellent: