The Soul of Nature

Rachel Carson wrote that without the beauty and peace from nature some part of our humanness is retarded. As we destroy natural areas or replace them with human-made versions we will further diminish our soul.

The very soil on which we walk is the source of energy we utilize to walk, run, work, love, laugh, and create. Because modernity has intervened, covering up the planting, harvesting, delivering and even preparation of food, modern people take it as something packaged and sold. This is a profound tragedy and may spell our own end.

What got lost is the connection, the appreciation of the special role of each creature and the action of rain, sunlight, wind—a whole community’s symphonic creation of the firm red apple, golden corn, or juicy watermelon we buy off the shelf of Publix or Kroger’s.

It is said that the First Americans caressed the Earth with their feet when they walked. That reverent act arises from such knowledge of the whole of creation and of the human’s complete dependence on all its fellow creatures.

What kind of advancement, civilization, or intelligence loses the knowledge of its origins and sources of its continued survival? It is a mind that believes it can replace or improve on what took the universe billions of years to produce. This must be distinguished from the natural curiosity of a human being and participation in the processes he or she observes in nature and then emulates or even strengthens. What is the ballast that balances each of these minds? For the latter it is sure knowledge of the interconnectedness of living communities (ecosystems) and a resultant respect for life. The former arises from values of utilization of nature and its resources for the good of one species only and the resultant oppression or subjugation of life for material purposes.

Both of these minds exist on this American Continent and their values mix in some citizens’ approach to living and doing business of Earth.

Now is a time for each of us to reexamine our personal relationship with nature, with all the life around us. Do we truly value it; do we really understand the profound relationship there?

We are all overdue on unplanned time in a place of beauty and quiet, that is, if we can find one. If you know that place or places, go there but go lightly, and quietly. Create no waste, no sign of your having been there, be silent and just receive its healing qualities. Breathe deeply and wonder. Find your soul by reconnecting with the soul of nature.

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