I am one of those who are immensely blessed on so many fronts. I have enough of everything that I need: shelter, reliable transportation, fresh water, companionship, healthy food, opportunities to serve, healthy relationships and so much more.
Certainly I consider my connection to nature as one of those many blessings, very near the top of the list. I don’t know if I had a conscious thought about how good nature is for oneself when I was younger. Still, I was drawn back to the woods and streams over and over again. It was fun, it was enlightening, it was a place to let go of the cares and concerns of that other world. Eventually, perhaps in middle age, I had a conscious recognition of the importance and value of time in nature. Exposure to nature is good.
Somewhere on that journey, I also discovered that exploitation of nature is bad. Nature gives freely, providing services like warmth, water, sunshine, fertile soil. And we have become greedy, taking way more than we need, most of us in western society brought up that way, always assuming that whatever we want is available at our fingertips. And, every coffee maker we purchase, every mile we drive, every manufactured item we buy has a hidden cost that we seldom are willing to consider.
It’s a remarkable time to be alive. It also carries tremendous responsibilities. I consider myself one of the more conscious people in terms of ecology, my surroundings, my impact. And, truthfully, in many ways I am clueless. As a human family, we have a long way to go if we are to make the changes necessary to preserve a planet that in any way resembles the wondrous place that we elders have been privileged to spend our lives in. Are we conscious enough to wake up and make the necessary changes? Are we willing to step out of the relative comfort of the status quo in order to create a place of joy and health and biodiversity for those who follow?
I suspect it will take a new consciousness on a massive level. Is it possible that that consciousness is there, embedded in the planet?
Steve Aman, the Wandering Bobcat