Friday, April 22, 2005

Nurturing Nature

He was born in the summer of his 27th year
Comin' home to a place he'd never been before
He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again
You might say he found a key for every door

I wonder from where I got my love of nature. I was raised in Detroit and the suburbs. While Detroit was bleak, many people love their hometowns. While the suburbs are bland - and the nature scripted and called parks - shouldn't there be an attachment there?

I've always loved the thought of wilderness, and been saddened at the idea it could disappear because other people don't share my sentiments. I don't think you can legislate caring, and other than a few safeguards, I'm not suggesting that anyone should try to do so.

Growing up, I always wanted to live in Northern Minnesota, and close to lakes and forests. It was the thought which lulled me to sleep at night as a child, and it was the dream that kept me going as an adult. (I'd smile at the thought that MY kids would probably want nothing more than to escape to a big city.)

I cannot imagine not having something stir deep inside me when close to the earth. Concrete has never really inspired me to do anything, other than escape! I don't know if my reaction is some primal need or a quirk of MY nature.

I know not everyone feels this way; some people find camping, hiking, or even being far from a Walmart to be torture. I just know that you want me to be content, sit me on a dock - I'll be the weird chick lying on my belly, and staring into the depths as the sun and waves make patterns on the rocks.

Now he walks in quiet solitude the forest and the streams
Seeking grace in every step he takes
His sight has turned inside himself to try and understand
The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake

It's my believe that every child should be exposed to nature - just as they should be exposed to art - so they can have the opportunity to know if their spirits can soar with eagles. We want our children not to put too much value on objects or money, yet we yell at them for losing their book bags, and give them nothing else to value in place of personal possessions.

I am the eagle, I live in high country
In rocky cathedrals that reach to the sky
I am the hawk and there's blood on my feathers
But time is still turning they soon will be dry
And all of those who see me, all who believe in me
Share in the freedom I feel when I fly

Come dance with the west wind and touch on the mountain tops
Sail over the canyons and up to the stars
And reach for the heavens and hope for the future
And all that we can be and not what we are

I cannot help but wonder, if we would need to have an Earth Day if more people had the opportunity to walk in the wilderness, rather than viewing it on the Discovery Channel.

(Excerpts from Rocky Mountain High and The Eagle and The Hawk - lyrics by John Denver and Mike Taylor.)
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