Posted: Sunday, July 1, 2012 7:53:54 AM
Nature. Immersed in the buzz of modern life, we typically associate the word with a mysterious image that we encounter in books, movies, and fantasy. Through such means, we envision all that’s exotic and beautiful. But barred by all the social and technological barriers that come with the passage of time, do we bask in creation the way we imagine we do?
People are often so drawn into the sphere of their life, they involuntary cage themselves to swim in a standard, yet secure set of focal points –work, school, family, and friends. While these points are necessary to establishing a sanctuary of balance, fencing off all that lies beyond can undermine the potential to reach one’s greatest form of self. Once an individual steps out of his sphere, he can hold it up in light of the timeless landscape of life. Nature defines this landscape and serves as our escape into the Earth’s authenticity. Without stepping out, one can never know what the adventure will entail.
I myself suffocated under the weight of oblivion until only a matter of weeks ago. With the pressure of the school year rolling with formidable momentum, I spent my days bent over books, handouts, and all else that came with the whirlwind of academia. I was also busy promoting a diverse set of activities linked with a green initiative that I was helping to kick-start at school. Given the throng of speeches I delivered concerning an eco-friendly book drive, an Earth Day art contest, and alternative transportation, it was clear that I exuded considerable care for the planet. Yes, I was and still am conscious about environmental harm, but enwrapped by the technicalities of my obligations, I never cared to shift away from my one-track mode and take a broader perspective. I dangled under the purpose of earthly preservation and never cared to look up; the beauty of creation was the motivation I didn’t have.
After burning myself out over the final examinations of the school year, I embarked on the sophomore raft trip that cured me of my blindness. I simply expected fun on the boat ride. Rather, the rural town of Maupin stirred me to unlock the door that begged to be opened. Sprawled over a seemingly infinite expanse of rolling hills, the area radiated with sunshine that sparkled its winding river to crystalline perfection. The surrounding land undulated with the beige of the sand and the green of the vegetation to fulfill the canvas.
The picture alone told me more than I had learned in the past few months. I finally discovered the zest for life that had escaped me long ago and the allure that I had not been sure occupied the world. How was I to be certain had there been no scenery to strike me? The blossoming of nature teaches us that there is a governing order to be searched for. Once we connect to it, we understand it. Once we understand it, we understand ourselves.