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The Importance of Nature

The superiority of humans over nature is an entrenched mindset of our culture. This philosophy can only result in a separation mentality from the essential paradise that has provided, and so far still provides, humanity with food, shelter and beauty. Why do so many go along with this separation paradigm? How blind can the majority be when “it is as true today as it was in those ancient times, dimly recalled by legend, that Nature can bestow upon human beings great wisdom and knowledge.”[i]

As a child, I remember lying in the grass while looking up at the immense sky; it was so majestic in its blue tinged beauty. Then I fondly recall rolling over onto my stomach, smelling the earth and its life-force while gazing at the greenness of the love that the earth shares with all of her creatures.

I remember the magic of chasing lightning bugs in an attempt to capture their light for just a brief moment before letting them go on their way into the night. Even at a young age, I was ever seeking the light. I know that I am not alone in these memories of happiness when our hearts, not our minds, beckoned us to be a part of and connected to the earth. As children, from the depths of our hearts and souls, we recognized nature’s wisdom as a gift to be shared by all. Many of us saw and lived in a garden paradise that provided the adventures and magic of life that only nature can provide.

My parents, on the other hand, had seemed to lose sight of this simple truth, nature’s wisdom. Possibly, it was due to their excessive work habits in their effort to ‘provide for me.’

My joy and connection to nature had its roots in my childhood with a very special great uncle. His name was Uncle Albert and he had fostered and nourished in me the uncomplicated facts of life through the beauty and wisdom of the fruits and flowers of creation. He taught me many things about life and nature. From an early age and with his guidance I forged a close connection with nature and the joy of a simple life. He would let me help him while he tended his concord grape vines and nurtured his pride and joys, the bright flowers with the sword-shaped leaves—gladioluses. Picking a grape and holding it between his thumb and forefinger, he once spoke these wise words to me:  

 “Jimmy, this is the perfect color of purple; if you pick the grape when it is a lighter color, it will rob the vine of its gift. And if it is a deeper bluish-purple, you will have dishonored the vine by letting the grape stay on too long.”

 

It was a sad day for me when he finally left this earth close to the age of one hundred.



[i] Paul Broadhurst, Tintagel and the Arthurian Myths, p. 24