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Seeing Beyond the Industrial World
I have been having this idea come up over and over and yesterday it came up three times in different ways, so I thought I had better write about it.
The first time this came up recently was a couple of months ago.
Larry and I were standing in a parking lot that had a range of hills on one side and a lot of sky above. He had his back to the hills and I was facing the hills talking with him. And then I looked up and suddenly I was no longer aware of the parking lot, I was aware of being in Nature. And I began to see the sky and the birds and the trees and feel the warmth of the sun on my body and the gentle breeze. One minute I was standing in an industrial parking lot and the next I was standing in Nature.
It was just a shift of awareness, but that shift gave me a whole different viewpoint. I could see the backdrop of Nature that is there all the time, but we often aren’t aware even exists.
Then yesterday morning I was talking with a friend and I said, “Having a body is like having a car. You have to ‘drive' it and maintain it in order for it to take you where you want to go.
And then I said, “When you drive a car, you have to know how to drive the car and also you need to be aware of the environment in which you are driving.” There is was again. Be aware of the environment. Not just the industrial environment, but the environment of Nature as well.
Then Larry and I were out for a walk late in the afternoon and suddenly he said, “Look, there’s the moon.”
This was actually the third day in a row he had said that. “And it’s bigger than it was yesterday and the day before.”
I don’t usually notice this moon during the day, but Larry was noticing it. We had been talking about moon phases since I started posting them at the top of Lifely posts as a Nature-oriented “date.”
I looked up to the east, which was right in front of us, and saw the moon. It’s always there every month, coming into view in the east in the late afternoon just before it rises at sunset when it becomes full. But I wasn’t seeing the daytime moons, only the moons shining brightly at night against the dark sky.
Then in the middle of the night I was reading a novel in which the character had experienced the loss of all industrial civilization and was wandering around in the remnants of civilization. Because there was no human activity, he had lost track of what day it was and was trying to figure out at least the month. And he did that by looking at the cues in Nature. It was starting to rain, so he knew it was October. But in industrial society we look only at calendars or cell phones.
Sometimes I just want to get up on top of a mountain with a megaphone and shout, “Hey look everybody! Nature is right here! You can see it every day! All around you! It’s where we live! Look around! And not only is Nature around us, we are Nature too! Our bodies are just as much Nature as every other species and Life supports us just as it supports the whales and the redwood trees and the mountain lions!”
OK I will get down off my soapbox now. Message delivered.