In the modern world we live in a kind of limbo, a tension between what is required of us from the machinations of society and what we are drawn to as physical, spiritual and emotional beings of this earth.
Our society has emphasized mind over matter but we can not get away from our matter as it informs us, informs our minds and has vital effects on our workings in every way.
While I have invested my mind in that of a Sustainable Development degree I find myself daily drawn to the living things around me, my garden which holds European edibles and flowering natives, the bushland around us whose wide, natural spaces provide a real freedom of movement and whose environment tunes my senses as my body conforms to the terrain around me.
I can not also deny that there is a longing to commune with nature in a way that is not understood by our mind-focused society. It would be best described as a relationship, a love between flower and the smeller, the observer of that flower. A deep appreciation of a tree, its towering height, what it gives to the atmosphere, the wildlife and to me and the many cycles that it is a part of.
These things can be qualified with what is accepted: science, literature, poetry, but when we take it down to the level of love, a profound knowing with body and soul it seems to traverse into something that is “kooky”, but only because it is so foreign to our mainstream ways of knowing.
I do not think it is strange to love nature. In fact I think it is essential. It is essential when making choices that seem to go against our own personal freedom: freedom to travel at will (in car or plane), freedom to buy food or items wrapped in or made up of plastic, freedom to earn more money than we ever need and then to spend it as we wish, freedom to build buildings that are not sensitive to the landscape around us.
It is the love of something other than ourselves that saves us from making these choices with a sense of impunity. The love of people is, as yet, still accepted and it is the love of others that has driven us to invest in health care, free education, affordable housing, good urban planning, buildings that contribute to wholistic lifestyles. The love of nature and the greater world takes our positive decision making a step further and can not be harmful when we choose things out of love not greed.
In the pull to journey deeper into love or money it is usually money which, sadly, wins – out of necessity in many cases, but it is so deeply important to return to love, to invite love into our hearts in order for us to experience the connection of being truly human in an earth that supports us and is formed by us.
We can not be too arrogant to believe ourselves above this. If we are and if we seal the disconnect between our species and our planet, content to live a surface life on this planet, then we can only expect the loss of it all out from under us.