The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.


on February 11, 2012


When we seek solitude, peace, quiet – where do we go? We sit under the arms of an oak tree, we walk along the shore of a river or the ocean, we stroll through a garden, visit the zoo – we go fishing. We place ourselves in the arms of nature. You can read Walden several times and appreciate all Thoreau has to say about simplicity and living close to nature, but you cannot experience living with nature vicariously.  Sailors, in search of the wind to propel their ships, understand this but most of us rarely go in search of such winds.

In answer  to the question “how do  you go about living in tune with nature?” one person responded, “Throw away the TV and the cell phone and subscibe to NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.”  That author knew what he was looking for but if he thought he could experience living in tune with nature by reading about it he was wrong.  You must dip your feet into the ocean’s waters; you must grow your own tomatoes; you must feed the squirrels and the raccoons and the birds that pass through your yard. You must allow a sense of awe to envelop you at the sight of a snow-covered mountain and  you must not disturb the nest of a bird nor kill an animal for sport.

There is satisfaction to be found when you live in tune with nature.  The stress we experience living in a fast-moving, complex, society diminishes.  A sense of freedom is experienced. You learn: you learn to appreciate silence; you learn to open your eyes to the beauty that surrounds you; you learn patience as you wait for the rain to come and nourish your garden. You learn to listen – listen for the woodpecker hunting his breakfast, the wind rippling the treetops, the croak of a frog, the neigh of a horse – and you learn the meaning of awe

It is difficult to escape the world we live in: an ever-changing, technologically dominated, fast-moving world in which we struggle to march to the beat of progress and seek to escape its demands.  The peace and self-satisfaction that can be found when one lives in tune with nature are the rewards for leaving a world full of those who race to keep up with the latest of anything, as well as those who care naught about the majesty of a thunderstorm, a leaping dolphin, a sunset, a butterfly or the feel of sand between your toes.

The Taoist philosophy of living in tune with nature is far different than today’s “thinking green” philosophy and they are not the only ones who subscribe to that mentality. The Iroquois thank Mother Earth, rivers and streams, stars and the sun. The Cherokees say “may a rainbow touch your shoulder” Hindus worship the cow, the elephant, the monkey, and snakes as well as trees, rivers, and mountains. We may not worship Mother Earth nor the monkey but we could learn a great deal about living in tune with nature from cultures that do.

A wish to readers – courtesy of the Irish: “May you have no frost on your cabbage.”


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