The Wonders of Nature . . . Not Necessarily Pleasurable
“The forest was constant and endless and patient above all things; it only tolerated the village, perched here as if on a cliff that must someday give way.” (Lake in the Clouds, Sara Donati)
“The forest was patient above all things”. What a profound thing to write. Is nature a personal experience, or just a bunch of impersonal forces? Is nature a part of something greater, or just waiting around for something to happen? To us there are causal factors associated with nature. For instance, the forest is very much impacted by the weather, and the forces inherent in the weather, such as wind, temperature, lightening, and rain.
I’ve traveled by car, with my 48-lb. Kevlar canoe strapped to the rack on top of the car, from Chicago to the west coast a number of times, setting up my tent along the way in state and national parks. And only twice did I go to my car for shelter – once in a lightning storm, and during high winds, and boy, did it ever make for lessons of humbleness. Ordinarily, there is little to be concerned about, but as they say in Chicago and many other locations, just wait 10 minutes, and you’ll see a drastic change.
I vividly recall my first journey out west. Two rules: take only the backroads and no planning more than 6 hours in advance. It started on a Tuesday in November, more specifically it was election day, and yes, I voted! I was passing on my way through the Dakotas and that night there was a lightning storm. So I sat in my car—a safer place to be, or so I thought. With nature’s ebb and flow, sometimes a cycle is played out, bouncing from one side to the other in an effort to reach its equilibrium. The lightning was so thick, it could have easily felled a tree on top of the car. The sky lit up. It was constant. Now, that was a wonder . . . but not necessarily a very pleasurable one!
Each month, new descriptions of the wonders of nature will be posted on this page. You are invited to share your “wonder” – a description of a unique and personal account (1-page) you’ve experienced in nature. Submit to email@example.com.
“Connecting children and adults with the wonders of nature”
Daniel Kielson, Ed.D