Maintain a healthy respect for nature and she will reward you
Can you say fastest land animal?
I was watching a video the other day about a family who decided to get out of their car to take photos on a safari. They brought small children to take photos with large cheetahs. Well, the cheetahs felt threatened or hungry and chased the family back to their car. Luckily, they escaped, limbs intact.
Look at what happened to Steve Irwin. Although he appeared to understand animals pretty well, he wasn’t exactly one to respect their right to live unhindered. And he got his comeuppance.
On a cliff in Bali, there are signs posted cautioning selfie-takers to look where they are stepping. In a not very safety-conscious culture, you have to guess something unhappy happened there. These incidents remind me that Mother Nature is awesome and powerful, and a lot of ‘modern’ cultures have forgotten how to relate to her. It’s so important to have a healthy respect for nature. The ocean, volcanoes, canyons, cliffs, wild animals, even dogs and cats. We can’t always predict the tides, if a dog might lunge toward a person, or what a cheetah will do when threatened.
Although I grew up in a very rural town, I’ve lived in cities for decades. I appreciate the convenience of city life, but I also find myself yearning for nature. I search out the green spaces, the bright patches of colorful flora, the interesting animals and insects that one can still find in a bustling city. My friend Quinn, who lives in Phoenix, calls herself an ‘urban naturalist’ It’s a descriptive term. I’d like to consider myself a budding urban naturalist.
This love of nature may have started with having a family garden. I remember planting long, wispy asparagus roots, thyme, and mint. When the river near our house flooded, we would walk through the green cow pastures which surrounded our house, to escape. As I rode the bus to school, I would take in the apple orchards. And I’d look forward to peach season because of the fruit’s orgasmic taste, and beautiful color.
We were also homeschooled for a time, as young kids. We watched ants working, learned about plants and animals, and went on nature walks in our wood lot. I learned about edible berries and plants, like rosehips and paw-paws and had a short-lived business selling them.
Aside from having a healthy dose of reverence and respect for nature, the artist in me sees the beauty and pulse of life in it. I’m often aware of the moon cycle. When I feel disconnected, I try grounding myself, going outside barefoot for at least 10 minutes, or visiting the ocean and walking in the surf, when possible.
Mother Earth gives us so much beauty. It’s overwhelming sometimes. When I get to witness it, I feel so grateful. Even though my photographic work usually doesn’t center around environmental issues, I like to document the beautiful natural things I see when Mother Nature bestows them on me.
What kind of amazing surprises has Mother Nature given you lately? Write a comment to tell me about it.