As I’m writing this, it is the first day of Spring. Here in Colorado, on our farm, there is snow on the ground, left over from a storm that quite literally blew through a couple of days ago. We need the moisture, so I’m grateful that it is slowly melting into the ground, inspiring the grass to peek out and providing a much needed drink for the pine and aspen trees around the grounds.
One of the most pleasant harbingers of Spring is the return of the Meadowlark. I love their song. I imagine they were a bit surprised to find their return also included a snow storm, but it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard Meadowlark song before and after a big snow.
Not everyone is as lucky as I, surrounded by open fields, grand vistas of the Rocky Mountains, and our many household pets. Back in the day, in what we might call a kinder, gentler time, access to nature, whether it was in a park or by taking a drive in “the country”, was much more common. There’s something about spending some time watching the ripples on a pond, or the breeze gently blowing the grass that soothes a human’s soul, and we re-establish the connection that we inherently know – that we are all one.
These days, most people live in cities. The cities may have parks, but they are not as safe as they used to be. Even in the smaller towns through the U.S., danger seems to show up. People are spending more time indoors, plugged into their computers, talking to one another through text instead of in person, and having nary a whiff of fresh air. Our disconnection with one another, and with nature, is taking its toll.
In order to survive as a species, we need to establish a bond with the planet that nurtures and protects us. If we don’t, if we pillage and use up all resources, if we ignore the pain in our hearts, we are going to find ourselves in, as they say, deep weeds. Except there won’t be any weeds.
Our psyches need nature. Just watch inner city children introduced to farm animals. They can’t do it; they can’t maintain their protective shells around the gentle beings who only want to be petted and loved. They melt, and they find themselves. They may have to go back to their environment; they may have to put the mantle of protection back on – but they will not forget the look in the horse’s eyes that said “I acknowledge you for who you are; a fellow traveler on this planet like me. And I love and accept you for that.” (for more information about the impact of farms on inner-city children, check out these resources: http://environmentreport.org/?p=2814, http://blog.theanimalrescuesite.com/comptonposse/
What can you do today to touch nature?