As human beings, the most of us are prone to be subdued into an urban culture some time in our lives. For the masses, this is their only reality. We take up our lodgings in concrete mega-cities and only venture out of our save little lives for a walk in the woods once or twice a month, for “adventure”, For the masses, nature is only the picturesque landscapes of mighty mountains, pristine beaches at twilight, crystallized lakes, snowy forests, mammalia, birds, and a nice paved pathway in convenient areas. It stops there for them, because this is the like the surface layer of a photograph that catches the eye, but cannot keep the attention towards all it’s constituents. Nature is like the exploitative rite to most, where it is tranquil and inspiring in the moment, but the next is just the slave to be abused. Ephemeral and non-necessary. Because the common folk who lack understanding of nature, they have a discontinued mind and are now unable to experience the depth and purity of what Nature is.
When I lace up my combat boots with the idea of a walk in the wild, I think of few things. I don’t think about how long I desire to take outside, nor where I shall end up, and what situations I am willing to fall into. I enter nature, and allow it to teach me lessons and impart a deeply fertile experience upon my consciousness and spiritual self. To truly experience nature, one should never expect something, for that expectation creates the exegesis of a future idea or emotion, that you will always fail to live up to. Nature does not end only in the grandiose portions which are common to the human eye, but the intimate details within that truly enhance it’s beauty. Let not the saplings and greenery just be a backdrop or obstacles to finding the lookouts and waterfalls, or the insects and fungal life the oddities that distract the search for deer and aviary wonders. For a couple of years now, instead of merely hiking, I have chosen to traverse slowly, mindfully, and observing the macro and micro worlds of nature as well as the more ‘ideal’ sides.
The small iridescent bugs that weave through golden moss on the ground are just as important to me as the moose who strides elusively in the swamps. The diversity of the flora that finds any possible niche of soil to bury it’s roots, fills me with the same awe as a stand of old primeval cedars. One finds beauty in damp cold caves where first instinct might not progress you in such a direction. Where serpents find the perfect crevices to hunt fruit bats in the nocturnal hours. The rocks that seem boring and lifeless are rich in history and might have more to tell then the eagle. Covered with lichen and moss, and perhaps dating back millions of years old to before we even existed. The nettles and giant hog-weed that may have been thriving for generations and reconquering the woodland ground after rabid forest fires. An often repulsive skunk that has adapted one of the most effective protection methods, that has learnt to thrive better than the dog. Even death will be morbidly fascinating, to find some carrion being feasted on by vultures, and ants leaving only a whitish skeleton to nourish the ground. It is about knowing where to look, and taking a different approach to truly get nature. Be animistic and think like them, to see what happens. Lie down in a comfortable area and scan what is within your reach, or overturn some logs and find what is revealed. Climb an ancient pine tree, or take a swim in cold waters and open your eyes to what is stirred up in the sediment. Convenience and fear must never enter.
I lust always to find the diversities and epic qualities in all nature, and never restrict myself to what is just close by. Deserts, rivers, islands, grasslands, bogs, deep ocean, tundra, and coniferous forests all share the same throne, because one inherently needs the other. The relations in the animals are also intricate and unknown to most, and vitally important for the eternal balance. Like scavengers to hunters, and opportunists to decomposers. To comprehend this mutual connection between not only mammalia, but reptiles, birds, stones, plants, and us. So to appreciate one is to appreciate the other, as a perfect biological pyramid.