False Perceptions Of Nature: A Concession

It is easy to romanticize Nature when one is removed from it.

When writing and reflecting on my perceptions of Nature—alone in my city apartment in front of a laptop screen far removed from genuine wildness—I recognize a manipulated version of Mother Earth’s precious wonders, excluding harshness and the reality of existence. Similar to how interpretations and fixations of the past press on the mind, my image of the Earth does the same. Rather than accurately understanding the great power’s yin and yang, I tend to daydream purely about its sublimity.

When invited to reflect upon my understanding of the environment, I glorify all that I know to be true.

Often I am so consumed with this understanding of Mother Earth I temporarily forget her wildness, her wrath, her danger. It is times I truly take part in Nature that I am uninvitingly reminded of such fact. In a sunflower patch somewhere in Texas I hide from hornets and curse the stickers that have made my denim unwearable. Leaving with bleeding bumps on my body I feel nothing but unreasonable irritation to the actuality of Nature.

I am nothing but a hostage of this planet and a powerless onlooker to the Earth’s forces.

As much as I lust over the forest, the flowers, the ocean, the sun, the desert, the air, the stars, the rivers, I fail to admit their ferocity or occasional viciousness. The same can be said of all natural powers: equal parts destructive and benign.

The truth I rarely admit is that the Earth is not merciful nor gentle nor unconditionally kind. Her power exceeds human innovation and understanding. And when the last breath is breathed by a human being, her invulnerable presence will proudly carry on.

I shall vanish and be no more, but the land over which I now roam shall remain and change not.

Song of the Hethushka Warrior Society, Omaha