It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become. – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
This morning I added a new word to my personal description – ecologue. Eco – meaning ecology, which is derived from the Greek oikos – extended family. Logue – one who is immersed in or driven by. Some of my earliest memories are of nature. My mom used to carry me around and point to different plants and tell me the colors and names. Our yard had a fence around it, so I was allowed to play outside almost as soon as I could walk. I reveled in the natural world down to the smallest details of ants’ antennae, the saw toothed edges of grass, and the citrus tang of sassafras leaves.
As a kid, I was fortunate to live next door to my beloved grandpa – Buddy. Buddy was born in the backwoods of Kentucky, and was a hardworking child of nature and dirt farmer. When I was about four years old, he and I would walk down the ally to the liquor store. Along the way he would point out different aspects of nature, the erosion of topsoil, wildflowers, and the best grass for chewing on. Those early childhood lessons were etched on my soul. He is the one who told me the water in our bodies has the same concentration of salt as seawater. And one night he taught me how to sense the moon’s tidal effect with us.
What scenic spots have stirred your soul? To be scenic does not necessarily mean to be grand in scale. To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour – William Blake Think of your favorite local nature spot. What makes it so pleasurable to be in? I am fortunate because as I write I can look out the window onto a small woodlot. A soaring fanfare of birdsong triumphantly proclaims the arrival of spring; as formations of Canadian Geese raucously pass overhead. Later, I will enjoy the symphony of the sea’s surging crescendos rolling up into the imperial purple heavens.
Another term I use to describe myself is neotranscendentalist. Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the first American writers to advocate for Nature. His transcendentalist view believed Nature promoted spiritual nourishment. As he said, Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house a world; and beyond its world, a heaven…. In peaceful moments, our spirits tend to float into the clouds and drift along on currents of wind and water. With the coming of warmer weather, take off your shoes and wiggle your toes in the cool grass, or soft sand. That sense of temporary enchantment is transcendent.
The flourish of springtime, paint my view increasingly green as various blooms and blossoms emerge. Time and again, it has been proven that green space is essential to humanity’s well-being. One cannot truly be well without nature. We should resurrect the simple lessons we learned from our parents and grandparents But far too many people take advantage of the seemingly endless bounty and never lend a helping hand to the natural world. We must all become advocates for Nature. Human beings need to feel the sweet caress of nature upon their face, hear the call of the wild. This weekend release your spirit into Nature.
To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again. – Ralph Waldo Emerson