The universe is full of magical things and one of the most beautiful things we can experience is the mysteries of nature. For our deepest roots are in nature. Go outside, and taste the beauty of the wild, The forests, mountains, lakes, rivers. Behold the miracle of the earth.
These images are an expression of this experience. Taken in various locations, some close to home in the few natural spaces we have left and some further afield with plants and trees of a more exotic nature. The words and quotes here, credited to the author where possible, are of a sentiment I relate to deeply.
‘When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; … and the last stream poisoned, you will realise that you cannot eat money’ – Native American proverb
We cannot have a sense of communion with nature if we cannot care for our fellow human beings. The earth was created by God for all, writes the pope, so in protecting the earth, we must also protect the rights of the poor and underprivileged. We are having so much difficulty meeting the challenge of protecting the earth and its people because of an “ethical and cultural decline” characterized by “rampant individualism” and a “self-centered culture of instant gratification.” Our inability to think seriously about future generations is linked to our inability to think beyond our own immediate interests to consider the poor and disadvantaged.
Progress itself needs to be redefined. “A technological and economic development which does not leave in its wake a better world and an integrally higher quality of life cannot be considered progress,” writes the pope. Many things need to change—above all human beings themselves. Because the actions of individuals matter, the pope encourages us to use less energy, forego plastics, reduce water consumption, take public transportation, care for other living beings, plant trees and realize that material consumption is not enough to give us meaning and joy. Instead, we must return to simplicity, to appreciate small things and be grateful for what we have. Laws will not bring about meaningful lasting change if individuals are not personally transformed as well.
We cannot command Nature except by obeying her. When we heal the Earth, we heal ourselves. ~ Francis Bacon
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~ Lao Tzu
“Give me a land of boughs in leaf,
A land of trees that stand;
Where trees are fallen there is grief;
I love no leafless land.”
– A.E. Housman
“Rather than turning over a new leaf, prune your tree so that new leaves continue to blossom.”
See also Portfolio > Nature