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What Have I Learned

June 23, 2012

Thanks to both of my parents who from my childhood made the effort, took the time and spent what little money they had to show their children the natural world and take all of us outdoors to experience many different things, I have always felt very connected to Nature.

From my years of Cub scouts through Boy Scouts I learned to “Be Prepared”, while still enjoying all the wonders and beauty the outdoors had to offer. As I grew into my late teen and early 20s I challenged myself with expeditions to far off places and remote regions of the US and Canada. Testing my skills and knowledge of the natural world. I can remember one trip where we purposely did not pack enough food for a 2 week Canoe camping trip, counting on our abilities to fish and collect natural foods to have enough food to survive.

The challenges where not to Conquer Mother Nature, but to overcome my own fears and gain knowledge of both the outdoor world and myself. After many, many years of these adventures into the unknowns, I came to realize the biggest challenges where not so much survival, but understanding myself. I came to realize that this could also be done in a local Park and not with possible death hanging over my head if I failed.

Sitting quietly along the edge of a secluded Pond in the forest of a local Park, and becoming one of the trees, or one of the frogs in that Pond, connected me directly to everything that was happening there. After a short time, the turtles excepted me, the Birds did not care that I was there and life as it would happen without my presence was happening with me being there.

Not only did I feel an acceptance into a privileged world, but I would learn the fine details of the inter-connectivity that makes up the natural world. This intense detailed connectivity still amazes me to this day. Just how everything in nature is in some way connected to everything else and depends on each other in one way or the other is something that is simply astounding to me.

But what this has done for me, this acceptance into this detailed interconnected world, is allowed me to look deep into myself and see things I would never had seen while in my office, or sitting at home. Removing all the things that spin around us in the fast paced society we now live in can make self reflection almost impossible at times.

Being a tree or simple Frog can quickly remove all these spinning complications of madness and boil many things down to their most simplest of forms. Not only has these simple times helped me solve some of the most difficult problems in my life, it has also given me amazing experiences of observing the natural world the way it is suppose to be. Undisturbed. I have witnessed things I would have never seen attempting to go after actually seeing them. But by becoming one of the trees and having the patience to just blend into the natural world, I have been blessed with observing so many wonderful things.

Critters being themselves. Birds singing and interacting with each other and other critters. I once even watched as a Beaver felled a tree. I would never had guessed or imagined how this looked, sounded like or happened in a real sense, even if someone explained it to me. But to actually watch it close by is something I will never forget.

I guess the whole point is…..it is always good to be prepared when heading out into the natural world. But it is important that we are prepared to become part of this world and not be there to attempt to control it, conquer it or manipulate it. The real wonders and true beauties are in the life there, just being itself, without our influence. Just being there, being another tree is one of the most important things I have learned about the Natural world and myself. It has been the most learned experiences in my life.

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