I’ve been reading a book by Richard Louv called The Nature Principle. Louv, adamant about reconnecting society with nature, describes how our identity as people in communities, as well as individuals, isn’t just based on names of towns or states, but also the natural world that we are a part of. He starts his point with “While most of us recognize where we live by its cities, buildings, places of business, even sports teams, how many of us identify with and understand the beauty, wonder and actual functioning of the natural ecosystem which supports us, and of which we are a part?” He continues and gets to the heart of the matter: “…the natural world connects people to their authentic selves” and proclaims “You can’t know who you are until you know where you are.”
Humans love labels. We label our selves according to profession, hobbies, what we wear and eat and watch on TV, all so we can categorize each other and find like-minded individuals. But according to Louv, our picture is incomplete. We are much more than our artificially-fabricated, meticulously-crafted selves, part of us is the nature around us. Without it, we aren’t grounded; we aren’t a part of the bigger picture.
The lamentable part is that most people will never realize that a piece of them is missing, that they are actually a part of this natural world! Louv suggests many ways to reconnect with that part of ourselves, making the book worth reading for anyone.
I haven’t lived here long, but the newness of this place has long worn off, for a while leaving me feeling blah about my surroundings. Recently, I’ve found just paying attention more has helped this reconnection. So has reading Louv’s book. I also decided to freshen my perspective by stepping out of my comfort zone and attending local walks and talks on a variety of nature-related subjects. The knowledge and passion others embody is just amazing! While I may not understand all they speak of, the new information [and new worlds!] they share helps cure the “post-newness blues” of someone who is used to moving every six months!
Below, the photos show that lately the grey skies have opened up and are showing signs of seasonal change over our heads here on the coast:
Orion, a winter constellation, is just starting its nightly trek across the sky. Here it climbs just above the horizon at midnight or so.
A sun halo in high clouds from yesterday. Oddly, the last time I photographed one, ravens flew past, too.