Finding meaningful connection with nature is difficult for the average urban dweller. Some of us simply don’t know how—without a prescribed activity, we are at a loss. Others are bored unless nature offers something tangible, like something to speed through, climb up, jump over, or zip past.
But, in a world where the population keeps growing and nature keeps shrinking, natural areas will eventually become overwhelmed by hard, active use. Wild nature should be valued for its own sake, not only for its Use Potential.
We need a more mindful approach.
Why not approach nature as a fellow living being?
A Barrel of Puppies
Of course, nature is not always fluffy and cute. Even if you’ve never felt the sharp edges of wilderness survival, you’ve probably seen enough on the Nature Channel to know that true Wild Nature can be downright horrifying.
Mostly, it’s Eat or be Eaten.
But, the nature most of us will encounter in daily life is tamer. Our urban parks, our greenspaces and natural areas close to population centers are not places where you need to fear for your life. On the contrary, nature has far more to fear from you.
We have no problem treating puppies and kittens with tender care, why can’t we treat birds, and small mammals, or even insects and worms with the same consideration? Most wild animals and wild plants in cities—even ones we are taught to think of as “bad”—are simply trying to survive.
Try this sometime: when you visit a natural area, try approaching it as you would a living creature you wish to get to know. Everything—the plants, the trees, the animals, and everything in between—is Life. Treat it with some tender care.
You will feel truly connected to nature.
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Great message Denise!
Great post with great message. I was brought up in a highly urbanised area, so I understand what you’re talking about. Some live in apartments, others have backyards, yet the metropolis is the ‘meeting’ place for humans, most often with disregard to the natural world. It also spreads with human population growth, so there’s more concrete and even fewer green areas. Nevertheless, I feel my own connectedness with nature, regardless of where I am. What a wonderful painting with the whole ecosystem included. I especially like the rodent with the tunnel on the left.
Thank you ,Maria. I am partial to the rodent, too!
Great watercolor !
Thank you, Wayne!