Journal Archive
« Keeping a Nature Journal | Main | Earth Day 2010 »

Inside Looking Out

Journal Entry: 4-21-10

All too often I find myself bound to a desk by the invisible chains of deadlines and duty. Negotiating and interacting with an office landscape composed of file cabinets, telephone, computers, wires, to-do lists, email, bookshelves, tools, ring-binders, papers, dust, florescent lights, and a bloom of yellow sticky-notes all around me – while outside, a soothing natural landscape calls to me. I hear the songs of birds just beyond the office window as they defend their territory, try to attract a mate, and warn of predators nearby. I catch the scent of blossoms, cut grass, warm asphalt, and spring ponds on a breeze that flows like a gentle brook through the open window by my desk. They distract me, as they should, from my less than organic program of modern life. I struggle against the distractions to “stay on purpose” and reach my work goals and objectives, yet I don’t want to deny nature’s invitation. By the end of the workday, I often feel that I have done nothing so meaningful or productive as the work of a honeybee, or a dandelion, or a finch.

Honeybee coming in for a landing on a dandelion flower. (Click to enlarge)I realize, of course, that I do in fact contribute good things to the world and people around me, and that I achieve satisfying results within the context of my techno-industrio-human-made reality. It’s just that all life, at the individual level, is so fragile and short despite its inherent strength, endurance, and longevity. I am an individual and I live within many shifting contexts at once. We modern humans are the only species on earth that has created such complex realities to supplant a natural existence. When I have to resist dropping my work to go outside and explore the glorious spring weather and see what is taking place amongst the developing plant and animal life, or feel guilty if I do, something feels very wrong.

I wish to join in the playful antics of fox kits, or ride the thermals for sheer acrobatic pleasure as I have witness crows and vultures do. I want to sit and watch a flower grow from soil emergence to full bloom, learning what I can from it. Instead, I drive seventy miles a day, push papers, return phone calls, answer email, make plans, solve problems, inspire and encourage everyone else to get outside in nature, and share what I know of the marvels of the world. On a good day at work, I do manage to get outside and explore nature, or at least work outside in it. Having spent more than a decade in a “cubicle-world” before my escape, I know I am blessed to be able to do what I do.

Like many others who have a heart-connection to the natural world, I long to live in peace with nature and revel in her beauty as the rule, not the exception. To feel a twinge of envy as I watch the simple freedom and agility of a chipmunk is to be reminded of my desire for wild wit and strength – innate abilities somewhat withered by the so-called conveniences of modern society.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>