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Man vs. Wild…is that really how it should be?

November 3, 2009

I felt like a hobbit in Fangorn Forest–minus the ears and hairy feet of course.

Austin, Blake, and I took the afternoon to hike in a nearby old-growth forest today to escape from the stresses of school, work, and other responsibilities.  Walking amongst those tall, silent giants, a sense of peace and calm overcame the three of us, who only hours before were jittery with anxiety and stress.

Hours later, forced by the setting sun to leave, we headed back to “civilization.”  As we drove into town, I wondered how we’ve become so separated from our natural environment.

After all, we are still members of a food web (though one we control to a great extent).  We still drink water from the same rivers and breathe the same air as other living things, and after we die, become part of the same earth once more.  So why is there this distinction between “man” and “nature”?

Much of our mental and emotional disconnect comes from a physical disconnect.  We get our water from faucets, our energy from sockets, and our food from grocery stores.  Nature no longer feels like a part of who we are, but has become some faraway, outdoor “thing”.

This disconnect keeps us from realizing how dependent we are on the balanced life processes on earth.  We need clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, and a variety of food to eat so that we don’t just survive, but live.  Yet we continue to dump chemicals into our rivers, send greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, and build monocultures of crops.

This week I simply urge you to reconnect with Mother Earth a little bit.  Take a walk, lie under a leafy tree, or chase squirrels like Austin does.  How are you connected to the earth?




And for a great book about man’s relationship with nature, check out The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature by David Suzuki.  I absolutely loved this book–especially how Suzuki uses scientific fact to show how our relationship with the natural world is absolutely incredible.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Joyce Chen permalink
    November 3, 2009 12:16 pm

    I chase squirrels around campus too and laying out and cloud watching is always fun especially during this week of 60 something weather in November!!

  2. Danny Smyl permalink
    November 3, 2009 7:05 pm

    I eat the animals that live on the Earth.

  3. Jenessa permalink
    November 10, 2009 1:11 pm

    This is why I love having a dog. It’s an excuse to go outside every few hours and walk around (and let HER chase the squirrels).

  4. Tyler permalink
    November 10, 2009 2:36 pm

    Did you go to the Old Growth Forest remains at Fort leavenworth?

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