As humans we continually reason, calculate, analyze, and question. And while all of these things are helpful in some way, I’ve found the mind may not be the best source for life’s answers. In my life Nature provides essential wisdom.
Careful study of Earth’s cycles and the behavior of its inhabitants have made me aware that events within this natural realm make perfect, logical sense. I now see the wisdom in Nature and gratefully take it to heart in dealing with struggles and disappointments. The inspiration from Earth has helped me heal from depression, heartbreak and loss – the answers come from deep within welling up when needed shedding their light on the dark thoughts within my mind.
A profound moment demonstrating this followed the attacks of 2001. Like most, I was immensely despondent over the capacity of human malice. After a week of going through the motions of daily life, I desperately wanted some guidance on getting past what occurred. Sadly gazing out my kitchen window, I noticed the chickadees snatching up seeds from the feeder and flying over to the apple tree to relish the treat. I was struck at how they lived only in that moment not worried about what had been or what would be – grateful for the food. These little birds showed me to have faith in the future and let what had passed go by, taking from it only its lessons.
Even with death Nature shares wisdom. Like humans, many animals mourn it. The elephants of Africa visit the bones of dead relatives, stroking them affectionately with their trunks. Wolves sadly howl at the loss of a pack member. Still, death does not stop the survivors from continuing on. I see through their eyes that death comes to everything yet life does not end, it simply changes form.
The intellect’s emotions of pride, anger and depression can have a high price. I’ve witnessed this in a brother so caught up in the workings of his mind’s expectations that he lost a successful career and succumbed to a life of loneliness, denial and blame. I’ve watched people whose reliance on the mental process led to obsession with power and possessions playing itself out in deception and greed. My own experience confirms that the mind expects perfection, but witnessing the reality of life on this Planet tells me it is an expectation that will never be met.
Nature works to balance extremes in spectacular fashion and the wisdom shared is that life is perfect in its imperfection. This has taught me not to work so hard at trying to have a perfect life – that the essence of a full and good life is accepting the imperfections, continuing on with faith in the cycle’s progression. If we watch, listen, smell, and touch the natural world, all life’s lessons can be found within it. This I believe.
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