Monday, May 21, 2012

Nature is Awesome

Most people who know me would not describe me as religious. They are right to the degree that I have no guilt feelings about not attending religious ceremonies on a regular basis (the main exceptions being weddings and funerals).  Nor do I subscribe to any religious doctrines. Still the basic concerns of religion are of great interest to me.

I remember reading about ancient Druids who gathered to worship around forest clearings. I never understood their theology, but I do understand the feelings evoked in the natural settings of the forest.  Underneath a tree it seems like the life force is striving for the sky.

When I say nature is awesome I really mean I am in awe of nature. I am overwhelmed with the feeling that there is a big connection. Each of us has conspired against nature--we build houses to keep out the cold, the wet, the heat and to be feel safer. We have extracted what we can from nature to smooth out our need to eat, to travel, to heal and to kill one another. We fight it at every turn and feel proud that we have insulated ourselves from the perceived negatives of nature and unconsciously extracted from nature things that add to our comfort.

Religious concerns are the most basic. We absolutely cannot comprehend infinity or eternity. We are fearful of death and in-comprehending of life. My belief is that religious systems evolved naturally as explanations of these factors. Some of it was manipulative as some recognized an opportunity to make themselves more powerful. Some of it was simple and easy to understand. Maybe there is a core that is actually true and can give us a core of meaningfulness.

I have lived in cities and in rural areas. My job has allowed me to travel through rural areas and it is one aspect of my life that I relish. In my home town, Hamilton we have turned a desolate harbour into a wonderful park that thousands of people visit every year. For me it brings the awesomeness of nature closer to my experience and lifts my spirits. You feel you are part of something much bigger than yourself.

Today on the long May weekend went for a walk along the Harbour Trail.  A sign of spring were lots of goslings and something I have not seen in year, dozens of spawning carp.

The photos were taken at Hamilton's Bayfront Park, near where I live.  My favorites are the cormorants.

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