“Nature ——wild Nature——dwells in gardens just as she dwells in the tangled woods, in the deeps of the sea, and on the heights of the mountains; and the wilder the garden, the more you will see of her there. If you would see here unspoiled and in many forms, let your garden be a wild place, a place of trees and shrubs and vines and grass, even a place where weeds are granted a certain tolerance; for gardens which are merely pick and span plots of combed and curried flower-beds have little attraction for the birds or for the other people of the wild. Yet, into any garden, no matter how artificial or how tame, some wild things will find their way. It is a shallow boast, this talk we hear about man’s conquest of nature. It will be time to talk in that fashion when man has learned to check or control the march of the seasons or when he has brought some spot of earth so thoroughly under his dominion that it remains insensible to the impulse of the spring. He has not done that yet, and he never will. Spring in a garden is as irresistible, as incredible, as a spring in the heart of the wilderness”.
“Both Wordsworth and Thoreau knew that when the light of common day seemed no more than common it was because of something lacking in them, not because of something lacking in it, and what they asked for was eyes to see a universe they knew was worth seeing. For that reason theirs are the best of all attempts to describe what real awareness consists of…that the rare moment is not the moment when there is something worth looking at but the moment when we are capable of seeing it”.
From The Desert Year, by Joseph Wood Krutch, American Naturalist
“Once they are gone, the trees and the grasslands, the screaming waterfowl, the beavers, and the antelope, we can only remember them with longing. We are not god. We cannot make America over again as it was in the beginning, but we can come to what is left of our heritage with a patriot’s reverence”.
From Things Precious & Wild: A Book of Nature Quotations by John K. Terres
“After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on – have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear – what remains? Nature remains”. –Walt Whitman
For some of us, nature is all that there is and all that has ever been. It is both “blessing and curse” for those seemingly few, so inclined. We walk a different road on this great blue orb, away from the hustle and the bustle and the noise. Sadly, “modern” society is not always kind to those who choose this path.
Material rewards and the spoils of war favor the victors. They tend to write and edit the history books, too.
Still, one road leads to life – the other way, not so much. Truth is truth.
I see many things from my big picture window, with its view of the Colorado River to the south, winding below some of the many mountain peaks of western Colorado.
Today it is hard to spot the mountain tops through a thick haze of smoke, and with my compromised sight comes a pounding sinus headache and the impossibility of a breath of fresh air. It comes in the aftermath of a lost winter and a long gone snowpack, meanly followed by record heat, desiccating winds, and no rain. Even the mighty river struggles to survive, waiting to collect and shunt the non-existent waters towards the beckoning sea.
The news of late is filled with the horrors of wildfires, let loose like caged lions upon the skeletons of beetle killed and kiln dried forests, on the edges of mountain subdivisions and the homes of good mountain folk. Fire rages near Ft. Collins, Colorado, among the canyons and timbered ridges I hiked and hunted during my college days.
The High Park Fire will go down in history as the state’s most destructive wildfire. Or it would have, until a few moments ago, when it was surpassed by an even more terrible conflagration known as the Waldo Creek Fire in Colorado Springs. Both fires, and others, will continue to burn through more dangerous days ahead. Only time will tell how much more epic and destructive they will become.
The cause of our smoke and discomfort is a new fire northeast of Grand Junction, and about 50 miles or less to our west. It was caused by a random and uncaring lightning strike, like others that will surely follow. The chance of it reaching this far is most probably remote, but it will no doubt affect us for weeks to come. We hear the helicopters overhead, and they are already mobilizing to evacuate the towns nearest to the fire.
At times like these one can only stand in awe before the powers and vagaries of nature. Our needs and desires pale to nothingness before the will of a mountain fire and the infernal, scorching winds. Just ask of those who had only time to grab a few small things as they fled before the great red wall. They can testify, without doubt, that nature will have her way. It is the way it has always been, and will always be, whether we admit it or not.
Our heart goes out to those who have lost their homes, or god forbid, their loved ones. We wish them Godspeed in their recoveries, and best travels in the twisted and unpredictable journey of life.
For our part, we can only take refuge in the knowledge that we have prepared for this type of disaster as best we could, as have all preppers and common sense people. We have read the signs, and the handwriting is heavy upon the land.
It is the spark of life inside us that drives us, more powerfully than any external spark from without. We shall hold on. Preparation is a state of mind and the natural thing to do, well within the small part we play in our uncertain fates on earth.
A Journal of Honest Food, Freedom, and The Natural World