Why Nature?

Once again I find myself living among nature with me on the protected side of a thin veil, a pop up camper this time, twice as spacious as the previous canned ham, yet a third as thick. Once again, I feel compelled to write about it. 

A dear friend gave me a gift recently, a leather bound journal and a book of essays by Thoreau. I intended to use the journal as a place to capture my thoughts after reading Thoreau's always inspiring words, but so far I can only advance a paragraph before stopping to transcribe his wisdom. I am afraid this beautiful leather bound journal is destined to be a more elegant version of Cliff’s Notes. 

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”-Thoreau

I remember scrawling this quote on the outside of a journal long ago, back when my dreams of the future were hormonal and expansive. It was a thought that resonated with my deepest self and yet confounded me with it’s simplicity. In art school I had a painting professor say to me, “Most of us chase an idea for the rest of our lives.” It seems this quote has found me again, almost twenty years after it’s first arrival, and I am still chasing it’s simplicity. 

Time after time I find myself butting up with nature in an ever increasing intimacy. While the initial shock of the loss of certain amenities feels massive, after a few days the “loss” actually becomes a gain. There comes a quieting and a slowing down. Without the technological distractions a massive slab of space appears, and in this gap my own particular brand of creativity arises. A creativity fueled by otherness and brine. One that does not come off quick, but takes experience in order to marinate. 

“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” -Thoreau

Time is all we are given, that and breath, until they are both taken, simultaneously it seems. In the gap it is up to us to burgeon. I was blessed with another gift recently, a small cutting from a passionflower vine. At the outset, the cutting grew in undefinable ascent, yet with time it has cast its tendrils to grab hold and climb every inch of what it can find.