Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day Sixteen: Nature

On a log run this morning, I tripped over yet another tree root breaking through yet another Atlanta sidewalk.  I was a minor incident. That is to say, I managed to stay upright.

In my recovery steps, I muttered under my breath about the "stupid sidewalk" and the "stupid tree" and the "stupid people who don't get these things fixed".  Mature growlings at mile 9, to be sure, but growl I did.

But then I started thinking about that tree and noticing all of the activity going on around me dedicated entirely to the beating back of nature from taking over entirely.  The lawn services were out in Ansley Park, trimming, blowing, bagging, pulling, plucking...  The power company had huge trucks out in Grant Park, cutting limbs back from the power lines...  The city had folks with gloves and rakes clearing storm drains of debris...

We spend a lot of time either protecting ourselves from our recovering from or trying to control the forces of nature.  On one hand, we could be seen as successful in these ventures:  we have air conditioning and roofs and lawn mowers.  We have machinery and technology and opposable thumbs.  We have big brains.  We're humans.  We win.

Or do we?

More than just the crack in the sidewalk, the "acts of God" of the last few years have shown us over and over that we don't win.  When humans battle ature, we usually lose.  Sometimes it take a while to know how much we have lost, but we lose just about every time.

I am not entirely a crunchy back-to-nature kind of girl.  I like my roof and my air conditioning and my lawn mower (well, okay, maybe not the lawn mower).  I don't think that we should be living in huts and passively sacrificing ourselves to the elements.

Nor do I think that is what God wants for us.  God wants all good things for us, wholeness and balance, the chance to love and to be loved.  But I do think that we could do with a little dose simple respect for the world that was created just as we were created:  with love and purpose, coupled with respect for the sheer force that is nature in all her glory.

I don't know what the answer is.  Actually, I don't think there is an answer.  I think there is a whole scema of answers that probably start with a little humility and soul-searching by the whole human race.  We don't own this place.  We are not stronger or smarter or better.  We are a part of a whole.  And until we understand this and begin to live in such a manner, we will lose, every time.

No comments:

Post a Comment