December Blog/ Reflection
“It is part of wisdom never to revisit a wilderness, for the more golden the lily, the more certain that someone has gilded it.” It isn’t too hidden from out view to see this “golden lily” slowly lose her charm. This month after doing my weekly visit to my meditative stoop, it seemed that the creek had a muddied tone overflowing from every tree. Everything seemed neutral opaque and darkened. Whether it is it me becoming jaded from the end of the semester (and all that comes with it) or not, something had changed since the start of the semester. The sun didn’t seemed to sine as bright, but more like a blub on its way out.
This ties directly into the word cloud with words like “different” “creek” and “water.” When looking back on the experience, it seemed that all of the objects that had lost their sheen, were the ones that had been directly related to water and the creek. The thing that blesses the small preserve with life had begun to limp her way through the end of the season. As winter approached, the water tends to become scarcer, and with less rainfall comes a weakened sense of life. I suppose this is what would give the forest, or what it once was, an unhealthy undertone.
As I peered in closer at the word cloud, a smaller, colorless word jumped out and caused a worry greater than any other word on the cloud. “Unfortunate.” My overly analytic sense of words leads me to a strange frustration. To me, the word “unfortunate” insinuates a type of unknown, or lack of care. It becomes tossed around like some sort of empathetic tone without a sort aid, just kind of stating the obvious concern. This doesn’t only apply to the word cloud, but almost every aspect of the environment. People hear about things that we do to our world, how we leech her of life, and not even bat an eye. Or even more frustrating is when people do not care to learn. To me, it is hard to wrap my head around the idea that a country so strong, and learned can be so blatantly dismissive of an issue that has a face and a name. And it isn’t only the people who outright toss out the idea, or even the governmental figures we place into power (who also dismiss many of these issues), it is everyone, even the advocates for the protection.
As a student who places a lot of emphasis on sustainability, I try my very hardest to not choose things that cause an environmental injury. I would be lying to say that I am a true guardian of nature; I’m even currently drinking out of a disposable cup. I deem myself a hypocrite, but in admitting so, I’m gearing my career in an attempt to prevent the world from literally dying. It is our jobs as harbingers of environmental health to set a good example. Not one painted green, but one that clearly outlines our goals as promoters of sustainability. To become a true expert in a field, we must not only retain the information put form by our studies, but we must also apply the knowledge. What good is a test if we did not learn anything? It seems that we live a world that is finally begging to recognize the caliber of the environmental crisis we face. With species across the whole field of biology disappearing faster than any other time in the history of the world, temperatures rising, and more extreme weather patters, it is time to finally take action that isn’t just words.
One of the last words I noticed on the word cloud that harmonized with how I felt about my hikes through Blunn Creek was “beautiful.” Yeah nature is “pretty” to look at, but like reading between lines, nature provides more than just an aesthetic purpose. For example, when sitting on my small slab near the creek, catty-cornered to a tree, something more than a nice view hides there. To a quick passer by, it may just seem like a tiny scenic place. What really tickles my mind about “beauty” is how everything meshed into one graceful piece. It doesn’t only apply to just aesthetic beauty, but also to historical, scientific, and artistic beauty. How many years did it take for those trees to become finely tuned to their environment? How many decades were invested to smooth out the nice tracks for the creek to twist, turn and curve to? How many years worth of magma was spewed out to mold the gorgeous granite I sat atop of? For me, these questions churned up a feeling of overwhelming guilt, a guilt that I had appropriately earned from my years of spitting on the health of my surroundings. This guilt rekindled a flame that I had feared I lost, a flame that keeps me wondering about how to keep our world clean. By find natural and healthy solution to the damaged natural world, not only will foster a future for the next to come, but to also amp up this aesthetic beauty. I mean, while working to create a better world, having a gorgeous product come out of it, doesn’t really hurt either.
I think that this relit fire, and this project have served me more than I had originally believed. It isn’t everyday an assignment provides a new path to walk down, physically and metaphorically. By simply just wondering and wandering, I had found a goal. My goals for the upcoming years are to make sustainable actions habitual, for me and for my friends. By doing so, we are able to remove any sort of “inconvenience” factor that oh so many complain about. Whether the world want to admit it, it is on the brink of a green movement.
And it is all from a couple of trees and an hour a week.