Why think about nature? What do we need to learn from nature? Who should respect nature? The answers to these questions seem obvious to most of us, but do we really live as if we get it? In our over-stimulated lives, it is easy to overlook the importance natural things play in our lives. It’s time to “get back to nature,” and think natural thoughts about our personal impact on this world.
The first step back to nature is to think about it. Really think about the importance of our natural world to our existence. Think about the gulf oil spill. It may be hundreds or thousands of miles from you personally, but all of us will feel the impact of this spill for the rest of our lives.
Whether you are a bird watcher or not, you should think about birds as indicators of a healthy environment. Here in the
Midwest, we can expect this spill to have a negative impact on migratory birds. What other effects can we expect if certain species do not show up here?
When the oil spill happened, I thought about my personal use of oil. Was there something I could do to lessen the demand for oil? Again, obvious answers came to mind: pay more attention to how I use my car. Make fewer, shorter trips. If each of us did just one thing to decrease our use of oil, imagine the results.
The second step back to nature is to learn as much as we can about our natural environment. Get out and walk a trail. Observe the type of grasses, flowers, and trees you see. Stop taking these things for granted – what would your nature trail look like without them?
Pick a local species and study it. Teach your children or your friends about it. For example, in the fall we see large numbers of Monarch butterflies. How can such a beautiful, delicate insect fly thousands of miles?
A question like that leads us to the final step of getting back to nature – respect. You have to respect a butterfly that can fly thousands of miles through a plethora of natural environments. Once you think about and learn how that butterfly accomplishes such a feat, you will have a greater respect for it. You will never look at a Monarch in the same way again.
All of these things, thinking, learning, and respecting nature lead us to protecting nature. Protecting nature is as important as breathing. Actually we only breathe because of nature!
I hope my simple blog about natural thoughts will inspire you to, as Albert Einstein put it, “look deeper into nature and you will understand everything better.”