The world we live in is so often perceived as two-dimensional. It’s black and white, Catholic vs. Protestant; plaintiff vs. defendant; Democrat vs. Republican; us vs. them. Taking sides and fighting for one’s side is idealized, while being neutral on most any topic is often seen as weak and indecisive.
The two extremes have a dark side. Those in power manipulate the masses by promoting conflict. It’s a tactic of Divide-and-conquer by keeping everyone busy mistrusting one another while the fox raids the hen house. Wars are fought and people die under this mentality.
Besides being dangerous to one’s health, well-being and survival, it is very limiting to view the world only in black and white. There is a whole spectrum of color, a virtual rainbow of possibilities that lie between. There is power in diversity. Nature knows this. Otherwise why are we blessed with a variety of thousands of species of flora and fauna? Couldn’t the earth get by with just a handful? And yet there is bountiful assortment to be found everywhere. Even in extreme desert environments, a riot of rich, multihued flowers bloom each spring. Plant, insect, and animal life adapt and find ways to survive in desert and arctic environments despite extreme conditions.
Nature knows best. It’s human consciousness that perpetuates such a limited view of reality. By dividing everything into two camps, all middle ground is lost. There is no room for compromise, for growth, for adaptation. And it is a colorless world, indeed. But it doesn’t have to be. People are awakening to the healing power of reconnecting with nature. Its beauty calms the nerves and feeds the soul.
People who like to fish do so not just for the prospect of catching dinner, but for the experience of being out on the water, watching the clouds float by, and feeling the warmth of the sun on their faces. Those who climb mountains take on the challenge to prove themselves, of course. But they may find that the greater part of the experience is taking in the scenic vistas, breathing clean air, and catching glimpses of wildlife along the way.
In nature our five senses come alive. We enjoy the musky scent of a forested floor or the smell and taste of the salty ocean air. It is healing to sit still and observe the changing colors of the sky and the play of light on the distant hills. It is music to our ears to listen to the melody and variety of bird calls all around. There is joy in the feel and texture of grass or moss or mud, squishing between bare toes. It calms the nervous system and de-clutters the mind to be immersed in the raw beauty of nature unobstructed by manmade devices.
Nature is most definitely not a two dimensional world. It does not require a forced choice: this or that; it provides a full spectrum of choices, in living color, in stereo sound, to smell, to taste, and to touch. Nature is, well, natural. If we can only grasp the value of preserving its wild beauty in its many forms, nature will continue to be a gift that keeps on giving.