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(Two different directions I’m going with my nature piece for, The New Philosopher. Please, feel free to leave feedback, and let me know which one you perfer. The second one begins with the foreword by Henry David Thoreau regarding nature. Thank you and have a nice day.

In an event of sheer serendipity, I happened to stumble across the transcendental authors during my early teenage years; works by such prolific writers as Channing, Emerson, Fuller, and Thoreau. It was this occasion that brought forth from me a deep appreciation for nature, as if in reading Walden, or The Battle of the Ants, provided me with the necessary outline to see just how interconnected we are with everything, as the Greeks postulated in the great chain of being. I consider them some of the most profound educators for this reason, for education in latin means to lead out, which is exactly what they did for me in this regards. The causation of this experience was, from that point on, as my parents would take our family trips to our cabin in Tahoe, that I would retreat to the nature trail just beyond their house, with my pen and journal with me, and hike to a rock that gave me a truly majestic view of nothing man-made.

As I sat upon God’s rock, as I ended up calling it for it’s ability to bring me to the essence of the divine, I began to understand more completely the ancient words of wisdom which spoke of how retreats into nature brought out this capacity in ourselves. This was achieved as I marveled in the way that the sea of trees, namely that of a compilation of Jeffery, Ponderosa, and Sugar Pines cascaded down from that mountainside to meet with such powerful force with the deep vibrant royal blue of the lake in the basin below, only to ascend once more with the overwhelming crash of the same type of forest-green and dirt-brown mountain side which lie on the opposite side of that magnificent body of water. It was as a flock of blue jays matching the color of the heavens flew above that I was able to see the oneness, unity, and continuity of it all, and I could just envision all the people that must be on the surface of that lake, and all the types of fish below it that inhabited those water, and it made me consider the impact that each microcosm, or macrocosm for that matter, had on one another.

My attention as I did so, was then drawn to the humming noise that came from a bumble bee that had landed right besides my hand; somewhat of a natural disposition of mine, when considering how hyper-allergenic I am to these creatures. Despite this fact, it bothered me none nonetheless. However, I began to reflect on the comments made by Charles Darwin, regarding how, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man,” as he had made in, The Origins of the Species. This notion was one that had been all of the buzz as of lately at the various universities in the area, as a result of the rapid decline noted in the bee’s population.

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” -Henry David Thoreau 

As a small child, I vividly recall having a strong inclination towards the DC comic books, and their ability to transport me to different worlds which ostensibly tied into one another in terms of a larger multiverse.  Of these dear treasures of mine which had been a gift from my uncle, I took a particular fancy to that of Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster’s Superman series. Even in my innocence which was my delicate youth, I found it relatively curious how the technologically advanced Metahumans of Krypton were capable of the total annihilation of their own planet of origin. To me, it came across as a type of plot foul, in that in made them seem for lack of better terms, human. Even more frightening is the notion that this was the result of a species that operated entirely from a place of logic, which I now view as an allegorical attempt by the creators to illustrate that the type of society that Plato suggested in his Republic perhaps isn’t the most ideal way for us to live amongst one another. The only thing more disappointing, is growing up to realize that we don’t entirely differ from this fictional lot, and that we possess the very human character flaw of neglecting to take care of our own immediate environment; our very home. Consequentially, I sometimes wonder if science-fiction is the best means to convey the truth.

Today, the parallelisms between Earth and Siegel and Schuster’s Krypton are more transparent than ever before. It has been observed, arguably in Darwin’s Origins, that the life of humankind would be extremely difficult if the bee disappeared, which would be a man made catastrophe; a point that leads to the next speculation, where if the whole of the human species were to be removed, that the earth would greatly flourish as a result. Interestingly enough, surfacing collegiate studies through such prestigious universities as Yale, note as to how there has been a noticeable decline in the bee population, which poses a substantial threat to global agriculture; something that is the direct result of parasites, industrial agriculture, and this fascinating conceptualization that we call climate change, which still yields with in many doubters of this so called scientific theory, especially those involved in the more political climate and to whom are more closely associated with the big oil companies, highlighting how, like any other matter, this issue boils down to good ol’ pecuniary emulation. But, what does it profit one to gain all of the world’s resources, only to lose our very place within the multiverse in exchange? 

Just as I remember those magazines of my childhood, so is the case in my first excursion to San Fransisco with my parents. I could never forget being enamored by the two majestic bridges that separated the abandoned island prison of Alcatraz located right in the center of the bay. Similarly, I was just as fascinated by the thick layer of smog that blanketed the majestic city with pollutants, causing me to roll up the window of my dad’s car. Now, I could only imagine what it must be like in China, where their factories account for more than twenty-five percent of the world’s overall carbon emissions, or in Tar Sands located in Canada, where it is predicted that by 2020 that they will surpass both the United States and China as the largest carbon polluter per capita on earth. At the same time, over the last decade we have also seen the highest temperatures on record in addition to these carbon and methane gas levels, and yet there is still those that believe, oh, climate change, it’s just some terminology referring to  the weather, and is nothing more than an elaborate hoax for free-loving liberals to generate money. However, what is more frightening than this, is that the one resource that we have to counteract against this threat, namely that of trees, are subject only to what one could describe as an environmental holocaust as a result of deforestation, and its any wonder that the bee numbers are dropping.

In the 90’s, there was a movie that came out called, The Brave Little Toaster, about a bunch of household appliances that worked together to prevent the deforestation of the wooded area in which their home was located; children’s movies are great for these type of metaphorical representations. To better illustrate how we are becoming more like Krypton, in essence, I take my reader now to a place 220 miles out in the Earth’s atmosphere, where a mechanical entity works around the clock to provide NASA and other such organizations with satellite imaging of our place of residence in the milky way galaxy. If one were to compile those pictures over the course of a year, they would witness one of the most remarkable phenomenons observable to mankind; as the seasons progress, and the weather affects the various regions of the earth, it creates for the appearance that the Earth is breathing, as if it were very much alive.

A.W. 

 

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