Monday, September 04, 2006

Nature Smiled

Nature is generally pretty easy to ignore. Anthropomorphosizing about Nature’s displays of power is the best way I know to interpret what I saw and to describe what I learned.

Sometimes Nature has a tantrum and creates a noisy, nasty display of climatological power that’s hard to ignore - say, a hurricane, monsoon, or a spate of tornados. Sometimes the Earth conspires with Nature to remind us that we’re just passengers on this ride - say, an earthquake, perhaps with a tsunami chaser.
Lately in my neighborhood of Earth, we’re suffering through a stubborn and silent prolonged heat wave and drought, from which I conclude that Nature is still mad at us, but feeling tired and not very hopeful about teaching us respect.

Then, the other night, Nature smiled. During my favorite magic hour at the end of a perfect summer day, the sun set in such a blaze of glory that the whole sky beamed with pleasure.

What a sunset. What a lesson in observing to the beauty around us. To continue my shameless and arrogant interpretation of Nature’s mood swings, it seemed to me that the message was this. Pay attention to Nature and you will discover beauty everywhere. Not just in splashy backlit clouds at sunset, but in shadows beneath parched shrubs where the ubiquitous tiny ants rule the world. Not just in Technicolor clouds showing off with the whole big sky as their background, but in a fleeting beam of sunlight catching a few modest blue lobelia in front of a green glazed pot.