Ranch Santa Ana Botanical Gardens, California
When my city friends come to visit they often remark that it is so quiet at my house and I just laugh because I know it is really noisy with calling hawks and fussing crows. I’ve been thinking about this and what I think most people are doing is responding to nature itself and calling that quiet and peaceful. Because if they really wanted quiet they could put beans in their ears and block it all out. So it isn’t really quiet that they like but the connection to nature. We all seem to have a primitive urge to be in nature and are drawn to it but once there then what. I see people run around the forest just as busy as when they are in the city. In fact, even as a naturalist I am in constant motion when out in the woods and I have that “quiet” sound all around. I often wonder if my primitive self who used to look for firewood, food and safety, even though I no longer need to do so, is now using that energy to look for insects, flowers and mushrooms. I still find it difficult to sit and be quiet like a tree instead of scampering about like a squirrel. The remarkable thing to me is that sitting still and running around in the woods are both nurturing. But I think the sitting quietly and consciously is the better of the two, more rejuvenating and nourishing. In The Long-Legged House Wendell Berry said, “If one could respond to the quiet of those places with quiet, and with enough attention, the woods will reveal its lives…” So, I have come to the conclusion that we all need to relearn how to be in nature, how to be relaxed, calm and quiet.
I am still working out my thought on this subject and would love to hear what you think.
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