We are in the fourth week of November with December quickly approaching and it is ironic that we go from a day of remembrance and thankfulness right into an all out hedonistic grab for material items that will enhance our lives. What do we need as a species to consider ourselves fortunate? Health is important, a comfortable home and loving family are essential; but what about our immediate habitat outside our front door?
Certainly there are those individuals that are quite happy with the pavement coming right to their very front door with little or no green space; I am not one of them. When my partner and I were in the heart of London a few years ago we visited the museums of course, but we also made time to visit the zoo and aquarium as well.
Nature is something that in spite of a package’s label reading, “all natural ingredients,” cannot come in a bottle or a box. It is another irony that the more mechanized and industrialized we alter the planet we still want to believe that the products we put on or in our bodies are 100% natural. There is absolutely nothing natural about our motor vehicles and yet there are those individuals who think if they take their automobile off-roading they are reconnecting with our roots in nature and of course nothing could be further from the truth.
If I need to recharge and restock my wellbeing and health nothing does it for me like a walk through the woods or a leisurely stroll on the beach collecting shells and bits of driftwood. Think of it: the roar of the waves filling our ears, the smell of the sea filling our nostrils and beautiful natural porcelain shells to clink in our pockets all while cool sand cushions our feet; beautiful. Every day at the beach is opportunity for adventure. What animals will I photograph? How many postcard perfect sunrises and sunsets will I capture? All this time to contemplate the beauty of our natural world and the desire to shop for nonessentials is completely obliterated.
It wasn’t so long ago my partner and I were flying back to Philadelphia from a beach vacation in the Caribbean when I overheard a fellow passenger comment on the hundreds of acres of farmland below us, “Look at all that land going to waste.” I shook my head because this was someone who had no idea where their food came from before they bought it at the store.
I am thankful in spite of all our modern amenities we still have wild, natural places where we can hear the roar of the ocean, the bellow of seals, the song of whales, and the sand between our toes.