September 4, 2007

Contact Part 2

I am a nature lover as far as the next person. I was voted "most likely to be found outdoors" by my fellow graduating classmates in 2005. My nature experiences are nothing supernatural although there is an uncommon peace that surrounds a place that is earth's natural apparel. I have taken many walks and hikes through terrain that shadows the description given by Mitchell. I fully agree that it is in the quiet emptiness where we are able to confront our most inner thoughts. I also am not trying to deny the fact that rugged unaltered nature seems like a sacred place, places where very few have tread before. Climbing the mountains with Moses and entering the holy places, a place where only the chosen are allowed to enter.
A romantic picture of the west has always occurred as the American frontier and the challenges that surround them. In an untamed world, the excitement of survival overcomes the fear and anxiety of a world unknown. An experience such as that cannot be compared to the landscaped greens that surround our everyday living. A mild mannered squirrel is nothing against the forced beauty of a prowling mountain lion. How we are to contact nature in either case is up to the individual. A portion of people are able to get the ‚Äúnature high,‚Ä? if you will, in a small lawn surrounded by beautiful blooming flowers and frisky active squirrels. Others are immune to such a scene, the need for a higher dose, like an addict increasing the potency of a drug. Their experience in the end brings them to the same state of mind as the squirrel watcher, but in a much different place.


Is nature really something that we can come in close contact with? Although it is suggested by John Hanson Mitchell, as he says that Henry Thoreau had achieved contact, I would have to differ in a more spiritual sense. As far as coexisting with nature, yes we can accomplish such a task. We are fully capable, or at least if forced, people could once again go back in time and live like the goat man. Thoreau suggested that he had found the source, the place where all of nature poured out into the suburbs and into our backyards. I personally believe that we are in the world but not of the world. Mitchell is searching for the ultimate answer in a forest of trees, mountains, and wild raging rivers. The answer for me does not lie in such a place. He is searching for the feeling of complete understanding and oneness, an emotion that can only be truly achieved when I stand by my savior's side. That is my source of nature when the creator is in harmony with my soul.