Dillard's Connection with Nature
Annie Dillard is as close to nature as anyone could be. She is in tune with the cycle nature goes through. Life and death are curious matters to her and she makes that evident throughout her writing. This is a message she wishes to convey to the reader- that humans have the responsibility to explore nature and all its wonders.
All throughout her writing, Heaven and Earth in Jest, she describes her encounters with nature. At the beginning she talks about walking across a valley to a river. The detailed account shows the reader how in tune she is with her surroundings. Moreover, Dillard appreciates nature for more than its beauty. She appreciates the duality of nature, that is can both create and destroy. For example, she talks about seeing a frog die. The amphibian is killed by a giant water bug that basically sucks the life out of their prey. This image is very strong in her writing since it is so graphic and detailed. Dillard is at once both fascinated and horrified by this sight. Many would only take it for what it is, the death of an animal; although, Dillard is mesmerized by it. She often returns to the spot in which she saw the life sucked out of the frog. On one hand she sees this as a magical happening in nature and on the other hand she does not take it too seriously. Dillard realizes that this is a natural occurrence. Many would be disgusted by this, but not Dillard. This is where the title of her writing originates from, Heaven and Earth in Jest. It clearly explains what Dillard sees in nature. It is not to be taken too seriously. I agree with her view point because nature and life should not be taken too seriously. We should be unified with nature, just as Dillard was. Such natural occurrences, such as predator-prey relationships, should be looked at as life, not as a disturbing sight. We should follow Dillard’s example and explore nature.