“I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.”
- Aldo Leopold
I love to be in nature. Nature has that unique calmness, that sense of just „being“, it grounds me, it gives me focus. I try to be in nature as often as I can. But there is one thing that really upsets me - the destruction of nature. It’s not seldom that we go on a hike and come to an area where part of the forest, sometimes huge amounts of trees were clear cut. Here in Germany I find it often that the trees on hillsides bordering roads are clear cut - for safety reasons. Or trees are cut down to build more and more houses, fabrics and supermarkets. And my heart aches every time I see this. It‘s often justified with „the trees were ill“, „we really need a new XY“ or with „safety reasons“. But to me it only shows the hubris of humanity.
Nobody seems to realize that we are cutting down living entities. Did you ever walk in a forest with your heart wide open? You can sense the trees, the bushes, the flowers. In the forest you can sense something, that doesn’t exist on paved streets. Nature has a quality that no city could ever have. To me cities are concrete hell, they feel dead, artificial. They are filled with human ghosts hurrying around to get all these senseless things done that bring status, money, a better life. And it seems all so dead to me. In nature there is life. And we are destroying more and more of it. We don’t cut a tree down to build a house with its wood, we don’t take in a decent manner and thank for what was given to us. Instead we take everything for granted, exploit and destroy. We don’t live in unison with nature anymore.
Are you aware that when nature dies, we will die with it? We don’t stand above that rhythm of nature - we belong in it. We are part of it. But we are poisoned, our minds are poisoned, and we are trapped in an artificial world with artificial values. Our modern times are so depleted, so empty. We are nothing more than ghosts. We are haunted. We always run and hurry to achieve the next big thing, that gives us more money, more status, more fame in social media, more of all the things we don’t really need.
I believe that humanity at heart is able to do so much good, but we are prisoners of systems that are filled with greed and hate. We must break out of that prison. We must find our connection to nature again. I believe a connection to nature will connect us to ourselves again. It will give us a long-lost sense of belonging. In connection with nature we can become real again.
I came to a point in my life where I realized I don’t want to be numb anymore. I want to break out of that prison. And the first important step is recognizing where the poison in my mind is strongest, and slowly get rid of it. Nature and simplicity are my antidotes. I know I just started, and I am far from perfect. I sometimes fall into old traps again. But I want to change. It is not easy to unlearn habits and behaviours that are ingrained in me from very early on. But I deliberately remind myself every single day. And I realized I need to find compassion for myself in all this. One step at a time. Even if it is only a small contribution every single one of us can make - we can make it! We need to open our eyes and we need to be mindful. We need change - to save nature, to save our planet, to save ourselves.