Now it feels like the whole world is going off track and taking us with it.
Well, not quite, but sometimes it seems so. Mind, for all practical purposes, is the entire universe for each individual.
If it feels like the world is going to hell in a hand basket, then as far as your mind is concerned, it is on some level. Hell, in Jean-Paul Sartre’s well-known misanthropic maxim, is the others. Hell is the people, period.
That doesn’t mean most are demonic or anything – in fact, by and large most are pretty decent, for the most part – but hell is what we humans create.
It does not exist in a semi-mythical realm, a fiery world of malice and baroque torture. Hell is here, now, on this planet.
Hell is what we do to one another, the atrocities that humanity inflicts and endures.
And yet… everything has its opposite. Some cosmic principle of balance insists on it. For the negative there is a balancing force of the positive. Despair is opposed to hope.
And alongside man’s often hellish landscapes, there exists something deeper, gentler, more conformist, more fundamentally sane: the natural world.
Children cannot avoid hearing about all this chaos and tragedy, no matter how you try to protect them from it.
Friends talk about it at school, they hear it on the radio; the knowledge enters their consciousness through an unknowable cultural osmosis.
You try to calm their worries, tell them everything will be fine in the end, but it’s debatable how much an adult can do and how much they share your optimism.
And even if/when the war is over they will remember the horror, the images of dead and injured – some of those only children like themselves.
It is shocking and worrying for everyone, especially young people. Children shouldn’t have to process these types of images and memories – no one should.
However, there is one thing adults can do to help children and themselves: Get out into nature.
The other day we took two young people down a country road to a place where frogs spawn every year. We arrived on time: the ponds were full of frogs mating and laying their eggs in huge flowers.
Underwater they were dark green and looked like submerged miniature forests.
And you could hear the frogs croaking, masses of them, a sound I’d never really heard outside of movies or documentaries. (Aptly, they reminded me of that great scene at the end of The Emerald Forestwhen the Amazon tribe asks the frogs to summon heavy rains and destroy a dam that destroyed even their forest home.)
It was a great experience: nature unfiltered and beautiful and really impressive in a quiet way. The children were thrilled, they were allowed to see and touch this mysterious, magical process live.
These are wonderful, positive things for everyone to witness. They lift the spirit and, perhaps more importantly, provide much-needed perspective.
It’s a reminder that despite the bad, there’s always good in the world; Basically, the cycle of life goes on and on, no matter what we do to harm it.
This is the season for it: the children discover the first snowdrops, pick colorful daffodils, see newborn lambs on the local farms and see birds building nests.
Life goes on outside of petty humanity and our irrevocable stupidity. The wheel keeps turning, terror turns to hope, dark times come to an end; Darkness and winter are replaced by light and spring.
Honore de Balzac wrote: “Everywhere an invisible hand has engraved the word ‘mystery’.”
We do our best to distort this writing, in our own lives and the creatures we share this planet with; but nature is irrepressible.
The words always and inevitably shine through: mystery, beauty, magic, life.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/natures-wonder-reminds-us-of-the-good-in-the-world-41413789.html The wonders of nature remind us of the good in the world