Friday’s Essay – Art & Nature

Winter Beauty

Winter Beauty

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about who I am and how I want to be in the world.  I’ve recently come to the conclusion that there are two things that feed my soul – art and nature.  These aren’t exactly small things.  They both fill the whole world – at least my whole heart and soul.  The entirety of my being is made up of these two things.  I’ve been doing a pretty good job of having art in my life lately.  I’ve been performing and writing and attending music and art events.  I haven’t been doing a good job of keeping nature at the heart of my life lately.  I live in a city.  Though, I do have a decent sized yard and live walking distance from the river.  I haven’t been camping in a very long time.  It’s been far too long since I’ve been in the wilderness with all I need packed on my back.  That kind of experience with nature has always been grounding, restoring and spiritually fulfilling.  For various reasons I can’t spend a lot of time in the wilderness on a regular basis.  But I know I could bring nature to me more often.  It is spiritually important to me to live lightly and harmoniously on this planet.  I believe that humans are only a part of this system – not above or in charge.  Many years after the last human is gone the other organisms will continue and thrive.  There will be little trace of us left.  So, while I’m here I want to live kindly and gently with the planet.  I’m interested in creating ecosystems in my yard that are self-sustaining, contribute to the health of the soil, plants and other living creatures in my environment and produce a good amount of food.  (Not having to weed every day would be good, too.)  I fantasize about canning beans and beets and tomatoes.  I dream about keeping bees, since I can’t keep chickens in this city.  I imagine lazy summer afternoons in the shade of my fruit trees picking salad greens and flowers for dinner.  I also imagine this fueling my art and feeding my soul.  Being satisfied that I am living in accordance with my deepest values.  Being grounded daily in the beauty and cycles of the earth can only do me good.  How could I not feel compelled to write beautifully?  How could I not choreograph interesting and thoughtful pieces?  Incorporating art and nature fully into who I am and what I do will bring me closer to being the person I want to become.