An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of October 27, 2008
Mostly written in Yokdzonot and issued from a ciber in Pisté
Yucatán, MÉXICO

OCTOBER PASSIONS

During my North American days, something about late October always touched me deeply, and I know I'm not the only one. A friend writes how the other day the forest was so pretty, the air so thrilling and the sky so crystalline, that she almost cried. My mother used to express the same feeling when her town's late-October, golden Sugar Maples glowed in low-slanting sunlight as she came home from work.

When the want-to-cry emotion arises in such situations people get confused. Crying is associated with sadness, yet there's nothing sad about a beautiful, late-October scene.

What's happening in is that Nature is communicating with us, sending us powerful messages through all our sensory channels. The messages are so important, so insightful and they come in such a rush that they disorient and overwhelm us. The most basic of all emotional responses, as babies show us, is the cry. Thus crying is perfectly appropriate when being spoken to so personally and so potently as Nature speaks to us on perfect October days.

Sometimes when I speak of Nature sending us messages I suspect that people must think that I'm either crazy or a crank. This week, however, as if addressing this very thought, Bea in Ontario sent me the following quotation from Vincent van Gogh:

“It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to.... The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures."

After reading this I visited my own "Nature-Quotations Page" at http://www.backyardnature.net/101/quotes.htm where I rediscovered the following:

"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in," wrote George Washington Carver.

"Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another," said Juvenal about 2000 years ago.

"But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will teach you: or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you," it says in the Christian Bible, Job 12:7-10.

"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour" ...wrote William Blake 200 years ago.

"The universe is composed of subjects to be communed with, not objects to be exploited. Everything has its own voice. Thunder and lightening and stars and planets, flowers, birds, animals, trees, -- all these have voices, and they constitute a community of existence that is profoundly related," wrote Thomas Berry not long ago.

"The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction" wrote Rachel Carson a few decades ago.

"One impulse from a vernal wood May teach you more of man Of moral evil and of good Than all the sages can" ...wrote William Wordsworth in the 1800s.

I am content to be with such message-hearing company. Facebook Icon.