We spend every day running to and fro, so caught up in our hectic lives and mundane habits, we don’t notice anything else. Meanwhile, in complete contrast, nature is changing almost imperceptibly, meandering along so slowly we don’t recognize it has morphed at all until many weeks later when we take a precious second to look up from our work and realize the trees are no longer bare skeletons and the air has lost its bite.
So how does this happen? Are we just so caught up in ourselves we’re oblivious to everything else? Well, not exactly. The main reason why we’re so ignorant of what goes on outside is because of the lack of communication between people and nature. The natural world has its own special language that humans once understood, but through the centuries of technology and advancements, this dialect has been lost along the way. In order to connect yourself with the natural world once again, you must learn its speech.
Unlike the tongues of people, nature does not use syllables or words to speak. It uses the subtlety of the seemingly ordinary to get its point across. What we usually ignore, like the whispering of wind through the treetops, or the faraway howling of a lone wolf is actually nature’s way of calling for attention. Its meaning is usually very difficult to decipher for most, but not all. Have you ever wondered how a farmer can tell if a storm’s coming or how most animals have premonitions of natural disasters? They know these things because they respect the natural world as a sentient being and listen to it.
Another point you must understand is nature does not answer to humans. Like a cranky grandmother, it is not seeking a reply when it communicates. To the natural world, humanity is but a tiny mark in the history of time. It demands respect and attention from us because it is infinitely our elder. It does us no good to reason, barter, or talk back to it, just like it does a newborn no good to argue with you.
The next time you hear nature calling to you through the burble of the river or the tweeting of a bird, stop and tune in to it. It might seem easier to move on quickly and get on with your busy life, but keep in mind that if you preach ignorance, you are missing out on something special and important. If everybody on this planet attended to nature for just five minutes every day, we would have a deeper bond with the natural world than we have now. So the next time nature speaks, stop and take notice. Like your mother always said: listen to your elders and you will learn.