7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; 8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. 9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
Job 12:7-10: NIV Bible
One fine morning in Schloss Klaus, Austria, my friends and I took a rope course just for fun. An ordinary day it was in this beautiful forested construct overlooking a stunning lake. All it was going to take at least as the Germans would put it is, “kinder spielen”(child’s play). Well, as you can imagine, a rope course embodies intricately thought out ways of making you SUFFER! Easy to start but, “why I am here again?” comes in quite quickly. Walking across swinging ropes, moving bases and all those contraptions that make your muscles ache and cry is not all-in-a-days-work for non-macho people and at 75+Kg, shifting weight is not an easy thing. On one section, I gave up more than 100 times, only to inch forward with a little rest. Of course out only a few of us made it to the very end. At the end of that day, with quaking limbs and aching muscle, I finally understood the GRIT I am made of!
This course is like a mirror on my life. What was two hours of a gruesome voluntary process, revealed to me how I handle issues of life. For one, I never give up easily. I change tact and do what it takes to get the job done! On the contrary, I am inadvertently averse to risk. I like solid ground. Most importantly, I derive loads of inspiration from my immersion in nature, and take courage from those who have been there before.
Recently, I enjoined myself as an audience to a most hilarious conversation. My friends were discussing issues of nature and conservation in a most tickling and ignorant manner, devoid of fact and knowledge! For instance, the assertion that the wildebeeste of Mara – Serengeti never coming to an end is acceptable because as you would say, tyranny of numbers but seeing a rattle snake is Kenya should be most absurd, no matter how dangerous it is! We watched a video of the meer cat hunting a hare. It would first do a ritualistic dance to get the hare entertained then without warning take it by the neck! Who eats their audience really? The tragedy of a python ripped on like a sleeping bag after swallowing a crocodile whole should be a good bedtime story for our kids with regards to greed.
Well in all, I was remained quite entertained with a smile on my face. I was satisfied by the fact that friends could indulge in a nature conversation independent of my prompting. Of course my nature experience would have it that I laud it over the rest on “specialist” matters but I am only so happy they acknowledge the existence of the wild. Geography and statistics can be dealt with at the PhD level when they get a chance.
Nature and culture shape the way we think. Our experiences are a sum total of who we are. That is to say, the richer your experience in nature and culture, the richer your appreciation for creation. There is always something amazing about being walking through the park, watching birds in your garden, watching a herd of elephants, pride of lions, antelopes, topis, the green that splashes the horizon in the wet season, the intense smell of earth at the start of the rains and all else in natures cycle. There is truly nothing more coveted that brushing through a stack of bushes and getting some blackjacks stuck on your trousers, and little compares to the blooming of a flower in the desert, once in every two years. To be there is heaven, a moment of exhilaration, a moment to savor. I must admit that there times that I cruise unfocused through nature that I fail to experience the here and now.
Nature has a lot to tell us about who we are and who God, the creator is. Nature keeps a record of the goods, as well as the ails and pains. So imprinted are the marks that we can tell what happened before our generation and so will the generations coming evidence our attitudes to nature. Careful studies have revealed intricate dependencies between the earth and man. Getting ourselves closer to nature is getting to understand who we are and why we are.
So just to get the facts straight. Rattle snakes are a preserve of North America’s deserts. Wildebeeste populations have been gradually declining over the years due to immense pressure on land resources, erection of fences along their migration routes and other ecological factors.
Whether you turn on your TV to discovery channel, take a walk in your garden, or plan a trip to Tsavo National Park, don’t miss the opportunity to remove your shoes and feel the soil. IMMERSE!