Where, exactly, is Nature?

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Pop quiz: Do you know where Nature is?

Is it in your backyard, because there are more green-growing-things than your front yard?

Or is it on your balcony garden if you’re in an apartment?

Or maybe it’s only in the park a few blocks, or miles, away?

It’s a silly question when you think about it. But why would you think about it?

What if it’s all connected?

We’ve created these strangled cultural perceptions and ways of talking about Nature that have morphed into modern myths:

  • Nature is “out there”
  • Nature is an imposition
  • We’re separate from Nature

I listened to a fascinating interview the other night with Jerod K. Anderson, creator of The CryptoNaturalist, a “bi-weekly audio drama in the tradition of classic nature documentaries, but profoundly weirder.” Anderson, who has degrees in both biology and English, uses creepy fictional animals in his show to focus his “earnest love for the natural world.”

What if you had a face-to-face chat with Nature?

With Anderson’s help, let’s bust a few of these myths:

Nature is “out there”

It’s ludicrous to think a sheet of drywall and a door has removed us from the systems of Nature. – Jerod K. Anderson

Nature is an imposition

No, Nature is not climate-controlled. That’s the wonder of daily and seasonal cycles. But if you think Nature’s an imposition, try living without it.

We’re separate from Nature

Our minds and thoughts arose in this world through the same natural processes as the oak leaf…You’re as natural as any sparrow. – Jerod K. Anderson

It’s an understatement to say we’ve forgotten the role Nature plays in our lives and we play in Nature. This level of cellular forgetting is mass amnesia on a global scale.

Forgotten but not forsaken

Yet, we’ve been intrinsically bound with Nature for eons, no matter our lack of life experience in Nature, how much time we spend indoors (90%) or our opinions about the weather.

The thing is, I know I’m not going to get you to care about Nature by throwing facts and paradoxes at you. That may be one of the most important things I learned from the interview with Anderson.

It will be the storytellers of Nature that make us care about it again and reawaken the meaning, not the scientists with their facts and predictions.

So, expect more stories.

Now, go wander outside!



P.S. Phone driving you crazy? Sign up for my free email course Phone-Jacked: 7 Days to Retake Control of Your Phone

3 Resources for You

Links to Amazon books are affiliate links.

The CryptoNaturalist Podcast Nothing to do with digital currency. The show has been called “Night Vale meets A Prairie Home Companion” and “David Attenborough meets The X Files.” The podcast loves cryptids (hidden creatures like Big Foot), but focuses solely on creatures you’ve never heard of before.

Earth Keepers Podcast Intelligent discussion of existential and spiritual questions from a shamanic perspective. Amy Dempster interviewed The CryptoNaturalist in Why Nature Matters. The only podcast I listen to regularly.

Field Guide to the Haunted Forest You gotta love a guy who wrote a collection of poetry called Field Guide to the Haunted Forest.

2 Questions for You

Reflections, questions and ideas to break the digital spell.

1st Q: Do you respond to a tree in a parking lot differently from a tree in a park? Why?

2nd Q: Have you unconsciously set unnatural boundaries for Nature? Say more.

Hit reply and let me know what you discovered this week. I’ll use some of your feedback in next week’s newsletter (first name only.)

Reflection Feedback

From Penny (on The Daily Practice of Noticing Nature):
My Mother taught me to look at nature by her own love of nature. At random moments she would say “Oh, look at those clouds” or sky or sunset or trees or a bird. I think of that and thank her every day.

From Rosemary (on What Does Living in Harmony with Nature Really Mean):
I have been having a bit of an existential crisis with ants. I find it horrifically hard to tolerate ants roaming round on the floor especially as I walk barefoot nearly all the time but it feels dire to kill them. I squirt them with vinegar and there are certainly less of them. I want to be Buddhist-like but can’t bring myself to lie down and do yoga with ants!!  I find those life and death choices very hard.

1 Action for You

One small step to start the change.

For one day, enjoy the weather as it is without complaint or justification. Notice if you, or others, start to complain. 

Hit reply, let me know how it goes and I’ll include feedback in next week’s newsletter.

Nature View

“Every breath we take is a conversation with Nature.” – Jerod K. Anderson

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