Trees

Sometime in the near future NASA is going to reveal that they have found the center of the Universe.

A lot of people are going to be crushed to find that it’s not them.

I am growing so incredibly frustrated with the materialistic, self-centered, selfie society we are becoming. Rampant consumerism has a firm choke hold on the throat of moderation.
Savings have dwindled, debts have soared, and landfills are heaping with the scraps of our throwaway mentality.
Self-obsession and promotion has become the new normal. We’d rather film a person beating beat up then stop to help them.
We are becoming too power obsessed, fighting for our little scraps and destroying everything in our path in the process. I fear that we are losing our humanity.

While I always tried to avoid participating in such a life, I was forced to live along side it. Fortunately, in the downsizing of my existence I was able to walk away from it completely. Once free from the pursuit of a larger everything I have embraced normalcy. I have welcomed my average. I celebrate, and surround myself with the regular. And I have never been happier.

One of my favorite movie scenes is from The Great Outdoors, starringJohn Candy and Dan Aykroyd. They are in Canada on vacation, sitting on a deck overlooking a lake. Dan Aykroyd, a materialistic businessman, goes off on a tear about what he sees when he looks out over the water. He describes a vision of future Industrialization, urban sprawl, forestry, and medical waste dumps. John Candy’s character is a simple man, and when asked what he sees, replies
“I just see trees.”
He is then summarily insulted for being short-sighted and simple. Sorry to say, but that’s me, I just see trees.

In order to appreciate the world we have to take our eyes off of the screens and look up and around. We need to appreciate the power and beauty of nature. The beauty is everywhere, the power rearing its mighty head unpredictably. Both manifest in subtle sights and awe-inspiring displays. The flight of the bird, starlit nights and sunsets, the reflection of foliage on the still waters of a pond on a late fall afternoon. Such sights fill me with wonder and give me cause me to question my place in the world and to seek a spiritual connection to the Universe.

The looming mountaintop, the endless horizon seen from the beach, the mighty Oak, the rushing river, wind tearing through trees, waves crashing and receding with a massive riptide serve another purpose entirely. They remind me of how small I really am in the grand scheme of things. Instead of being intimidated, I embrace my smallness. I recognize my relative size and overall significance. No man is a match for the tide, despite his wealth, power and amount of Instagram followers. Man is only a force in, not of, Nature when he embraces his fellow man. But instead of coming together as an advanced society we have drifted apart and we are regressing. Our humanity is what makes us great, the increasing lack of it is destroying us.

This is a call for humility,
A wake-up call to recognize and embrace our smallness.
A damper of ego and hubris.
For less stuff and more quality.
Less interaction and more connection.

To just see Trees…

2 thoughts on “Trees”

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