Interdependence, Knowledge, and Belonging

Knowledge and Science

From the tiniest thing to the vast secrets of the universe, what will humans ever know? Will anyone ever correctly proclaim that all knowledge has been discovered and may be known or available to everyone? I doubt it.

Our galaxy – one of many

Science helps us understand our natural world better. But, science provides information only through descriptions from observations. With science, we may understand better what an earth quake is, or how to grow more soy beans, but ultimately the answers we receive from research are observations.

Microscopes, telescopes, laboratories, and other equipment for tests and measurements are among the tools used to make these observations. Yesterday’s scientific conclusions lead us to today’s information, and then to the changes we will read about tomorrow. It was scientific observation that convinced us the sun, stars, and planets revolved around the earth. It was also science that convinced us that was not the case.

The discoveries of science change. Does truth ever change? When I look around at our natural world, I see is what humans have done. Everything I see, while either part of nature or taken from it, was placed, caused, or permitted by humans—to a point. Other life forms may make their mark, but that will last only if humans permit it. When we don’t allow nature to progress or we interfere, it can be disastrous due to our limited knowledge. It may be science, but we don’t know everything and we can only explain so much.

Sensing and Nature

 

The spectacular trees

While nature is everywhere, my senses respond more strongly outdoors, in unfamiliar surroundings. I notice things less in my usual, everyday world. Change awakens my senses, whereas routine numbs them. Walking along a forest trail during a gentle, but persistent, rain provides stimulation that rejoins my surroundings with my own basic nature. It feels so right.

Seeing the trail, the roots of the magnificent trees, the green vegetation bouncing and dancing with falling raindrops, I feel aware and connected with the essence of life. It’s all here with me: sky, water, rich aromatic soil, and scree giving softness to my footsteps. Nature paints portraits of life and movement. I see how moisture mingles with the soil to send nutrients of life to plants and to quench thirsty animals, of which I am one.

Hearing the rain mesmerizes me as it falls where it will, on the leaves of trees and brush, onto the boulders and earth, and into the growing puddles and flowing streams. This is the sound of natural life – earth as it should be. The rustling sounds of birds and animals is alerting, as life deals in with nature’s wet gifts. And the rain. The glorious rain.

Feeling the soft, spongy earth beneath each step, I look down to see how the lovely wet soil now clings to my touch. I feel the rain pecking at me as it does upon the flowers. Animals respond to the natural bathing as a refreshing cleansing.

Touching the soft moss on a tree

My touch to the soft moss hugging tightly to the trees is a pleasant reminder of life on life, the natural interdependence within nature’s home. Against my face, and over my entire body, the rain penetrates cloths to caress my skin. I become one with the flora. I am refreshed, another being, pleased with our universe.

I can taste the freshness of the day. While rain on my head and face washes into my eyes, other drops find their way to my mouth, adding salt to the taste – the salt of the earth. I belong here.

A forest petrichor is the most pleasant of scents following rain. As the sounds and sights change with the gradually ceasing rain, and the forest begins to release the magical and glorious aroma of nature at work; life flourishes. If there is a heaven, it’s right here, right now, with me. I feel completely connected to nature. I yearn for this life, as it should be. I know this is life.

Awareness of Belonging

I become aware of the cosmic interconnectedness of everything. I know I have my place, fitting in with everything in the universe. The vastness of the cosmos finds the path and weaves its pattern through space, through time, and through me to the tiniest speck of galactic dust.

While science can provide words, descriptions, and explanations for everything that I sensed during my inspired walk in the forest rain, nothing can explain the deep, soulful feelings I experience when the vastness of nature communes with me. Conscious awareness.

Our senses perceive the environment as we discover nature and life.
Our sixth sense is that of belonging to the Universe.
Look both ways, discover the gaps, feel where we fit in.

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3 thoughts on “Interdependence, Knowledge, and Belonging

  1. I entered the land of epiphany about 57 years ago, sitting on a retaining wall overlooking another neighbor’s blooming apple trees. The smell was amazing, and suddenly I was so stunned by this, I had to go home and write about it. Badly, but the spark was there. I was 14. suddenly the world looked utterly different, alive, not just ‘there’.

    Fast forward about 20 years, and Im here, walking down our long driveway, admiring the way the grasses move in the wind– and I had this vision of the entire world as a complete microcosm, all of it connected to everything. It was a stunning feeling, one I’ve never totally lost, not in all the time to now. It felt (and quite possibly is, in the greater scheme of things) like being in one of those glass snowglobes, all of us breathing each other’s air, inhaling the same things, drinking water that a hundred years ago might have been rain in Africa.

    My favorite time in the woods is early morning with the sun still low, slanting in behind the trees, and that lovely dampish smell from the leaves and pines. Maybe a bit of ground fog.

    I inhale, there may be a bit of Julius Caesar in there, breathing his last. Or a civil war soldier. Or Betsy Ross. Maybe some dinosaur mixed in, for good measure. One can hope.

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  2. I love this, because I feel like I’m right there with you on your walk. Walking in forests, or even along paths in green spaces, these are my favorite outdoor activities — even above gardening, which I adore. Petrichor is one of the great pleasures of life here as well.
    I think about these things you wrote — all the manmade stuffs, all the ways we’ve done stuffs to nature… Modern life is great, but how much better could it have been if? Am I doing enough on my own part?
    I think about the connectedness daily. It’s a mindful tool.

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