Sunday, August 5, 2012

Thoreau Got It Wrong

“I have a room all to myself; it is nature.” 

I suppose Henry David Thoreau was waxing poetic when he wrote those words,
thinking he was capturing in them the essence of nature's indescribable meaning. 
I found a small amount of resonance in them when I first stumbled upon them. 
Not quite there, but not sure what was missing, I mulled over the axiom for weeks. 
Until a week ago, when I was granted a tour of the most awesome spectacle of nature I may have ever encountered. 

Our destination lay an hour to the north, on the other side of a late afternoon, sky-quaking thunderstorm.
We made it through, emerging unscathed on the opposite shore. 
It seethed at our escape and later returned, pouring out darkness and tempest in one large, seething rampage. 
Was it trying to contain us again? Frighten us with its fury? 
It was an unsuccessful attempt at capture. Instead, we marveled at its beauty and agreed, at the end, that nature had given us a show that was nothing short of magical.

Though I do not care to criticize or correct him,
to me the great transcendentalist missed the mark by being too narrow in his definition.
The word "room" does not carry the full emphasis for what I feel when surrounded by
the hills and mountains and animals and, yes, even maelstroms of the planet.
Nature is not my room.
It is my home.

That afternoon a double rainbow, two full arcs across the sky, were the canopy above my head.

Deep moss, thick and plush, the rug beneath my feet.

My satiation came from tart green apples, plucked from amply supplied branches,

while wild sage was spice, incense, and perfume.

Beautifully oddly stacked rocks, spray painted with neon green moss and pale blue lichen,
formed the walls around my ceiling-less manse.

Tossing their leaves before the approaching storm, the trees were a moving roof of green on glass.

The trails were my kaleidoscope hallway, changing views with every turn.

A diving waterfall, a flowing creek, swirling pools, a light sprinkle - all provide whatever kind of bath desired.

The whole estate was lit by a stunning, life-size, sky-to-ground light show.
My yard, which seemed to encompass the whole world then, teemed with wildlife.
Baby deer, spots still visible beneath a summer-changing coat, nibbled on the grass.
Birds sang before taking shelter.
Snakes tried to warm themselves in the hallway (how dare they?).
A bobcat scampered across the driveway,
which, by the way, passes through quaint towns, rolling vistas, and back roads.

Find it if you can, 
The nature home I explored that day.
It's colors are always changing, yet I don't have to paint.
There's always a place to sit or sleep and dream, yet I've bought not a piece of furniture.
Full of natural light, eco-friendly, and completely sustainable,
This is where I choose to live.
What some would call my real home is actually where my "stuff" resides.
For me it is simply a place to cook and sleep.
The place where I prefer to live and dream with my eyes open is out there.

Nowhere in particular.
Just out there.  

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