2006-07-28 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

by Marilyn Gelfand

Nature seems to flow in cycles of change. We know when we are born, we will become an adult, then an older person and someday die. The seasons are predictable as well. They have variations from year to year, but the overall patterns, due to the Earth's rotation is fairly fixed.

Cycles of change seem to be built into the Earth's existence. There was an ice age, then a warming period, and fires and floods change our landscapes.

Even if we can't predict the future, we can take heart that these cycles carry on without human intervention. Nature is not dependent on human behavior. Just kick some sand away near the shoreline, and you will see the many baby clams who are starting their lives now. I enjoy watching the moon change its shape and influence the tides when I walk along the beach. I can remember a summer not so long ago when there was a drought, and this summer we have so much rain. There definitely is balance through time and change within the cycles.

We always think of how much man changes nature. We don't often stop and think of how nature impacts man. Besides the mosquitoes and spiders who carry on their own existence, we really just focus on the weather. But nature is the basis of life. It knows what to do within ourselves as well. The body gets sick and heals somehow, we give birth to new life and have to accept death.

I always enjoy looking at a field of wild flowers. These empty spaces bring life that is appropriate to its location without anyone participating. At Gateway national park, the idea is to let nature take its course without too much human intervention. In truth, it is wonderful that there is air to breathe, water to drink and that food does grow consistently out of seeds, etc. Nature always gives so much to be thankful for, even if we take only a minute to stop ourselves before we go and change it.

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