Nature Writing

If I could do it, I would write about Nature.

I would write about invigorating hikes and perilous climbs, how rain soaked my socks and a bear tapped on the tent frame and all was well because Nature.

I would tell of sweeping vistas, towering cliffs, and mountain peaks that pierce chilled clouds to pose, regal and lonely, against the sky. I would relate how the grittiness of a trail and the quiet of a forest glade allowed me to understand we are part of a complex system, no more or less than all living things.

I would be centered. Looking into my eyes would be like looking into a deep pool, or maybe a ravine at twilight.

Look into my twilight eyes!

I would describe the changing of the seasons, the colors of the leaves and the briskness of New England air as September passes. Or the glowing life of a spring day in Northern California, when the link between the sun and the plants is almost visible, the heat and the vibrant green of shrubs and trees, the salt in the air in Monterey. Or the phosphorus at night in the bay at Galveston. Is there still green phosphorus on the beach in Galveston?

This is what I would write: these things have enriched me and changed me; all of this is a journey into the unknown. We are moving forward and I am filled with awe.

I would do it with a sense of humor, be grounded and down to earth, you know? I would be humble in my fragile human body. I would recognize my own limitations but reach past them to eternal connectedness and know the world sustains us and meditate on all that, and my thoughts would drift instead of driving me before them like a swarm of wasps.

I would describe the pat, pat, pat of cool rain on shining leaves, and it would teach me something and I would find peace. I tell you, if I could I would write about Nature.

Goddamn it, if I could write about Nature and take myself out of this room where I write in my pajamas, I would be inspired; I would flirt with the sublime every hour of my life but I don’t even really like Nature. I hate being cold, and I never want to meet an animal bigger than myself.

I stay inside but in my mind I am all the time writing about Nature.