August 15, 2011

Nature Won't Be Denied (Day 24 - August 15 '11)

Oh boy . . . here it comes!
A number of years ago, I barely escaped being swallowed alive by a swollen creek.  I had just arrived at a small collection of natural hot springs pools situated next to the clear waters of a gently flowing creek.  Having dashed ahead of my group, I plunged into the coolest of the hot pools, closest to the creek.  After only a brief stay in that pool, I set my sights on warmer waters and stepped up into the next hottest pool.  And then . . . BLAM!!  A split second after I stepped up into the hotter pool, the entire landscape changed.  Instead of a gently flowing creek, I gazed upon a raging river . . . portions of the banks were being torn away, whole trees were gushing downstream as the clear water turned murky and muddy, and chunks of ice the size of small cars floated past.  An ice jam upstream had given way and all the water dammed up behind it was unleashed violently.  Fortunately, within a minute or two, the water levels subsided and all was essentially back to normal . . . except for the two massive ice cubes the size of Austin Minis now residing in the pool I had vacated moments ago.  The power of nature.

In small insignificant ways so far, I've experienced the power of nature right here in this tent over the last few weeks.  Last week the wind was blowing so strong that at one point it ripped the tarp away with a single gust.  The twine snapped like a thread, being no match for the awesome fury of the gale.  And even this morning, try as I might to hold back the waters dammed in my bladder so that I could stay under the warm covers a little longer, ultimately I had to scramble urgently to relieve myself.  Nature would not be denied.

Whereas I didn't have time to react with respect to the ice jam, I certainly had a choice as to how I responded to my bladder.  (Bear with me here, I'm not indulging in a discussion of my urinary practices for no reason . . . I do have a point . . . eventually.)  I could have calmly and quietly made my way to relieve myself immediately upon nature's call, and then make my way back to bed . . . inconvenienced momentarily but at peace.  Or, as I did, I could ignore the inevitable until it becomes a crisis, having had a nasty time resting in the interim, and then crash and bash my way to the facilities when I could stand it no longer.  As silly as it is, I think we've all been there, done that . . . barely made it to the toilet.

I believe that if we look for it, nature will often give us a warning that something has to be dealt with, which if we ignore will result in something much worse later.  And, I believe that all things are subject to natural laws . . . everything . . . including our interactions with one another and society in general.

My theory is that all things continue to move, evolve, or otherwise change until they reach an ultimate state of rest (or peace, you might say).   Accordingly, even how we structure our society and interact with one another will continue to evolve by forces of nature until they reach a place of peace.  We've seen this happen throughout history as the way we structure ourselves politically has changed over time.  Sometimes these changes happen gradually, without too much conflict; but sometimes they happen suddenly with a burst of violence or a massive revolution.  What is the force of nature at work?  The evolution of society as more and more people demand that their basic, natural rights be met.  We sometimes put up roadblocks to this change by trying to maintain the status quo, especially if it benefits us (even at the expense of others).  But time and time again, nature wins out and will not be denied, and change happens.

London Riots (August 2011)
I believe that eventually everyone will have their basic rights met - access to food and clean water, shelter, basic education, access to health services, and freedom from fear.  Nature demands nothing less.  However, things obviously have to change between now and then.  We have a choice as to whether we recognize the inevitable and adapt to it, channeling the power of nature in a way that does not wreak havoc with anyone or anything; OR we can ignore it until the pressure builds up to the point that something breaks violently.  With the Arab Spring and the London riots we are seeing examples of what happens when poverty and marginalization are ignored or suppressed . . . eventually something explodes.  At some point people reach a level of desperation, a nothing to lose mentality, where violence and rioting make sense to them.  We must remember that there are billions of people in every country on earth that do not have all of their basic, natural rights protected and met . . . that's a lot of to eventually contend with.  Perhaps we should do more now so as to avoid further crisis later.

Hey!!  I'm That Poverty Guy . . . let's make a world of difference together.

Click here to see WACHOOKANDU.

No comments:

Post a Comment