Whenever I go into the woods or nearby forests I am filled with a sense of tranquility and conversely also with a feeling of grief. I am saddened to know that the world we inhabit is merely a shell of it’s former self. I am saddened at the thought of how sparse the woodlands are compared to what they once were. Even when I was younger I can remember the size of the forests being much larger and dominating the region. There were berries, magical herbs, roots and vivid leaves in abundance. I was not the only one who felt the power of these massive groves. There were also chirping birds, deer, rabbits, squirrels and many other animals who could also feel this peculiar sanctity all around them. As I grew, the forests did the opposite, with the greedy bankers and capitalists chopping down more and more of the ever dwindling sacred groves. Today the forests are only small and isolated pockets of their former enormity. Their extent across the land has been severed and have been left to lie dormantly in their own soil. No more will I experience the same feelings that arose when wandering through them in the autumnal fog or walking under their shade down by the river. It will atleast never be under those same giants that upheld the sky. Only a few vestiges of these colossal giants remain dotted across the landscapes; with industrial farms, smoke stacks, shopping malls, convenient stores and parking lots filling the void left in between them and the gap left in our hearts.
How many trees have been chopped down carelessly and left to rot as a mark of the “civilized” man’s callous indifference to nature? How many desolate fields denuded of any growth or any signs of life have they been replaced with? How many generations will be deprived of the feelings evoked when surrounded by the spiritual essence of the forest or when strolling under it’s coolness on a hot summer day? Before man’s ignorance and lust for greed came the landscapes of Europe were covered with trees as far as the eye could see. Aspen, birch, oak, elm, ash, willow, pine, spruce and countless other breeds were to be found in abundance. They all emitted their own particular scents. They all had their own type of leaf, bark and protective spirit. Particular animals were associated with all of them and had their own deeper meaning.
As the populations grew and more settled communities began to appear, more and more of the forests were chopped down for building supplies and timber and for other purposes such as firewood. For what has become of man when he has confined himself within the foreboding walls of concrete and steel and has in turn erected similar boundaries at the edge of his natural habitat? Why has he built these fences, walls and fortresses around himself? Where does this insecurity stem from? Is it him trying to keep something out? Or is it as a protective barrier against those forces of nature that he has disrupted? Today man cannot even venture into nature without hearing the aurora and raucous noises of modern technology. It does not matter where you go, whether it is your own backyard, a nearby forest or even a protected park. There is always the chance that the experience will be ruined from the death-like noises of a lawnmower, leafblower, car, motorcycle, distant highways, man made dams or airplanes flying overhead and leaving ominous streaks across the sky. The purity is always dispelled immediately and always arouses bitterness in my soul (mind).
What has happened to the world where the growth of centuries old trees are cut down mercilessly and left to rot under the vile structures of “progress?” What has possessed man to commit such acts of heresy against Mother Nature’s bounty? What has happened to the people when they do not care about the chopping down of these ancient trees that their forebears had wandered under and received sustenance from for thousands of years, all in the name of profit and residential expansion? What is to become of the natural habitat of the duck, bird, elk, deer, bear, rabbit, squirrel and wolf where bridges are built over their rivers, their shelters burrowed under and destroyed and power lines cross their skies? How has nature been reduced to a vestigial state? How is it that our forebears lived in harmony with her but have failed to pass on the same knowledge to us? Where did our ancient biological impulses go? What has made us so crudely reject the earth as our mother goddess? How many times can one gaze sadly at the same river, forest or mountain and listen to the peaceful flow of a river or the singing of the birds and know that it’s natural course is not in apposition with it’s natural environment that we have now desecrated?
This destruction does not only apply to the forest and groves but to everything else in our beautiful world. When we feel the caress of the soft winds, hear the trickle of gentle streams, look across deep and endless blue lakes and succulent green meadows, gaze up in awe at the tallest of green trees, see the burst of flower seeds in a voluminous sea of opulent colors, look at the tallest of gleaming ice coated mountains, hear the harmonious birds sing, see the autumn leaves fall and gaze in stupefaction at the last escaping rays of the sunset we are seeing nature as it has always been and learn why our ancestors never changed anything for thousands of years.
When will we realize where our true gold resides?
Reflective music if you wish: