Summer Meditation – With Darwin

“The day has passed delightfully. Delight itself, however, is a weak term to express the feelings of a naturalist who, for the first time, has wandered by himself in a Brazilian forest . . . To a person fond of natural history, such a day as this brings with it a deeper pleasure than he can ever hope to experience again.”
— Charles Darwin, Feb. 29, 1832, while exploring the forests of coastal Brazil.

I think I get what Darwin means here. Do you?

Have you ever been overcome by the magic of a grassland? The sighs of the grasses as the wind whips them to and fro, sending ripples of green and silver moving across the land like the waves of an ocean?

Have you ever been awestruck by the natural beauty of a place you are visiting for the first time, when you truly SEE the ripeness of color and the depth of the geography and the fullness of the natural world spread out before you?

Have you ever been overcome by the silent snow as you move up, up, up on a ski lift first thing in the morning, as you peer down over the forest below to see unbroken snow, and hear the muffled chirps of birds in the snow bent boughs of the evergreens?

Have you ever felt the need to cover your ears while strolling the sands of an ocean beach, wanting to deaden the rhythmic pound, pound, pound of the surf meeting the shore, and to stifle the continuous squeaks and calls of the seagulls flitting just above the waves?

Have you ever paused suddenly in the midst of your day, suddenly aware that the sky is a brilliant blue and the clouds look like those drawn by a child during an elementary school art class?

Hopefully, you answered yes to one of these questions.
 
I’ve answered yes to all of them.

Nature is awesome, beautiful, fierce, majestic, overwhelming. 

Delight in Nature, just as Darwin, a great naturalist, did during his explorations.

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