Musings: Nature Is Imagination…
“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” William Blake
The Tree and the Reed – Aesop‘s Fables
“Well, little one,” said a Tree to a Reed that was growing at its foot, “why do you not plant your feet deeply in the ground, and raise your head boldly in the air as I do?” “I am contented with my lot,” said the Reed. “I may not be so grand, but I think I am safer.” “Safe!” sneered the Tree. “Who shall pluck me up by the roots or bow my head to the ground?” But it soon had to repent of its boasting, for a hurricane arose which tore it up from its roots, and cast it a useless log on the ground, while the little Reed, bending to the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over. Obscurity often brings safety.
As a child, I spent many hours reading, and Aesop’s Fables were part of my reading library. What struck me so powerfully was how Aesop could make nature come alive through the characters; animals, plants, trees, the sun, moon and other animate and inanimate forms. I loved storytelling (I still do), and always looked forward to family gatherings where my uncles and aunts shared ancient stories of life in the village in the olden days. Those stories, much like what we read in Alice in Wonderland and Aesop’s Fables, continued to fuel the imagination of all us kids as we leaped into a world inhabited by a weeping moon, talking plants, wise old dogs and dancing trees… Nature is imagination
“It is the marriage of the soul with Nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination.” Henry David Thoreau
The Wind and the Sun – Aesop’s Fables
The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveler to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin.” So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveler. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveler, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on. Kindness effects more than severity.
As my uncles and aunts intimated in the wild and imaginative stories they shared with us kids, the olden days was a time when the gods spoke to men through nature. Because of the direct connections people had with Mother Earth, it wasn’t implausible to have daily exchanges with nature and all forms of living things that benefited from it. Outsiders saw this intimacy with nature as mystical while my farming family saw it as the norm. I think Albert Einstein was quite right when he said that “We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.” Nature is imagination…
“Whoever thou art, come and sit in the shade of this beautiful laurel tree that we may here sing praises to the immortal gods!” Anatole France
The Man and the Wood – Aesop’s Fables
A Man came into a Wood one day with an axe in his hand, and begged all the Trees to give him a small branch which he wanted for a particular purpose. The Trees were good-natured and gave him one of their branches. What did the Man do but fix it into the axe head, and soon set to work cutting down tree after tree. Then the Trees saw how foolish they had been in giving their enemy the means of destroying themselves.
Over the years, nature has provided me many magical moments, imaginative material, and a deep sense of joy. Whenever I find myself in a quandary, when I feel out of sorts, or disconnected from those around me, I find my footing in the earth, in nature, in the echo that rises from the sea, and in the beckoning branches of ancient trees. Nature is imagination… What are your thoughts? What do you see in Nature? Do you ever feel the call to nature? Do you make time for your imagination to run wild? to see the beauty around you? What do you see? Do share! Thank you. 😉
Positive Motivation Tip: If nature is imagination, then we must feed it to ensure it continues to thrive… look, listen, embrace your version of nature.
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Sweet chestnut, Rock formation, Sequoia, Laurel/Karaka tree, trees and bramble, Danube reeds, North winds, Sun and winds, via Wikipedia, from my Personal Collection or via Flickr
- Musings: The Beauty Of Nature… (eof737.wordpress.com)
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- Aesop’s Fables – The Ass and his Purchaser (englishvillage.wordpress.com)
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- An Aesop’s Fable: The North Wind and the Sun (jackysunchaser.wordpress.com)