September tomorrow. I’ve just returned from wandering fields at The Nature Conservancy Preserve in Cold Spring harbor. Goldenrod bursting into bloom, accented by purple thistle. Butterflies and dragonflies and cicadas _ all less than in olden days because of a dry summer and cumulative calamities. A flock of goldfinches flitting southward.
Grounded. That’s when philosophy begins. Where is our firm ground that lets us evaluate decisions and act? Surely it is in nature, from which we came but of which we also remain a part. Nature is a far surer and more useful guide than poets or thinkers or demagogues. And it always brings us to our senses, where true sense resides.
At all times when I worked, even in urban Industrial areas, I would leave my computer screen at lunch. Walked for a while under open skies. Admired weeds if nothing else was available. Came back a better person and certainly more productive.
Our progenitors could see flowers before they could walk, walked before they had nimble hands, had hands before a big brain, and a big brain before they had a conscious mind. Surely it is appropriate to often recapitulate that journey in daily life.
Goldenrod is probably more of a survivor than most butterflies, possibly it will remain when humans are gone. But while we are here together it is a part of nature which should always evoke a sense of wonder. And we should seek such reminders. .