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Earth Day Is A Time For Nature

Apr 22, 13 Earth Day Is A Time For Nature

Today is Earth Day! This is one of the least celebrated holidays, yet also one of my favorites. I could write about much concerning Earth Day, but I would like to focus on just nature in general. This aspect of Earth Day is my favorite, the focus on nature.

I spend much of my time in nature. I hike, camp, fish, explore and just generally appreciate nature in all its glory. I have done these in the desert, the mountains, forests, rainforests, and plains. I have done so on two continents and in several countries. I have appreciated nature in the US, central America, UK, and central Europe, from the Pacific Northwest to south Texas and all states in between, Costa Rica, England, Scotland, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, and Hungary. And I’m not done yet.

Nature is one of the things we often forget to appreciate. Not only does nature provide us with oxygen, but it also gives much solace and peace. There is nothing like sleeping outside in the middle of nowhere with so many stars. I mean, really. When I camp in nature, I see so many stars that I hardly see the velvet black of night. It is incredible.

And then there is the flora and fauna that nature provides. I have seen animals and bugs and plants and trees and flowers that have made me cry in happiness and despair. I once watched an ant carry its dying brother or sister across a downed tree. I have also heard the playful song of coyotes in the middle of the night and even the scream of a mountain lion. I did not have to buy a nature album to do this. All I had to do was sleep in nature, put myself back where all humans first started.

Nature gives so much to our lives. And so often we take her for granted. We rape and pillage nature because we can. Sure, we say that we need what she has, but we often do not replace what we have taken. Now, of course, we try to replenish nature. We try to protect her, but as humans are wont to do, we fall short.

Or worse, we simply neglect her. Throngs and throngs of Americans have never walked in true nature. Sure, Central Park counts as natural, but I mean walking where the closest settlement is miles upon miles away. I mean hiking into a mountain and backpacking for days at a time or exploring a desert with the understanding that the sun and lack of water are very real, very serious concerns. Though many know of these experiences, still the majority of Americans likely have not experienced anything close to these.

That neglect of nature is just as damaging as any other activity, be it logging, fracking for oil, or simply cutting down trees for some other human use. Yes, the idiom not seeing the forest for the trees certainly has literal meaning when it comes to nature.

Still, we can also appreciate nature in less natural environments. Cities have been called concrete forests, but nature still manages to take hold. I have been in the middle of a large city and watched a skunk cross a road or an owl swoop in the neighborhood back yards. I have seen natural creeks or even small rivers flow through a bustling metropolis. And the gardens and flora somehow do their thing even with concrete.

So this Earth Day, plant some flowers or a tree or a garden, but also appreciate Nature. Take time to feel the wind caress your face, smell the spring in the air, listen to the trickle of that creek water or the pounding of the spring thunderstorm, watch the birds in the yard. Nature is all around us even if we are in cities. We must not forget that. Earth Day is a day to celebrate all things Earth, so take a minute to celebrate Nature.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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About 

Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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  • Anonymous

    Yes, let us be grateful for the natural world that surrounds us.

    We should not stop to ask important questions: Where did nature come from? Did it come from an explosion billions of years ago? Is there design in nature? If yes, then who or what is the designer? Do explosions beget chaos or design?

    “Indeed, We have adorned the nearest heaven with an adornment of stars” (Qur’an 37:6)

    On this important day, let us reflect on the natural miracles (proofs of divine existence) in the Qur’an and the prophetic narrations. When I say natural miracles, I mean that this knowledge could not have been known 1400 years ago – let alone by a man in the deserts of Arabia. Rayshell, I challenge you to open your mind and consider where this knowledge came from. If you cannot find any alternative explanations, then do not be shy to accept the only remaining explanation that remains: that this knowledge came from the divine. If you do know of an alternative and logical explanation for this information, then feel free to let me know.

    Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “There is no hour in the night or the day, except that the sky is raining and Allah distributes it wherever he wants.”
    It is a scientific fact that it is always raining somewhere on the globe.
    How could Prophet Muhammad have made this statement?

    A companion of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) called Ibn Abbas said, ““Rainfall in one year is no less (in amount) than that falling in another year, it is only that Allah distributes the rain (throughout the earth).”
    This is also true. Every year, precipitation is the roughly the same.
    How did Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) know this?

    There is a verse in the Qur’an that some may is a story that just shows how Arabs were expressing their myths. Here it is:

    http://quran.com/27/18

    Recent scientific research shows this is far from the truth:
    http://digitaljournal.com/article/266799

    I will leave it at that. There are many more pieces of miraculous knowledge in the Qu’ran and prophetic narrations and I can let you know about them if you are interested.

    Now is the time to ask the question: Where did this knowledge come from? Some people may look at this, say, “I don’t know”, and move on with their life. The fact of the matter is that if God exists, and if God created us for a purpose, then that has implications.

    Yes, heaven and hell do exist in Islam. Should that make us reject the clear evidence in front of our eyes or should that be a severe wake-up call that we should heed the message?

    Those who submit to God are guaranteed heaven.
    Those who reject God are guaranteed hell – forever.

    Once human beings have reached the Day of Judgement, they cannot go back to the life of this world to change the choices they made though it is stated in the Qur’an that many people will want to go to back to the life of this world to change their choices.
    So take notice of the warning – while you still can.