How to Find the Beauty of Life in Nature

"We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts", said William Hazlitt. And so to find the beauty of life in nature we need another pair of eyes, one that is better than our pair of physical eyes.

The Eyes of Poetry

Poets have better eyes than us when it comes to seeing beauty of life in nature. They see more than most of us can see. We see a flower, they see a whole world unfolding before their eyes. We see a pile of garbage the poets see lush vegetation. We see a tree, the poets see a person praying all day. We see daffodils, the poets see stars.

We need to borrow their eyes to see beauty in nature. We do this by reading their poems. We read Joyce Kilmer's "Tree", Wordsworth's "Daffodils", John Keats' "Endymion", etc. As we read these poems a whole new world opens before our eyes, the world as seen by these seers of nature. They lead us to the hidden beauty of nature.

The Eyes of Science

Science is another key to discovering the beauty of life in nature. In science we realize the immensity, the diversity of nature. We discover plants and other organisms that never die by themselves. They continue to live unless destroyed by man or by a major disaster. Bamboos, banyan trees, water spinach are immortal plants. We discover plants that continue to have green leaves until they die like some species of pepper.

Science tells us that the ground teems with life and everywhere life is being multiplied in countless ways. Life is just superabundant when we look at nature.

One time as I was traveling I was struck by the fact that vegetation abounds everywhere and life is taking on different forms in all places.

If we have a microscope we can peer into the beautiful symmetry of the cells and their different parts, beauty that is not seen by our naked eyes.

We use the eyes of science in finding the beauty of life in nature by reading articles on nature such as we find in magazines like National Geographic Magazine.

The Eyes of Faith

These eyes of faith refer to those eyes which are given to us by the Owner of nature. We have been endowed with these eyes though we may not be aware of it because of the culture around us, a culture which pushes us to acknowledge only what is visible to our physical eyes. There is more to life than can be seen by our bodily eyes or reason. Reality that is hidden to our bodily eyes may be fully revealed to us through the eyes of faith. Faith is the sure or certain knowledge of invisible reality. Those of us who have faith know for certain that God is real. How do we cultivate the eyes of faith to find the beauty of life in nature?

1. Live with nature. Live in a rural area if this is possible. If you cannot live in a field but have been forced by circumstances to live in the upper floor of a condominium, bring at least a pot of plant into your room.

2. Listen to nature. Listen to the noise or music of the crickets, of the frogs, of the wind, of the typhoon, of the rain, of the thunder, of the swaying of leaves, etc.

3. Talk with nature. Experiments have shown that plants grow better when a human person speaks with them regularly. Nature has a way of conversing with you if you carry on a conversation with it. Most of us think that plants and animals cannot understand what we say to them. They may not be able to understand the words but they certainly understand the attitude with which those words are spoken.

4. Cultivate nature. Plant a vegetable. When I was young I planted eggplants. I observed them. I talked with them. I knew what happens from the seed of an eggplant to an old eggplant tree. Today I am fascinated by the banyan tree whose seeds I find almost anywhere I go. I notice that these seeds have intelligence all their own. When I put two seeds on the branch of a tree one of them would fall down. No matter how carefully I put the two seeds, only one would remain on the branch of a tree to grow there.

5. Rest with nature. If possible take a vacation with nature. Bring a tent and simple provisions to last for a few days and rest in a secluded forested area. I like to rest in our farm where I can commune once again with my old time friends, the trees, the fish, the birds, the plants. Nature is restorative, reinvigorating. If you cannot do this go to a park planted with trees. Or have some days in a beach.

6. Walk with nature. Go out in the woods and walk some distance into a forest. There you will find life in all its richness. When I did this I was surprised by the size of the trees in the forest. I never thought such huge trees existed.

7. Read the book LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS: SAVING OUR CHILDREN FROM NATURE-DEFICIT DISORDER by Richard Louv. You will learn here the necessity of being connected with nature. Nature is as necessary to our health and well-being as the food we eat.

8. Pray with nature. Follow the example of Jesus who prayed in a garden, in a desert, in a mountain. Faith grows best with prayer because in prayer we talk to the Invisible One. This Invisible source of all that is visible makes our faith grow. As our faith grows we see more of the beauty of life in nature.

The eyes of poetry, the eyes of science, and the eyes of faith enable us to discover the beauty of life in nature. Let us use these eyes in addition to the physical eyes we have.

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