There was nothing pastel about this morning’s sunrise. Vibrant purple enveloped the sky only to give way to vivacious orange. The even, colorless clouds gently absorbed every drop of pigment and reflected it back as purely as they could. The frozen lake below seemed to only jump at the chance to be involved and allowed the rays of color to bounce off its opaque chilly surface.
Winter here is astounding. As strange as it may seem, I feel as though the forests are coming alive for the first time since I have lived here. It’s still, quite enough you can hear the snow falling. There is an elegance that mother nature seems to posses this time of year; dignified, pure.
Yesterday I spent the whole of the afternoon sitting in my sun room gazing out at the tree covered hill that creates the boundary of the valley in which I live. Heavy with snow from the recent storm, the tree’s let their branches gently sag with the weight creating a soft picture.
But the wind is what made this day truly magical. Burst of breeze would start at the top of the hill and catching a tree’s snow load it would spiral and spin and drift through the air creating the most graceful coordinated visual I have seen. Multiple gusts would come at the same time producing a dance of perfectly synchronized motion.
It was breath-taking. Yet for all it’s wonder, I had to stop. I had seen interesting, even stunning displays of visual entertainment before. After all, we live in a world that can create anything visual. Explosion, creations, buildings falling, planets becoming, stars bursting. But none of those synthetic visuals, grand as they may have been, could even begin to compare to my wind and my snow.
I believe that I have been tapping into the why of this situation for several months, but it took until now for it to truly materialize into words. And the reason is simply this. The snow blowing in the wind was real. I stood wide-eyed a mere fifty yards away. I could have touched it. And oh how my soul rejoiced. There was nothing fabricated about it. That perfect sunrise was genuine, not the result some simulated computer program.
It was real. And perhaps I didn’t realize how desperately I need this reality until I was bathed in it. It’s strange for sure, but we have become so good at our simulations that most of us believe we no longer need the real thing. Life becomes a testament to the synthetic. Our foods are processed, our cities are controlled, our yards fenced, our animals caged, our friendships virtual.
But trust me when I say there is a difference. Just as there is a difference between fluorescent lighting and the pure, powerful rays that drip from the sun. You can take all the time you need to convince yourself they are the same, but in truth, they are far from it. One is man’s meager attempt to produce, the other is nothing short of the Creator’s personally inhabited creation.
We have lost the wonder, the ability to feel awe. We have become so small-minded we can no longer close our eyes and say “what if…” We have lost our perspective on ourselves, our world and our environment. I believe it is no coincidence that our Creator told us we could find Him in Nature. How tragic that we have since so separated ourselves from nature and as a result, so separated ourselves from that pure interaction with our Creator.
We did this to ourselves, then we sit and wonder why our relationships don’t last, why our spirituality is gone, and why our society is racked with problems and filled with disease. We have achieved generations of individuals who suffer from Nature-deficient disorder.
And so finally, at the age of 25, I have started embarking on this journey, the pursuit of what is real. Believing the same message that Pinocchio and the velveteen rabbit alike championed, that no matter how great something may seem, it’s inevitably and eternally better when it’s real.