Fifteen minutes from wilderness to civilization. Or civilization to wilderness……

Yesterday I drove over Teton Pass back home to Earthfire in a bit of a snowstorm. Up up up you go the the top of the pass in driving wind and snow, sensing rather than seeing the bulk of the mountain on the right; the drop into space on the left. You are in wilderness where the elements are in charge, in a metal box on wheels with heat, a fragile protection. Fifteen minutes later, driving down the other side, you enter calm weather, clear roads and the lights and warmth of civilization. Such a dramatic transition, from mountain weather and wilderness, to the settled valleys. The dramatic juxtaposition gives us an appreciation for the power of nature that we don’t grasp living in a city where nature appears subdued. But it is an illusion. In the end, nature is bigger than us. It is useful for us to work with, instead of against nature, or ignoring her when we have that luxury. The good news- it brings great joy, creativity, beauty and peace to us when we work with nature, as a surfer works with the power of the wave. As organic farmers work with the soil and insects producing healthier and tastier food while leaving space for wildlife as well.

by Susan Eirich, PhD

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