Friday, December 21, 2012

View From The Saddle - Nature & Why I Believe in the Bicycle

Albert Bierstadt - Public Domain

View from the Saddle Nature & Why I believe in the bicycle - by John Z.

I will throw it out there right off, I am a Tree Hugger, an imperfect Tree Hugger, but an improving Tree Hugger.  To go, maybe, a little to deeply for here, it has been an evolution for me, a journey, maybe a journey that can only come with age. For many years I have studied all forms of religion and spirituality, the only place I have found spiritual peace is in nature.

I am a person who needs to see to believe, I have not being able to subscribe to the idea that "you will see it when you believe it."  I “see” God, the Tao, the Great Spirit, Universal Consciousness and all the others in nature.  I see it in what puts life into a seed, I see it in the rotation of the planets causing leaves to fall from a tree, I see it in salmon making the journey up stream to spawn knowing they will die at the end of the journey.  I see it in a member of our family, our dog when she knows my children are sick and will not leave there sides until they are better.  I see it everywhere in nature.

My faith has been put to great tests in 2012.  I have questioned beliefs,  wondered why, looked for purpose and searched deep in my own spirit.  In a real seance, I have lost my spirit, but nature and the universe has a funny way of reminding us that our spirit is never lost if we keep our eyes open and trust that the dots in life will connect themselves.

Recently I came across a quote that I wrote in a journal many years ago, I must have read and pondered this quote hundreds of time in my life.  The words are spoken by Buddha, "If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change."  That alone did not give me the peace that I had lost, but later that day, riding my trusty old bicycle to class, nature kicked me in the head.

I was riding through a Lake County Forest Preserve where the parks department had recently performed a controlled burn of the prairie grasses.  For no particular reason I had the urge to stop and look around, in doing so I came across the tiniest seed sprout, right there in the recently burned prairie in the middle of December.  Everything that I had believed came rushing back in an electric wave, I saw the miracle in nature again.

My spirit needs nature, I am an imperfect Tree Hugger.

I am an imperfect Tree Hugger because I still need to live in society.  I need to drive a car when it is to far to ride a bike, I need to drive a car when it is unsafe to reach a destination by bicycle, I need to drive a car when it is to cold for my kids to ride.  I strive to keep the car parked as much as possible, but as off now it is a necessary evil, especially in the suburbs.

I am an imperfect Tree Hugger as I need to heat my house in the winter with natural gas, I need to use lights powered by a coal fired power plant,  I need to buy thousand mile vegetables when I can not grow enough from the garden.

I am an imperfect Tree Hugger, but I am an evolving Tree Hugger.  I strive to change my life daily in an attempt to protect more and more of the nature I need.

I believe in the bicycle, I believe in practical bicycles, I believe in what the bicycle can do for the world, I believe in nature.  I believe that everyone has there own views and can live anyway they choose, I believe that the only way to change the world is to live the change you want to see in your own life.  I will continue to bring old bicycles back to life, it is my small purpose, I will be at peace with nature and continue to be more content in that peace.

1 comment:

  1. I love this. George Harrison said "the only thing that is perfect is nature." We intervene and mess it up but by itself it is perfect, if we would just leave it alone. Certainly nature is God's creation and to be with him is to be in nature.