From the ramblings of a meandering mind, today I am wondering if the appreciation of nature is an intrinsic part of our soul or is something that we choose to acknowledge.
I was talking to a friend the other day and he said, ‘every time I catch the ferry to Bruny Island I feel as if I have come home’. He lives in Melbourne, and fortunately for him his work enables him to visit frequently. I however, live on Bruny Island full time but that doesn’t mean that I have become complacent and don’t experience the same joy driving past the beauty that is our island home.
Certain places can lift our soul, as a teenager it was the wind swept beaches of New Zealand, as a young adult it somehow became local forests and glades, eventually changing to more remote areas such as Cradle Mountain and the northwest coast of Tasmania, and now Bruny Island. I sit on the deck and take in the most beautiful of sunsets, or get up with the birds and watch the mists lift over the bay, uncovering the clearest and crispest of winter days.
Today at work, I glanced out of window and there down on Cloudy Bay beach was a lone surfer. The water must have been absolutely freezing and I thought “he has a room to himself” even if it wasn’t quite the green room of surfing lore. It was passion that drove him into that freezing beauty, an experience free of technology, available to many, but chosen by few on that cold morning. And the more I thought about it the more special it became. I want to live that authentic life, to experience the real, not the vicarious.
Whenever I go into a museum or art gallery I have to curb the urge to experience the tactile nature of those things that are behind the white line or trapped within display cases. But there is no one telling me that I can’t touch when it comes to nature. The palpable qualities actually cause my hands to tingle, I love the feel of the bark of a tree, the way my feet squish the water out of the sand, the smell of the seaweed, the bugs, the wallaby’s, the birds.
I may not go surfing, actually I know I won’t, but I will make the effort to walk along Cloudy Bay on a cold winter’s morning.
Acknowledgements: "I have a room to myself; it is nature" - Henry David Thoreau
This video shows the journey of the Te Rapunga from a back yard in Auckland, New Zealand to the Denman Marine restoration yard in Hobart, Tasmania.