The Pulse of Life
Written by Paul Landis Delaune
Recently I watched a nature show about bears. Sometimes what I enjoy
more in nature shows isn't what is being shown and said about the animal(s),
but is in admiring the natural beauty of wild areas of our world. Part
of this particular show was filmed in what appeared to be the middle of
a forest. Instead of admiring the natural beauty of this forest, I felt
an uneassiness, as if I was lost and in an alien environment.
When I was growing up, I was often outside. Not only did I enjoy
being out and around where we lived in some city, suburb or Air Force Base;
but I spent a lot of time in the wild places fishing with my dad, camping
with family or friends, and wandering around by myself. Being outdoors
has always been important to me. It's been one of the chief joys in life
as I enjoy whatever natural beauty has been around me.
After injuring my spinal cord and becoming paralyzed, being outside
took on a renewed meaning for me. Getting outside became my escape for
forgetting--if only for a little while--my problems, pressures and emotional
pain in life. In the warmth of sunny, blue skies my spirit soared and walked
unfetterd of its physical constraints. For a few moments I'd forget who
I am as my thoughts wandered, drinking deep the wonder of whatever natural
beauty was around me.
I am definitely a child of modern technology. Modern medicine preserved
and stabilized my physical condition and modern engineering has given me
the means to be mobile and to communicate without assistance from others.
It's allowed me to be me. Yet I am still drawn to nature's embrace and
to the beauty that technology cannot reproduce.
However, that TV nature show reminded me of how foreign living in
and being a part of nature has become to me, even though part of me yearns
for that. Instead I am more comfortable, more at home in suburbanized-urban
living. Herin exists what I require to live and to live beyond the bare
basics of survival--people to assist me and to share in the pain and joys
of life, products to preserve and facilitate my bodily functions, mechanics
and avenues to enhance my mobility, communication and recreation, etc.
Still, being outside is important to me. My soul needs the natural
beauty that exists within my unnatural environment. Blue skies, lavish
sunsets, green trees, colorful flora, singing birds, buzzing insects, crawling
creatures--it all beacons to and restores my soul. Recently during some
re-development in the area in which I reside, a few big, shady trees were
uprooted and left to die because no one wanted them. I found myself mourning
their demise--a first for me.
The area in which I live is often busy with a lot of people and vehicles
here and there. But the speeding traffic and busy people don't bother me.
In fact, it all demonstrates to me the pulse of life active all around
me--people, plants, animals, sky. Manifestations of God's creativity. Beauty
in abundance. Fodder for the soul. If one has the eyes to see...