The Pulse of Life
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...
Written by Paul Landis Delaune