Environmental Awareness Through Nature Writing

Environmental Awareness Through Nature Writing

Writing, blogging in particular lends itself to introspection. There’s a writer I started reading a few weeks ago; I don’t know his or her name, but they go by the moniker of The Blog Tyrant. If you’re a blogger, I strongly urge you to visit their website – they have a really good pulse on what makes a blog work.  And one of the things they’ve got me thinking about is, how does my blog benefit my readers? (That’s you, by the way).

So I tried writing it down, and found that when put to it, I really struggled with the answer. Do I have an answer? I’d better, beucase that’s what I’m supposed to be relating to you. How doyou benefit from reading my work?


Well, why do I care if you love the earth? If you learn to truely see the natural world, and the beauty it contains? What does it matter? It matters becuase it is ultimately all we have. And all we need. Everthing else is just fluff, designed to make our lives ‘easier’ or more interesting. If we care not for the true nature of this world, then we are doomed to lose it.

So, why educate about nature, then? What does it benefit my intended student, be they in the field with me or looking at a computer screen and reading my words?  Why should they – why should you – listen?

You should listen, because it will help you know and love this rough and unruly Earth. You should listen because ultimately you will be better for it.  Better how? Nature inspires; it inspires art, music, innovation. Do you want to only drift along in your life, never fully interacting with a world that is so alive it fairly screams at us, if only we listen?  Not if you’ve ever glimpsed the raw power and beauty of nature, you don’t. But we’ve designed a world that distracts us too easily from what’s real, making us comfortable and needy of things we don’t really need. It insulates us from the true face of the Earth.

What else? Nature heals – I don’t have to prove this to you, that’s already been done. The health benefits of just being outside on a regular basis are numerous.

You won’t get rich reading my blog (at least not financially), and I don’t have the secret to retiring early or finding the perfect mate.  No, rather this is my wake-up call to you. My grabbing you by the shirt and saying: “Look!  Look now before it’s too late!  Look what you can learn and feel about what’s all around you”. Learn to see it, appreciate it, and love it. Because we won’t care for what we don’t love and don’t understand.

And I want to go beyond just getting you outside. I want you to learn to look more closely – to see the world with a depth you don’t even know you’re capable of.

To look at any thing
If you would know that thing,
You must look at it long:
To look at this green and say
‘I have seen spring in these
woods will not do – you must
Be the thing you see:
You must be the dark snakes of
Stems and ferny plumes of leaves,
You must enter in
To the small silences between
The leaves
You must take your time
And touch the very peace
They issue from.

- John Moffitt

Do you want to see? Do you want to know? Then come join me. Question my assumptions and statements and help me learn too. Nothing teaches like nature, and nothing makes us more alive and human.

How do you benefit from being outdoors and from learning about nature? Is it a benefit?

Cynthia Menard
Withywindle Blog

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