The World Outside These Walls: A Journal of the Natural World

Entry 2: The Glory of the Natural World

(by Jim McDoniel)

If you really want to behold fully the beauty and splendor of creation, you really must work as a window washer. As a body disposal driver, you are too close to the ground. As a lightning rigger, you are too high in the clouds. As a tower-officed corporate executive, you deny there is an outside. And anything else is underground. So, a good distance up the outside of the tower is really the only place to view the whole landscape. Halfway twixt earth and sky, twixt angel and beast, as a poet might say. Since I am nothing so frivolous, I say the 24th floor provides an ample height.

Most believe our world to be dead. All they see are the ice and snow and cold, although as so few people have actually bothered to look, really they’ve only heard that there is ice and snow and cold. They hear about the deadly danger of the howling winds. They hear tales of the deadly dangers in the storms overhead (usually from lightning riggers who themselves see both deadly dangers and their weekly quota.) They hear people say that the entire surface is a deadly danger, and they believe it on the basis that were they to confront these dangers themselves, they would die.

What the people fail to see, and then tell to those who only hear things, is the intrinsic beauty and purpose of the world from outside the perspective of a small, squishy, death-prone hairless ape. When one looks at our surroundings from an objective viewpoint, one sees so much more. Even without including what we officially recognize as life (which, again is present within these harsh conditions for those who know where to look), our planet (A planet being a large sphere orbiting the sun through space, about which I will explain more later) is so very alive. We are not some barren rock. Winds blow, our atmosphere swirls and storms are the result. Deep beneath us the molten core bubbles and boils, not only heating our city, but moving the land in a never ending cycle of reinvention. The earth moves. The air moves. Water, granted usually in the form of snow, moves. And fires deep below our feet move. How can a planet with so much movement be dead?

Air and earth, fire and water. The four beyond ancient elements. While I could hardly argue that they are in harmony, they all do still exist and as long as they do, there is still hope. As long as they do, there is still the potential for Life, and also, life.

Dora

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