I know I've spent time on the subject of nature's beauty before when I recently waxed poetic over snow and, to a lesser extent, when I wrote about watching the sunrise this summer, but I think I may have found the underlying principle, the one that ties my appreciation for all of these together. With respect to this post, three important things happened yesterday afternoon and last night. First, during a run I spoke with a friend about technology and what it has been to humanity. The second, I read this article about Disney World and the new American paradigm on NationalGeographic.com. On a sidenote, you should just visit the National Geographic Magazine Web page anyway because it is so well designed and the content is of such high quality.
Thirdly, I took a long walk outside as the snow fell. It was snowing again, but different from the last tiem I wrote about it. There were flakes, but they were very wet and didn't stick to the ground at all, melting almost immediately. Despite the fact that the air was full of snow, there was very little white on the grass, only a thin layer of slush. But I still thought it was beautiful. Really, it was cold, wet and disgusting to walk through, but the greatest painters in history would have been hard pressed to capture the beauty in that moment.
Like I said earlier, I think I now know why I appreciated it so much. No matter humanity's efforts, the weather is completely outside of our control, much less ability to predict judging by the many jokes made about weathermen. Yes, technology has allowed us unprecedented, unimaginable abilities to communicate, store information, create new realities and transform the land, but the weather is beyond us. If it weren't for the weather, humans could very nearly control every single aspect of their daily lives and lead them exactly as they wanted to with no surprises and nothing unexpected. Undoubtedly, humanity has impacted the weather through carbon emissions and everything else that makes environmentalists fear our future, but the weather will never be brought to heel.
And that's what I love about it. The weather is not something I can dominate or even slightly bend to my wishes. It simply is, and I must go with it. The person who can take any weather, no matter the situation, is one to be respected because they are aware of and comfortable with their own humanity and smallness.
2 years ago