Lessons through Nature

Lessons through Nature

We went to the Pyrenees, as Thoreau went to the woods, to start our journey out in a clean, well lit place, to allegorically jump to Joyce. We wanted to enter our journey not through urban plutonium gates, but through comforting of Tetons of Mother Nature.

As my kids can all attest, I am a big fan of the significance in establishing a journey, being trained well with Odysseus, to demarcate significant undertakings and changes in life. And thus, I believe it is good to have some physical exertion with some distance in your feet, accompanied by Nature’s complexities to occupy the heart and mind, all to help you come to terms with a longer journey’s beginning.

This physical reminding of yourself of distance in time and space helps baptize and free the soul from your tried and true of daily life. It reminds you that you are in a new forest without trails, to bring it back to Thoreau, who stayed in the woods until the trails began to form.

Since being in France, it has been wonderful to see how pockets of French phrases re-emerge from distant eighth grade memories into the present day via an unpredictable and slow but steady process. It is like I am slowly imbibing and effusing myself into the culture, and in so doing, little bits of my thought and thought cycles are being converted to French through neurons long sense deactivated … or never connected but lying dormant in my Norman heritage.

Similarly, it has been great fun to see the use of French words become more prevalent in my thoughts and writings, from homage to eau de vie, to more subtly emerge and pilgramage.It is as if the words are connected to the landscape, and the language is seeping through my English barriers like water falling over rocks down a French mountainside:

I wrote in earlier blog entry that “for my youngest, a long long time can be just a few hours, or maybe that’s just yesterday, or just a moment in the future that she just thought about.”

I have been fascinated over just how much the concept of the three dimensions of space behave so consistently with the concept of time (with the one blaring exception of the single direction of passage of time). It has been a game to me of late to put in an internal flag in my thoughts over any time an abstraction of time or space appears in my thoughts to immediately assess if the abstraction is equally applicable to the other. Amazingly abstractions pretty consistently do. Natures lessons extend to the physics behind it. It begs the question, why do we structurally (or is it societally?) insist on separating the fourth dimension from the other three?

Well nothing like an 80 day trip across the other side of the world to explore this separation… Separation of the dimensions alongside the separation of our summer from our daily lives, applied equally to time and distance, physically and metaphysically.

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