Inner Decisions

. . . journey into wholeness

Nature verses Nurture?

 Spiritually speaking, I'm a naturalist. I prefer my bouquet of flowers to be wild and dancing in the fields. I prefer my trees to be indigenous to their native soil. My favorite zoos care for wild animals from that region that cannot be reintroduced into their natural habitat; one is the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park. I love webcams focused on the wild non-interfered with creatures with whom we share the planet. Though, if I were honest, the presence of the camera is an interference. However, we learn things we would never have known had we not watched.

I adore our state and federal parks and protected lands. I respect boundaries and do my best to leave no trace of where I was. I love the beauty of our natural world. I understand the natural order of things.

We live on 107-acres and there are no wild animals that don't damage the farm, farm machinery, the farm animals, in some way or another.  As I've written before, we fence critters out as much as we fence critters in. The pigeons and starlings nest everywhere. The mice and rats feast on the food intended for livestock. There is a deadly disease the goats can contract from a deer parasite. We have struggled with hawks, owls, weasels, mink, opossum, and other such critters eating our expensive chickens and ducks. It's hard to walk into a "killing field". We run four livestock guardian dogs with our goats to keep the coyotes and fox away. It all takes a considerable amount of resources: time, money, compassion, knowledge and willingness. We try to balance as much as we can. Sometimes I wonder why.

Jon Mooallem gave a moving and eye-opening TEDTalk titled:  How the Teddy Bear Taught us Compassion. It's a nicely woven wildlife educational piece describing the evolution of how our thinking has changed about wildlife over the last century. He was also published in the Opinionator of the New York Times on June 20th (2014), "Screaming Eagles". Mooallem is good at describing what we are doing and encouraging us to think about why were are doing it when it comes to nature vs. nurture from a different perspective.

To love the land and nature we must understand it. IT. Not glorify it. Not personify it. Not over-relate to it. We must merge with nature on nature's terms, not our need to satisfy something we haven't taken the time to explore within ourselves. Understanding and relating to nature is difficult. It isn't only about breathtaking vistas and cute little

It's not nature that needs rescuing, it's us. You and me.

Many blessings,



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