Friday, August 2, 2013

On Nature


 On the side of Sugarloaf Mountain, we thought construction had all but destroyed the meadow fronting our Cabin. It was scraped clean, down to the granite substrate.  We worried that it might never fully recover on that new surface of what appeared to be granitic sand.  But, Life itself has taken charge, and the flora of the mountain has returned with haste and with it, flowers that disappeared years ago. Nature is incorrigible.

    As if to cover its mineral nakedness, Planet Earth imagined LIFE and wrapped itself in a lavish kirtle of it, from the microscopic to the mammoth. And it was beautiful.
    Earth expresses itself to the universe as sheathed, covered, wrapped, obscured, by Life.*  Life everywhere-- all of it, striving for increase, expression-- and for consciousness.
    And, in the most superb of Life’s combinations, we humans appeared with a brain-deluxe and found that we could know about ourselves and, what’s more, enjoy that knowing. We began that most human of enterprises: organizing our knowing into a myriad of narratives. I for instance have told the story of brown trout in the Garden of Eden. But, just think what Mozart did with what he knew!
   When I look out into the night sky, I do not, as conventional wisdom would advise, feel insignificant and tiny in the face of all that majesty. I think the cosmos is a lovely, if mysterious, expanse of what, we cannot be sure. I am, meanwhile, overwhelmingly proud to be of Earth’s Order of Mozart. I see no reason to believe that there is his like anywhere “out there”.
   We are here to report on the universe to its self. If we don’t do it, it will not get done.
    We on Planet Earth, with Life on our side, have the universe under siege, demanding that it come forth with its secrets and hear the music.

 * Ira Feit, Professor of Biology, Franklin and Marshall College, c.1983.