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Falling Back to Butterflies
By Raymond Greiner
Three summers past we experienced a horrid drought. Crops failed, ponds dried up and grass was brown, an apocalyptic scene. The poplar trees took the biggest hit; we lost ten yet some survived, a depressing summer. The forces of nature can be gentle or harsh; they can display extreme beauty or hideous ugliness. Regardless of crisis magnitude nature perpetuates, adjusting and regenerating, harmonizing with Earth, flowing with tides of change.
Observing those dying poplar trees I felt despair and anxiety; however, in nature death creates momentum. In nature, death channels life. Humanity also, if one lives a long, fulfilling life with love, joy and purpose their legacy reflects in offspring’s moving life to a higher place.
Human life is connected to nature’s functions, but in recent times has fallen out of natural rhythms, causing imbalance. Early humans were like the eagle and fox; they killed to feed their young, securing their future. They foraged for wild plants in nature’s garden thriving from direct attachment to Earth’s natural offerings. Progression over long spans of time caused humanity to distance itself from Earth’s spiritual presence seeking to alter environments, adjusting to an expanding populous. These events slowly created a different approach, requiring living in closer proximity, forming conglomerates of population densities defined by geographic boundaries. This new design isolated itself from wild places. Governments formed, agriculture expanded, accommodating the new social structure becoming incapable of self-sufficiency. Monetary systems were installed as a distribution method of basic needs. Humanity became reliant on governments, conforming to urban entrapment. These changes shaped the root ideology of the modern era.
Consequences from these redirections raise questions. Anthropology reveals humanity has occupied our planet in excess of two million years, and present day arrangement has been in place for around fourteen thousand years, beginning in the Fertile Crescent. This is also the birthplace of large-scale war, and the perceived need to amass armies for invasion, control and dominance, and to defend against neighboring aggressors. Ancient hunter-gatherer cultures leave no artifacts resembling this condition. Early tribal cultures were widely scattered, did not recognize borders, functioning in small units, relying on earthly gifts, flourishing in cohesiveness. Massive armies and large-scale war had no place in early social structure.
War has become a firm fixture in this modern era, and continues to escalate. When Hitler was at his peak of power he viewed war as the ultimate mechanism of control and manipulation. He gained this power through political posturing, falsely convincing an entire nation that his guidance will lead to utopia. How often has this scenario been presented? Hitler represented evil, and after his demise the collective feeling was peace was finally achieved. As I read the daily news this is an incorrect assumption. Upheaval and senseless killing continues. Children killed with poison gas, delivered by the leader of their own country. Young girls kidnapped to be sold into slavery, abused and offered for ransom. How is this considered an improved design from what the ancients had in place for such a long period of time? Of course it is not. A question presented to me was: “Are we supposed to go back to primitive life picking daisies and spearing fish?” It would seem logical, but also impossible, although I question the term primitive, and I do doubt ancient cultures had much time for daisies. Their struggle for survival consumed them. We, as a species, have reached the tipping point, and solutions remain elusive.
Over the past ten years I have lived in a natural place far from metropolitan zones. My daily connection to nature has become embedded in my soul. The quiet, peaceful day-to-day life has no resemblance to urban noise and clutter. I feel more in balance than during working years, mired in congestion, placing money at the forefront. Nature is perfection, and as one connects to nature more profoundly this vivid reality comes into focus; the morning rattle of the woodpecker, a flock of loquacious crows transiting the sky. This particular spring is most welcome, after an exceptionally harsh winter. My favorite spring critter is the butterfly, flitting from place to place, probing with its delicate, single sensitive identifying finger. The butterfly is a product of nature’s most fascinating metamorphosis, and as my life progresses it has become apparent our species is in dire need of re-design, new direction and transformation moving away from ubiquitous imbalances. With its vivid color and motion the butterfly epitomized life, displaying the beauty of nature, wending forward, embracing its time on Earth. As I observe them, dismay is tempered, and I become spiritually lifted to a higher place, as nature is our quiet teacher. If we listen, learning its precise lessons, we can mirror the butterfly, and fall back to it, sharing its cadence of higher purpose, and direction, on a pathway revealing a more blissful presence.